Synonyms/Also Known as
Folic Acid, RBC Folate
Complete Blood Count, Methylmalonic Acid, Homocysteine, B Vitamins, Intrinsic Factor Antibody, Parietal Cell Antibody, Reticulocyte Count, Blood Smear
Why get tested?
To diagnose a case of anemia or a case of neuropathy, to evaluate the nutritional status of an individual and to monitor the effectiveness of treatment in vitamin B12 or folate deficiency.
When to get tested?
When complete blood picture (CBP) is abnormal with the blood smear showing macrocytosis (presence of large red blood cells) or hypersegmented neutrophils. When there are symptoms of anemia such as weakness, tiredness, pale skin and/or symptoms of neuropathy such as tingling sensations, eye twitching, memory loss, altered mental status. To monitor the treatment for vitamin B12 or folate deficiency.
Test preparation needed
No special preparation required
About The Test
How is it used
1. Is excess vitamin B12 and folic acid supplements harmful?
No. B12 and folic acid are water-soluble and any excess levels will be excreted in urine. However, taking folic acid can mask vitamin B12 deficiency, so it is important to test for both vitamin B12 and folate levels, before starting folate supplementation.
2. Is it necessary to have vitamin B12 and folate levels tested routinely?
Vitamin B12 and folate levels are not tested routinely unless symptoms associated with a deficiency, large red blood cells (RBCs) in a complete blood picture (CBP), and conditions associated with malabsorption are seen.
3. Are folate levels tested in pregnancy?
Folate levels may be tested in some cases during pregnancy. Folate supplementation is however recommended routinely for women before and during pregnancy.