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  • CARNITINE

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About

blood sample
Sample

BLOOD

Gender
Gender

Both

users
Age group

7 years & above

Carnitine is an amino acid that the body uses to turn fats into energy. Low levels of carnitine interfere with the conversion of fats into energy, due to which the body uses blood sugar for energy production. It can lead to many health problems. Carnitine deficiency can cause muscle weakness and cardiovascular or liver problems.

The carnitine test measures the level of carnitine in blood to detect various muscle disorders.

Carnitine Test – Overview

The primary step for opting for a carnitine test is identifying the problem using biological tests. This includes a complete blood count test to determine if the patient has anaemia or an abnormal count of blood components. 

Testing blood sugar levels before taking for a carnitine test can also help relate to the symptoms. This is because when the utilisation of fatty acids reduces, there is an increase in the use of sugar molecules for energy. Hence, blood glucose level estimates whether the suggested symptom is present or not. 

There are several reasons behind carnitine deficiency or disruption in the carnitine cycle. This could involve kidney, liver, or electrolyte concentration problems in the blood. 

It is essential to consult with your doctor and seek genetic testing. Sometimes, the problem is due to the inheritance of specific genes, which allows the patient to manage it better. 

Low carnitine levels in the blood indicate that the person suffers from carnitine deficiency. It could be a primary or a secondary deficiency based on the results of other tests. 

Once the presence of carnitine deficiency is confirmed, based on the carnitine test result, some external supplements are also suggested.

Who Should Get Tested? 

People with carnitine deficiency can have symptoms like fatigue and weakness. Due to low sugar levels, they can often experience dizziness while doing heavy work or during exercises. 

However, people who are already suffering from issues in their liver or kidney and are observing weight gain must opt for a carnitine test. This can help prevent the patients from being at risk of developing cirrhosis and academia.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Hitendra Garg,  Gastroenterologist at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi.
 

faqFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Carnitine is a chemical produced in the kidneys, liver, and brain. It’s responsible for transforming fat into energy. This chemical is also accountable for important brain and heart function, muscle movement, and several other bodily processes. It plays a significant role in producing energy and transporting toxic compounds from the cells to prevent accumulation.
Carnitine deficiency is of two kinds: Primary carnitine deficiency: This rare condition occurs due to an abnormal gene. This abnormal gene clashes with the carrier of carnitine that takes it across the cells in the blood. This condition slowly leads to low carnitine levels in the muscles. So, it renders the body fat unusable, and no energy can be derived from it.  Secondary carnitine deficiency: This occurs more commonly than primary carnitine deficiency. In this case, the issue isn’t how to carry carnitine through the blood cells. The problem is the lack of carnitine in the blood itself.
Several factors can cause carnitine deficiency. The primary carnitine deficiency happens due to an abnormal gene. Secondary carnitine deficiency is caused due to any of the following health ailments: Kidney disease, especially if it involves dialysis Liver disease Malnutrition Digestive system troubles that lead to poor absorption Metabolic disorders Mitochondrial disease Consumption of specific medications like valproate
Primary carnitine deficiency causes more intense and severe symptoms than secondary carnitine deficiency. Symptoms may vary from person to person. If you believe you suffer from carnitine deficiency, you will notice the following signs: Fatigue or tiredness Floppy or decreased muscle tone Weakness in muscle Irritability Hypoglycemia, or symptoms of low blood sugar that indicate an effect on the liver Delayed motor development Shortness of breath Swelling or oedema Poor feeding patterns in the baby
If you suffer from carnitine deficiency, the primary treatment option is taking L-carnitine supplements. It’s a pill that will enhance the carnitine levels in your cells and blood. Additionally, exposure to cold, skipping meals, and extensive exercise may worsen the symptoms. So, try to stay away from these things to maintain your health.

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Carnitine near you

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The information mentioned above is meant for educational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute to your Physician’s advice. It is highly recommended that the customer consults with a qualified healthcare professional to interpret test results