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Lab Test

Intrinsic Factor Antibody-IFA

The Intrinsic Factor Antibody (IFA) test is a blood test that checks for antibodies against intrinsic factor, a protein made in the stomach that is crucial for the absorption of vitamin B12. This test is primarily used to help diagnose pernicious anemia, an autoimmune condition that results in vitamin B12 deficiency.

  • Test NameIntrinsic Factor Antibody-IFA
  • Sample TypeBlood
  • Preparations RequiredNo specific preparation is required for this test.
  • Report Time6 Hours

Why is the Intrinsic Factor Antibody (IFA) Test important?

The IFA test is important because it aids in diagnosing pernicious anemia, a form of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. If left untreated, this condition can lead to severe neurological complications.

Is fasting required for the IFA Test?

No, fasting is not required for the IFA test.

Home Sample Collection Process

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Reporting of the sample at lab
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Frequently Asked Questions

There is no specific preparation needed for this test.

This test is typically done when a person presents symptoms of anemia (like fatigue, pale skin, or shortness of breath), and a doctor suspects that pernicious anemia may be the cause.

The IFA Test detects antibodies against intrinsic factor. The presence of these antibodies can confirm a diagnosis of pernicious anemia.

The frequency of this test will depend on your doctor's recommendation and will be based on your symptoms and health condition.

The normal result is typically negative, meaning no antibodies against intrinsic factor are detected. However, normal ranges may vary between laboratories.

No special precautions are needed for this test.

Certain medications, such as proton pump inhibitors and histamine H2 blockers, can affect the results of the IFA Test.

Non-modifiable factors include age and genetic predisposition, while modifiable factors can include medication use.

If your IFA Test result is abnormal, you should consult with a hematologist or a gastroenterologist.

An abnormal result typically indicates the presence of intrinsic factor antibodies, which is a strong indicator of pernicious anemia.

Treatment of the underlying cause, typically with vitamin B12 injections or high-dose oral vitamin B12, can help normalize vitamin B12 levels, but the presence of antibodies may persist.

The IFA Test is highly specific for pernicious anemia, but it is not as sensitive as some other tests. This means that while a positive test strongly suggests pernicious anemia, a negative test does not completely rule out the condition.

The primary treatment for pernicious anemia is vitamin B12 supplementation, either through injections or high-dose oral supplements.

During the IFA Test, a healthcare professional will draw a small sample of blood from your arm. This sample is then sent to a laboratory where it's tested for the presence of antibodies against intrinsic factor.

The IFA Test involves a typical blood draw, which may cause a brief prick or sting. Any discomfort is usually minimal and subsides shortly after the sample is taken.

Yes, you should continue your regular medications. However, make sure to inform your doctor about all the medications and supplements you are taking, as some can interfere with the test results.

The IFA Test specifically checks for antibodies against intrinsic factor, a protein necessary for the absorption of vitamin B12. This distinguishes it from other types of anemia tests that measure different aspects of blood or nutrient levels.

Maintaining a balanced diet rich in vitamin B12 is important. Foods high in this vitamin include animal products like meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy. For those who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, vitamin B12 fortified foods or supplements might be necessary.

Symptoms that might prompt an IFA Test include weakness, fatigue, a sore tongue, pale skin, numbness or tingling in hands and feet, balance problems, and memory difficulties.

Yes, conditions such as gastritis, stomach surgeries, or other types of anemia might affect the test results.

Intrinsic Factor Antibody - IFA
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