intrinsic factor test

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what is intrinsic factor?

A glycoprotein produced by the parietal cells of the stomach, Intrinsic factor is vital for the absorption of Vitamin B12. This absorption takes place later on in the ileum of the small intestine. Intrinsic factor is also referred to as gastric intrinsic factor. 

intrinsic factor deficiency

If you suffer from an intrinsic factor deficiency, your body fails to absorb Vitamin B 12 and you develop a Vitamin B12 deficiency which is also known as pernicious anemia. 

Low intrinsic factor symptoms

Some of the most common low intrinsic factor symptoms are:

  • Fatigue.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Dizziness.
  • Pale or yellowish skin.
  • Irregular heartbeats.
  • Weight loss.
  • Numbness or tingling 
  • Muscle weakness

intrinsic factor test

The Intrinsic factor test looks for Intrinsic factor antibody in the blood. 

what is an intrinsic factor antibody?

An intrinsic factor antibody is a protein that the immune system produces and is tied to pernicious anemia. 

anti intrinsic factor antibody

This is another term used for Intrinsic factor antibody.

Types of Intrinsic factor antibodies:

  • Instrinsic factor blocking antibody: This type blocks the binding site on IF for Vitamin B 12.
  • Intrinsic factor binding antibody: This prevents Vitamin B 12-IF complex from latching onto the binding sites in small intestines. 

why do you need the intrinsic blood test?

The Intrinsic blood test can help your doctor diagnose pernicious anemia if you have it. 

when should you take the intrinsic factor test?

If your doctor suspects you have anemia, then this Intrinsic factor antibody test will be recommended to you.

how to prepare for the anti intrinsic factor antibody test?

After receiving a Vitamin B12 injection, you may be asked to wait for 48 hours to 2 weeks before you can take this test. It is a simple blood test and a sample of your serum is taken.

intrinsic factor normal range

The intrinsic factor lab test will reveal the ranges and reference values. The Intrinsic factor normal range is 1.21 to 1.52 AU/mL. 

The test will tell you whether you test positive or negative for the Intrinsic factor blocking antibody or Intrinsic factor binding antibody.

Less than 1.20 AU/mL is considered negative and more than 1.53 AU/mL is positive. 

These results are not taken into consideration while making a diagnosis without first doing other tests. If you have decreased Vitamin B12 level in your blood and/or methylmalonic acid level and homocysteine levels are increased and IF antibodies are present, then it is likely that you suffer from pernicious anemia. 

what other tests can you have along with intrinsic factor test?

Even if your test result is negative, it does not mean that you do not have pernicious anemia. If there are no IF antibodies found, a parietal cell antibody test may be done to help establish the diagnosis. 

Parietal cell antibodies are not like IF antibodies. They may be present in 90% of people with pernicious anemia and can be present even when the person does not suffer from pernicious anemia in 10% of the cases. 

intrinsic factor treatment

The Intrinsic factor treatment includes taking supplements to improve the level of Intrinsic factor in your blood. Your doctor may prescribe an intrinsic factor supplement to help you cope with your diagnosis. 

how can we help?

At Portea, we believe world-class healthcare should be accessible to everyone right at their home. We help you take the Intrinsic factor blocking antibody test right at home and deliver the Intrinsic factor lab test straight to your door. Our team of medical experts can also help you with your treatment post diagnosis. Give us a call and let us take care of you.