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Methylmalonic Acid Blood Test

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About Our Methylmalonic Acid Blood Test

Our methylmalonic acid (MMA) blood test is often used to detect and diagnose vitamin B12 deficiency. Here are several reasons why someone might consider taking a methylmalonic acid blood test:

  1. Suspected Vitamin B12 Deficiency: If you have symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency such as fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, poor memory, numbness, or tingling in the hands and feet, a doctor might order an MMA test. Elevated MMA levels can be a sign of B12 deficiency.
  2. Ambiguous B12 Blood Levels: Sometimes, the serum B12 level might be in the low-normal range and symptoms of a deficiency are present. In such cases, MMA testing can help determine whether a functional vitamin B12 deficiency exists.
  3. Pernicious Anemia: Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune condition that impairs the body's ability to absorb vitamin B12 from food. An MMA test, alongside other tests, can help in its diagnosis.
  4. Vegetarians and Vegans: Because B12 is mainly found in animal products, vegetarians and especially vegans might be at higher risk for deficiency. An MMA test can be used to check B12 status in such individuals.
  5. Elderly Population: Older adults can often have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12 and might be at risk for deficiency. An MMA test can help detect this.
  6. After Gastric Surgery: Individuals who have undergone certain gastric surgeries (like bariatric surgery) might have altered vitamin B12 absorption, which can be assessed using an MMA test.
  7. Monitoring Treatment: If someone is on vitamin B12 supplementation or treatment for its deficiency, MMA levels can be monitored to see the efficacy of the treatment.
  8. Differential Diagnosis: Elevated MMA (and homocysteine) levels can help differentiate between a deficiency caused by vitamin B12 and one caused by folic acid, as both can lead to macrocytic anemia.

It's worth noting that while elevated MMA levels are a strong indicator of vitamin B12 deficiency, they can also be elevated in other conditions, such as kidney dysfunction.

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