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Carnitine Test

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About Our Carnitine Test

This blood test is used to measure carnitine levels to evaluate for various muscle disorders. Carnitine is an amino acid that is used by the body's cells to process fats and produce energy.

Carnitine deficiencies prevents the body from using certain fats for energy, especially during times of fasting (going without food). This deficiency onsets in infancy and slowly progresses to early adulthood.

Deficient carnitine levels symptoms can be:

  • Severe brain dysfunction (encephalopathy)
  • A weakened, enlarged heart (cardiomyopathy)
  • Confusion
  • Muscle weakness/muscle necrosis
  • Fatty liver/Enlarged liver
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Low weight
  • Growth retardation
  • Vomiting
  • Low glucose levels (hypoglycemia)

Major dietary sources of carnitine include:

  • Beef
  • Red meat
  • Whole milk
  • Tempeh
  • Codfish
  • Poultry
  • Cheese
  • Ice cream

Carnitine deficiency can be more prevalent in people who:

  • Have enzyme deficiencies
  • Are fasting
  • Have viral infections
  • Have severe liver disorders
  • Have chronic diarrhea, diuresis or hemodialysis
  • Have a hereditary disorder that causes carnitine to leak from the renal tubes

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