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How Can I Test My Vitamin D Levels

When Vitamin D Testing And Treatment Is A Waste Of Time And Money

How To Test Your Vitamin D Level At Home

It’s important to be clear that the task force is highlighting uncertainty around screening and treating asymptomatic people who don’t have real signs of illness, such as broken bones, or other illnesses that can cause vitamin deficiencies, like liver disease or multiple sclerosis.

“For healthy individuals, if youre tired and weak, but its nondescript, this is a really tempting thing to do: measure vitamin D and then treat,” Dr. Rosen, who is based at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute, warned. “But there just isn’t enough evidence it does anything.”

So, for example, if you were feeling a little low this winter and you ask for a vitamin D test, then find out your levels are hovering around 20 or 30 ng/mL, you can go on supplements. And there’s no doubt that those supplements will raise your vitamin D levels, since researchers have found they are absorbed by the body very efficiently. Doctors just don’t know whether that change actually has any health benefit.

Rosen also cautioned that the biggest misconception about vitamin D is the association between low vitamin D levels and disease risk. “There’s this idea, if we treat you, not only will some of your symptoms get better but also your long-term health benefit will be enhanced,” he said. Again, there’s no good evidence that that’s the case.

How To Replenish Your Vitamin D Levels

What You Will Learn From this Article

  • The Benefits of Optimal Vitamin D Levels
  • How to Test for Vitamin D Levels: Labs and Self Test
  • Can You Get Too Much Vitamin D?
  • Foods High in Vitamin D
  • Getting Vitamin D from the Sun: Duration, Latitude, Altitude
  • Does the Sun Cause Skin Cancer?
  • Types of Vitamin D for Supplementation

There is some research I want to share with you which is vital. Its centered on vitamin D and how it impacts the novel virus.

First of all, Ive been talking about the importance of vitamin D from the beginning of this pandemic. This important nutrient has a huge impact on your health and because its receptor is present in most cells and tissues in the body, and it helps regulate multiple organ systems .

In terms of the novel virus, a study that was just published this month found that vitamin D supplementation may help improve the outcomes of patients infected with the virus.

According to the study:

The results suggest that an increase in level in the body could either improve clinical outcomes or mitigate worst outcomes, while a decrease in level in the body could worsen clinical outcomes of COVID-2019 patients.

Clearly, its more important than ever to ensure your vitamin D levels are in check. If you need more convincing, here are a few more ways vitamin D can benefit you:

  • Lowers Hashimotos antibodies
  • Reverses and prevents anemia
  • Improves sleep

How To Get The Best Results From A Home Vitamin D Kit

Here are a few tips on how to get the best results from any home blood test kit:8

  • To accurately determine deficiency or low levels of vitamin D you must take the test before you take any vitamin or mineral supplements. Ask your doctor about this if it is prescribed to you.
  • You should also avoid taking biotin supplements for at least 2 days before you test again, check with your doctor if its prescribed to you
  • Follow instructions accurately for your specific blood test kit

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How Often Do You Need To Get Your Vitamin D Levels Checked

Doctors do not usually order routine checks of vitamin D levels, but they might need to check your levels if you have certain medical conditions or risk factors for vitamin D deficiency. Sometimes vitamin D levels can be checked as a cause of symptoms such as long-lasting body aches, a history of falls or bone fractures without significant trauma.

How Much Vitamin D Do You Need Per Day

Can I test my Vitamin D &  should I supplement?

Vitamin D is sometimes referred to as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ as your body makes it when exposed to the sun.

Five to 15 minutes in the sun before 11am or after 3pm, without sunscreen, and with forearms and lower legs uncovered, should be enough exposure in the summer months. But during the winter there isn’t enough sun to make vitamin D this way in the UK.

This includes pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Breastfed babies should also have between 8.5-10mcg a day. Babies on formula milk don’t need an additional supplement as it already contains vitamin D. You can find out more in our guide to vitamin D supplements for children.

Some foods, such as cereals, yoghurt drinks and mushrooms are also fortified with vitamin D, but these are usually low amounts, so it’s still worth opting for a supplement to ensure you get enough.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so it’s best to have your supplement with food for optimum absorption.

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Can You Test Your Vitamin D Levels At Home

Thanks to modern technology, going to the GP isnt your only option if you want to test your vitamin D levels, you can now do a vitamin D test at home. Well explain the benefits of both options below. Home vitamin D diagnostic kit vs a blood test from your Doctor.

Its only natural at this point to ask why you would want to test your vitamin D levels at home when you can go and get one free from your GP?

People Who Should Be Tested

The following should be tested for vitamin D deficiency:

  • Individuals who receive therapy to prevent or treat osteoporosis
  • Elderly people, especially those with minimal exposure to sunlight
  • Patients with signs and symptoms of hypocalcemia or hypercalcemia
  • Children and adults with suspected rickets and osteomalacia, respectively
  • Patients receiving vitamin D therapy who do not demonstrate clinical improvement

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How Often Should I Test My Vitamin D Levels

If you have a vitamin D deficiency, testing your levels after beginning treatment may help you and your healthcare professional determine if the plan is working or if it should be adjusted.

