How The Mayo Clinic Test Differs
The Mayo Clinic vitamin D deficiency test offers key differentiators:
- Mayo Clinic-developed and Mayo Clinic-validated LC-MS/MS assay
- Requires fewer repeat analyses as a result of a wider reportable range
- Provides 25-OH-VitD2 and 25-OH-VitD3 levels in addition to the total vitamin D level. This allows assessment of the source of the deficiency and also facilitates treatment monitoring.
- The total 25-OH-VitD measured with the new assay correlates well with our previous methodology, which in itself has been shown to outperform other laboratories and tests.
- Improves on accuracy and precision of ligand-binding assays, including our previous assay: approximately 10% CV at low 25-OH-VitD levels .7
What Treatment Is Available For Vitamin D Deficiency
Luckily, there are several easy ways for people with this deficiency to get more Vitamin D into their bodies.
Sunlight: The easiestand most naturalway to get this vitamin is to expose the bare skin to sunlight. Of course, the sun can have damaging effects on the body as well, so it is only necessary to be in the sun for about half of the time it may take to burn.
Supplements: When someone doesnt get enough sunlight, another option or them is to take Vitamin D3 supplements in the form of a tablet or capsule. The Vitamin D Council recommends up to 1,000 IU of the vitamin for children and up to 5,000 IU for adults.
Food: There are several foods that naturally contain Vitamin D, but it is unlikely that one will get enough of the vitamin from these food items. The most efficient way to get the amount needed is through sunlight and supplements. That said, food that naturally contain Vitamin D include salmon, mushrooms and mackerel.
As you can see, the role of Vitamin D is one that is perhaps underestimated, but also packs a big punch in terms of the way it helps the body to function.
The at-home testing process is rather straightforward. If your results show a deficiency in Vitamin D, it may mean you are:
- Not getting enough exposure to sunlight
- Not getting enough Vitamin D in your diet
- Having trouble absorbing Vitamin D in your food
How Is The 25
Your doctor will tell you not to eat anything for four to eight hours before the test.
The 25-hydroxy vitamin D test requires a common blood test. Your healthcare provider will draw blood from a vein in your arm using a needle. A quick finger prick will more than likely provide enough for a blood sample in children and infants.
Results will depend on your age, sex, and the testing methods used. Results can also slightly vary from lab to lab.
According to the , levels of vitamin D are measured by the 25-hydroxy level in nanomoles/liter or nanograms/milliliter . The results can indicate the following:
- deficiency: less than 30 nmol/L
- potential deficiency: between 30 nmol/L and 50 nmol/L
- normal levels: between 50 nmol/L and 125 nmol/L
- high levels: higher than 125 nmol/L
If your vitamin D levels are low and youre having symptoms of bone pain, a doctor may recommend a special scan to check bone density. Doctors use this painless scan to evaluate a persons bone health.
Low blood levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D usually mean one of the following:
- you arent eating a balanced, complete diet
- your intestines arent absorbing the vitamin properly
- youre not spending enough time outside to absorb adequate vitamin D levels through sun exposure
Some evidence links vitamin D deficiency to a higher risk of certain cancers, immune diseases, and cardiovascular disease.
High levels are rarely due to consuming too much of the vitamin through foods or sun exposure.
- excessive bleeding
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Sun Exposure And Vitamin D
As mentioned above, you can get enough vitamin D in daily sun exposure. It happens because sunlight enables our body to synthesize it from cholesterol. To achieve this effect, some scientists recommend exposing about a third of your skin to the sun. This means that for most fair-skinned people, wearing a T-shirt and shorts for 10-30 minutes three times a week during the summer will be sufficient10. People with darker skin may need a bit longer than this.
However, a Korean study did not confirm the effectiveness of this recommendation. The experiment was Korean adults aged 2049 years with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels of < 20 ng/mL11.
The results showed that the sunlight exposure group showed a slight increase in serum 25D level. The sunlight exposure group had sunlight exposure on 20% to 30% of their body surface areas for 3060 minutes per day, 3 times a week during the summer season.
Lets see how much of vitamin D can be obtained through sunbathing? A Norway study found that 30 minutes of midday summer sun exposure of the whole skin is equivalent to taking 10,000-20,000 IU vitamin D orally12. At the same time, the winter levels of vitamin D are 10 to 100% lower than the summer levels. That means people in Norway cannot get vitamin D from sunlight between October and March.
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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?
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Vitamin D Production Can Vary Significantly
The ability of each person to produce vitamin D through sun exposure or to increase the vitamin D level by taking vitamin d supplements, can vary significantly and depends on age, body weight, skin colour, sun exposure, and life style.
