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Vitamin B12 & Anaemia BLOOD TESTS

Investigations into Pernicious Anaemia.

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B12 & Anaemia

  • B12 Kits and profiles
  • Intrinsic Factor Antibodies
  • Investigate Pernicious Anaemia
  • Next day delivery possible
  • Full instructions given
  • Friendly advice on 0800 999 1110
  • Sent by email
  • Quick Turnaround times
  • Optional GP Comments
Vitamin B12 & Pernicious Anaemia Test Kits by post

Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin which plays an essential role in maintaining normal cell function – most noticeably though in red blood cell activity and in nerve function. Interestingly, complex organisms (animals, plants and fungi) cannot make B12. The vitamin has to be extracted from the diet, and is manufactured only by some species of bacteria.

B12 Deficiency & Pernicious Anaemia

In Vitamin B12 deficiency the red blood cells are enlarged (if the deficiency is severe and longstanding), leading to a rise in the MCV. The threshold for diagnosing vitamin B12 deficiency is a matter for debate. Some experts believe levels of 400-500 pmol/L are desirable and that levels below this may lead to symptoms. A level which is sustained below 140 pmol/L will ultimately result in megaloblastic anaemia (or Pernicious Anaemia (PA)), in which there is reduced quality and number of red blood cells. Deficiency may be the result of either low intake of the vitamin or from impaired absorption from the gut. Poor absorption owing to a deficiency of Intrinsic Factor (IF) is generally the underlying reason for PA – and usually this is caused by an autoimmune action, in which antibodies (manufactured by the body’s immune system) mistakenly attack and destroy IF. Vitamin B12 deficiency in the longer run can lead to nervous system disorders – with sensation changes, loss of power or co-ordination, gut disorders and (rarely) dementia or mental illness. Lower level deficiency has been associated with a range of symptoms such as fatigue, memory impairment, irritability, depression and personality changes.

Which Test is best?

The answer to this question is dependent on how much help you are getting from your own doctor, but if you are looking to have a quick private test conducted then the new Advanced B12 profile below looks at most of these factors and is available as a finger prick kit. You will have to select a vacutainer option if you need Intrinsic Factor looking at also.

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Other Blood Testing Services by Blue Horizon Medicals.
All of the services outlined above rely on the postal service not just to send the kits to you, but also to get your blood back to the Laboratory.This is fine for the majority of tests on this website but sometimes a test that you require will have special handling requirements such as freezing, a need to be spun down by a centrifuge, or have a need for immediate testing. In these situations, and also where turnaround time cannot be reliant on the postal service we recommend that you speak to us about the other services that we can offer you. For speed we recommend our London Service, but we have some good profiles available through 60 Spire and BMI Hospitals across the UK.