Otherwise, if your vitamin D levels typically fall within the recommended range, testing them twice a year in the spring and again in the fall can alert you to any changes and help ensure they continue to stay within a healthy range.

There isnt much research available on the benefits of screening for vitamin D deficiency, so its best to speak with your healthcare professional first before trying an at-home test.

When To Take A Supplement

How To Test Your Own Vitamin D Levels At Home (UK)

Most people can get the nutrients they need from diet alone. So if you dont have a nutrient deficiency, you shouldnt take a supplement just for the sake of it. Synthetic nutrients dont always match up to those found naturally in foods.

A good approach is to monitor your vitamin and mineral levels with a blood test. If youre low in a certain nutrient, you can up your intake of foods rich in these nutrients. However, supplements are definitely necessary in some cases.

Vitamin D supplements During autumn and winter, Public Health England advises that everyone should consider taking a 10 mcg daily vitamin D supplement from October to March. And if youre more at-risk, they recommend taking them year-round.

If youre someone who doesnt get much sunlight during the summer months, wear sunscreen top to toe, or have darker skin, then its recommended that you take a supplement all year.

Vitamin B12 supplements If youre a vegan or vegetarian then youre more at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. If a blood test shows that youre deficient or if you follow a strict vegan diet then its recommended that you take a supplement.

A cyanocobalamin supplement is a good choice as its a form that your body can easily use. Its also possible to get a vitamin B12 injection this is especially useful if your deficiency is caused by absorption issues in your stomach. The form of hydroxocobalamin can be given every three months.

Read Also: What To Use With Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin D And Covid: Does It Help

At the start of the pandemic there was a lot of buzz around whether vitamin D could be helpful for preventing or treating coronavirus.

But in a review of existing research, published in December 2020, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence , Public Health England and the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition concluded there was ‘little evidence for using vitamin D supplements to prevent or treat Covid-19’.

However, we do know that vitamin D is important for our bone, muscle and immune health and that it’s common for people to be deficient in the UK something likely to have been exacerbated by long periods of lockdown and limits on movement, so it’s still important to ensure you get enough.

Video – Vitamin D and Covid: expert view

We spoke to Martin Hewison, Professor of Endocrinology at the University of Birmingham, and specialist in vitamin D research, to find out how vitamin D helps your immune system:

The best reusable face masks and coverings we reveal the masks that filter efficiently, are breathable and comfortable to wear

How Does The Test Work

For the vitamin D test, use a lancet to draw a few drops of blood from your fingertip. Then send your blood sample on the dried blood card in a return envelope to our CLIA-certified partner laboratory, which will measure the concentration of 25- -D in your blood serum.

The advantages of the dried blood method:You need significantly less blood for the test, the sample is very stable and the laboratory can also analyze your vitamin D metabolism , which allows us to make more precise recommendations for vitamin D supplements.

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How To Test For Vitamin D Levels: Labs And Self Test

Even the most conservative doctors today would agree to run a vitamin D test for you.

If you want to order your own labs, go to YourLabWork. Finally, direct access to lab testing!

The Vitamin D Council recommends the 25D test, pronounced, Twenty-five Hydroxy D test. There is another type of blood test for vitamin D, which is called a 1,25D test, but the 25D test most accurately reports your bodys vitamin D stores.

Regulates Insulin/reduced Risk Of Diabetes

Do You Have Low Vitamin D? Why the Broccoli Family Can ...

Diabetes is a global health problem that affects millions of people. Scientists are always looking for ways not only to treat the condition but also to prevent the development of diabetes. One possibility is by looking at the role that vitamin D may play in diabetes. Studies show that there are vitamin D receptors on pancreatic cells these pancreatic cells produce insulin, the hormone responsible for blood sugar regulation.

Also, vitamin D may be linked to insulin sensitivity and inflammation, both of which are affected by diabetes. Some observational studies have suggested that low vitamin D levels increase the risk of developing diabetes. However, a nationwide survey of over 25,000 people showed that people who took vitamin D supplements did not have a lower risk of diabetes than those who took placebo pills .

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When Is It Ordered

25-hydroxyvitamin DWhen calcium is low and/or a person has symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, such as bone malformation in children and bone weakness, softness, or fracture in adults , 25-hydroxyvitamin D usually is ordered to identify a possible deficiency in vitamin D.

The test may be requested when an individual is known to be at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Older adults, people who are institutionalized or homebound and/or have limited sun exposure, those who are obese, who have undergone gastric bypass surgery, and/or who have fat malabsorption are at an increased risk of a vitamin D deficiency. Also included in this group are people with darker skin and breastfed infants.

25-hydroxyvitamin D is often requested before an individual begins drug therapy for osteoporosis.

