No Doctor visit is required for this Labtest


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Detail Description

Folate Test

Any other names for this test?

Folic acid test, Vitamin B-9 

What is a Folate test?

A folate test helps to see folate levels in the liquid part of your blood, known as serum or red blood cells. Folate is the natural type of vitamin B-9 that has vital functions in the body. It plays several roles, such as
  • Developing DNA, a unique genetic code present in all cells of a person.
  • Production of red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body.
  • Help to make, utilize, and decompose protein.
  • Growing tissues and cells in the body.
  • Increases cells in babies during pregnancy
  • Help to protect from changes in the cells that may result in cancer.

Folate is a water-soluble nutrient. If you take large amounts of folate, it will be released from your body through urine. A low folate level or folate deficiency may result in anemia and other diseases. Low folate levels may lead to brain or spine disorders in the fetus during pregnancy.

What is the purpose of this test?

A folate test measures the healthy folate levels in your body. This test identifies and monitors the condition if you experience a deficiency of folate. Your provider may suggest this test after an abnormal blood test. You may also need this test if you have megaloblastic anemia. A type of anemia in which your body cannot produce enough red blood cells. A folate serum test is a routine test for people having inflammatory bowel disease. It is because they cannot digest nutrients from foods that contain folate. 

When do I need a folate test?

You may have a deficiency of folate if you do not take the required folate from foods or vitamins. You may need to order this test to diagnose anemia and its reasons. Your healthcare provider may recommend this test if you see symptoms of folate deficiency that include:
  • Disturbed heartbeat
  • Confusion
  • Changes in the color of skin or hair
  • Breath shortness
  • Lack of concentration
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea (loose, watery, and increased bowel movements)
  • Depression
  • Headache
  • Numbness and tingling in the fingers and toes
  • Irritability
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sores on the tongue or within the mouth

You can visit here to place an online order for the folate test.

If you already experience a deficiency of folate and are getting treatment for it, your provider may use this test to monitor how effective the treatment is going for folate.

What are the foods that contain folate?

Folate is present in the following:
  • Liver
  • Broccoli
  • Dried beans, peas, and lentils
  • Leafy green vegetables include spinach, collards, mustard green, and rapini.
  • Citrus fruits and juices
  • Wheat germs
  • Yeast
  • Asparagus

How do I need to prepare for this test?

You do not need specific preparation for the folate test. You can inform your provider about medicines, vitamins, and supplements you take. You may provide special instructions by observing your medical history.

What is the method for this test?

Your provider will ask for a blood sample for this test. Following are the steps of this test:
  • Sit in front of your provider and remove your part of the cloth from one arm.
  • Your provider will insert a small needle into the vein in your arm.
  •  A small amount of blood will collect in a test tube.
  • Your blood sample will keep at the laboratory for examination.
  • Daily activities can start after the test.
  • This test generally takes five minutes.

 Before visiting the laboratory, you can schedule an online order for the folate test.

What are the risks of this test?

A folate serum test is a blood test that does not contain high risks. You may experience slight pain or low risks when your provider injects a needle into your veins. These risks include
  • Bruising
  • Infection
  • Low bleeding
  • lightheaded feeling
  • Dizziness

What do the test results mean?

There are two methods available to measure folate levels in a blood sample. One of the general methods is to see folate levels in serum. The second method observes the folate levels in the red blood cell, a component of your blood.

The recommended range for the folate serum, or blood plasma, is from 2.5 to 20 nanograms per milliliter or 4.5 to 45.3 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L). The recommended values for red blood cells are 140 to 628 ng/mL or 317 to 1,422 nmol/L.

Low folate levels than recommended can indicate a deficiency of folate. Your healthcare provider gives your folic acid supplements. The folate deficiency will disappear within a short time when you take supplements. You can set an online appointment with a doctor to discuss the quantity of folate you need. The folate values depend on your age and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. 

Low folate levels may generally occur due to several problems, such as
  • Anemia
  • Low white blood cells levels
  • Low platelets
  • Defects in the birth during pregnancy

High folate levels in your body do not indicate any problems. Excess folate will excrete from the body through urine.
The folate test results depend on age, gender, medical history, and other factors. The test results may differ slightly among laboratories. It is because each lab may use different methods for examination.

What factors may affect the test results?

Factors that may affect your test results are:
  • Intake of a large quantity of alcohol.
  • Malabsorption of nutrients (Crohn's disease or celiac disease)
  • Increasing age
  • Avoiding fresh vegetables and fortified grains.
  • Smoking
  • Kidney dialysis
  • Birth control pills
  • Pregnancy
  • Chemotherapy or any past surgery
  • Antiseizure medicine

What additional tests may I need to conduct along with the folate test?

Your provider will ask for other tests if the folate serum test results are not in the recommended range. Your provider may also order additional blood tests that include vitamin B-12 tests. Folate and B-12 are significant for the development of red blood cells.

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