Last Updated on December 9, 2022 by
Our body has a large number of chemicals present in it. These chemicals are essential for the proper functioning of the human body. One of these chemicals is homocysteine. As the name suggests, a homocysteine test is a measure to check homocysteine levels in your body.
Homocysteine is an amino acid found in the body. The body utilizes amino acids to synthesize proteins in the body. It is present in small amounts in the body. The reason for its limited presence in your system is that vitamins B12, B6, and B9 break this amino acid down to form other substances required by the body. This process reduces the amount of homocysteine present in the body. A lower amount of homocysteine in the body indicates that the body is healthy.
Why a homocysteine test?
A homocysteine test helps to find deficiencies of Vitamin B12, B6, and B9 in the body. Since these vitamins are responsible for breaking down homocysteine, their level in the body indicates vitamin levels. It also helps to identify the risk of heart disease in patients. This test is essential for monitoring heart patients.
Another vital function that a homocysteine test provides is the ability to diagnose homocystinuria. It is a rare genetic disorder that inhibits the protein-breaking process in the human body. The homocysteine test helps to identify this disease in children.
Why may you need a homocysteine test?
A homocysteine test may become essential when you start experiencing the following symptoms.
- Heart palpitations
- Numbness in fingers
- sore tongue
- pale, scaly skin
- diarrhea or constipation.
- Shortness of breath
- tingling in hands or feet
Some of the symptoms mentioned here are the symptoms of vitamin B deficiency. You must get yourself checked if you get these symptoms frequently. The homocysteine test price is usually affordable, and you can get yourself checked easily. The homocysteine test is a blood test. During the test, homocysteine, an amino acid found in the body, is measured. Vitamin B6, B9, and B12 deficiencies are often diagnosed using this test. Cardiovascular disease may be more likely to occur in people with elevated homocysteine.
The procedure of the test
A blood sample is collected from your vein, usually from the arm. You may be required to fast for eight to twelve hours before the test. A needle is inserted into the arm to take the sample. The blood will be collected in a vial or tube and sent for testing. The procedure usually takes five minutes to complete. It may cause a pinching feeling while inserting the needle.
Who performs the tests, and what should you expect?
A certified healthcare professional can take your blood sample. The test is identical to any regular blood test. It is very little to no risk involved in the test procedure. You may experience some pain at the site of inserting the needle after it is over. Expect a stinging sensation when the needle gets inserted into your arm.
A homocysteine test is essential for heart patients and people who may be experiencing symptoms of vitamin B deficiency. A higher level of homocysteine may indicate that you are not getting enough vitamins B12, B6, and B9. It may also indicate the risk of heart disease. Homocysteine levels increase with age. It is always better to be sure than to be sorry later. Therefore, Homocysteine is an amino acid found in the body. The body utilizes amino acids to synthesize proteins in the body. It is present in small amounts in the body. The reason for its limited presence in your system is that vitamins B12, B6, and B9 break this amino acid down to form other substances required by the body.