1,25-dihydroxyvitamin DThis testing may be ordered when kidney disease or abnormalities of the enzyme that converts 25-hydroxyvitamin D to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D is suspected. Rarely, this test may be done when calcium is high or a person has a disease that might produce excess amounts of vitamin D, such as sarcoidosis or some forms of lymphoma .

When vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, or magnesium supplementation is necessary, vitamin D levels are sometimes measured to monitor treatment effectiveness.

May Help Inhibit Growth Of Breast Cancer

Checking for Vitamin D levels is one of the first things even traditional oncologists do in the treatment of breast cancers, and its a baseline protocol for integrative breast cancer treatment plans.

This study has found that breast cancer patients had lower levels of vitamin D. But, you dont have to waiting for a diagnosis to fix your vitamin D levels if they are low.

This Stanford University School of Medicine study have found that vitamin D3 inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells and stimulates apoptosiswhich is self-killing of cancer cells.

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Vitamin D3s More Significant Benefits Are Due To Two Factors

  • The possibility of vitamin D2 having a shorter half-life in the body than vitamin D3

  • Each form of vitamin D reduces the active form of 25 D of the other. However, since vitamin D3 is found naturally in the body, vitamin D2 may have a more negative impact on total vitamin D blood levels, as is the conclusion in this study on vitaminD2 v D3.

  • How Does The Everlywell At

    Test Your Own Vitamin D Levels Without a Blood Test – Part 1

    The Everlywell Vitamin D Test is an easy way to check your vitamin D level. Hereâs how it works:

    Once you order the Vitamin D Test kit , weâll ship it directly to you.

    Register your test online at www.everlywell.com/register using the unique kit ID thatâs included in your kit.

    To take this blood test, use the card inside the kit to collect your blood sample. The kit includes a lancet for pricking your finger and simple instructions to guide you through the process.

    Once youâve completed collection, ship your sample to a lab using the prepaid shipping label in the kit.

    In just days, your test results will be available to you on our secure, online platform.

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    What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency

    Severe lack of vitamin D causes rickets, which shows up in children as incorrect growth patterns, weakness in muscles, pain in bones and deformities in joints. This is very rare. However, children who are deficient in vitamin D can also have muscle weakness or sore and painful muscles.

    Lack of vitamin D is not quite as obvious in adults. Signs and symptoms might include:

    • Fatigue.

    Which Foods Contain Vitamin D

    Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, egg yolks, red meat, liver and certain mushrooms that have been grown in sunlight or UV light all contain vitamin D.

    Other foods are fortified with vitamin D, such as some breakfast cereals, yoghurt drinks and fat-based spreads.

    But it’s hard to get enough from food alone a salmon fillet contains around 13mcg vitamin D , boiled eggs only have 1.6mcg, and a bowl of fortified cereal around 2.5mcg.

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    Tips On Getting Vitamin D For Infants

    Breastfed babies are said to be at a greater risk of being vitamin D deficient because though breast milk does contain some vitamin D it is typically not enough for optimal health thus an infant’s diet may need to be supplemented additionally .

    Supplementation usually doesn’t start before 1 year of age however it is always best to verify with your doctor to determine the best course of action .

    For babies that are bottle-fed, infant formula will be fortified with sufficient vitamin D to meet their daily requirements and therefore a supplement will likely not be needed.

    Why Add K1 And K2 To A Vitamin D Supplement

    How Can I Get Enough Vitamin D?

    Vitamin K works synergistically with vitamin D for a number of functions in the body, including the regulation of oxidative stress levels . It has been found that supplementing the two nutrients together is more effective than either one on its own.

    Vitamin K comes in two forms: K1 and K2 and they have slightly different functions. Theres evidence that both forms are important for good health.

    Vitamin K works with vitamin D to make sure calcium gets deposited in your bones and teeth rather than places it does belong, like in your kidneys and blood vessels .

    Bottom line: Replenishing vitamin D levels is not difficult. If you are low, allow 4 to 6 months of a higher dose of 5,000 to 8,000 UI per day of vitamin D3. I like the D3 formulation with K1 and K2 added the one I personally use and recommend is D3 Maximus.

    To learn more about how to balance your hormones with supplements , you can download our FREE Supplement Guide here.

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    What Does Your Diet Have To Do With Getting Enough Vitamin D

    Vitamin D doesnt occur naturally in many foods. Thats why certain foods have added vitamin D. In fact, newer food nutrition labels show the amount of vitamin D contained in a particular food item.

    It may be difficult, especially for vegans or people who are lactose-intolerant, to get enough vitamin D from their diets, which is why some people may choose to take supplements. It is always important to eat a variety of healthy foods from all food groups. The vitamin content of various foods is shown in the following table.

    Vitamin D content of various foods

    Food
    Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce 6

    It is important to check product labels, as the amount of added vitamin D varies when it is artificially added to products such as orange juice, yogurt and margarine.

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