It is not said, that each person can reach the same vitamin D level by taking the same amount of vitamin D or having the same sun exposure. Some people may need more or less vitamin D per day to achieve the same level.
Therefore, the recommended rules for calculating the optimal vitamin D dosage are only indicative. To know your personal vitamin D level, a 25D blood test has to be performed. It shows you exactly how your vitamin D level is changing depending on the vitamin D intake and sun exposure.
What If I Get Unclear Results
Vitamin D test results will be straightforward and indicate a persons vitamin D level based on a given range. However, a person can consider discussing their results with a doctor if they have problems or questions about their test results.
Some people may be at a higher risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency.
These include people with:
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Instructions And Test Kit Contents
The testing procedure is easy and you get all the instructions with your test so you really cannot get it wrong. You get two single-use lancets in the test kit, just in case one doesnt work or you need to prick your finger again. Ive never had to use the second lancet myself in the past but its a good thing its there, just in case.
Before you start with the finger prick test, familiarise yourself with all the contents in the kit. Spread it out onto the table and carefully read all the instructions. You should know exactly what to do before the test and not read the instructions during the test when you have to act quickly and squeeze the blood out of your finger before it clots.
Where To Get More Vitamin D
Now that you realize how important Vitamin D can be, its time to figure out where it comes from. There are two forms of Vitamin D that are important for nutrition. These are Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3.
One of the primary sources of these life-giving nutrients is sunlight. Thats right, simply standing in the sun can help your body create Vitamin D. It is fat-soluble, so it is stored within the bodys fatty tissues. When youre not in direct sunlight, your body knows to release the vitamin D to keep you healthy and happy.
Beyond sunlight, there is another key area where people can build Vitamin D food! Your diet can be very important. For the best results, try eating D2 and D3 rich foods, such as fatty fish, dairy and eggs!
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Why Is A 25
Your doctor may request a 25-hydroxy vitamin D test for several different reasons. It can help them figure out whether too much or too little vitamin D is causing bone weakness or other abnormalities. It can also monitor people who are at risk for having a vitamin D deficiency.
Those who are at high risk of having low levels of vitamin D include:
- people who dont get much exposure to the sun
- older adults
- babies who are breastfed only
- people who have had gastric bypass surgery
- people who have a disease that affects the intestines and makes it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients, such as Crohns disease
Your doctor may also want you to do a 25-hydroxy vitamin D test if theyve already diagnosed you with a vitamin D deficiency and want to see if treatment is working.
Definition Of Vitamin D Insufficiency And Deficiency
There is no absolute consensus as to what a normal range for 25D should be. Part of the difficulty is how a normal range is determined, i.e., typically it is done by obtaining blood from several hundred volunteers and deeming them to be normal and to perform the measurement of the analyte and do a distribution with a mean Â± 2SD as the normal range. However, since it is now recognized that 30-50% of both the European and US population are vitamin D insufficient or deficient, the previously reported normal ranges of 10-55 ng/ml are totally inadequate., , , – Chapuy et al reported that a dot plot of serum 25D levels as a function of PTH levels provided an insight as to what the serum 25D levels should be to be considered sufficient. They observed that the PTH levels began to plateau at their nadir when 25D levels were between 30-40 ng/ml. A similar observation was made by Thomas et al and Holick et al.
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Write Down Your Personal Details
Before you attempt to prick your finger, fill in your personal details on the collection device . Also, dont forget to write the sample date and time. At the same time, you can also fill in a consent form where you note down the same details, but also add your physical address and email address. This is important as you get your results and recommendations back via email. Make sure you write clearly!
When To Retest Your Vitamin D Levels
So, say your health care provider confirmed with a 25D test that you need to get more of the sunshine vitamin into your system, statand that you promptly started a daily vitamin D supplement routine. You might feel antsy to retest your vitamin D status and confirm that your habit change is paying offbut not so fast!
While we all want immediate gratification, you’ll have to be a little patient here. The reason: “Vitamin D is fat-soluble, so vitamin D supplementation goes toward replenishing the vitamin D stored in fat, in addition to serum levels,”* Henderson explains. “As these storage levels are replenished, serum levels then start to rise.”*
As a result, “waiting three months to retest your 25D status can help give you a more accurate reading of how well your supplement has done in replenishing your whole-body vitamin D levels,* she adds. Research agrees, with studies similarly suggesting health care practitioners wait 12 weeks before rechecking a patient’s vitamin D status after starting them on a supplement or adjusting the potency of that supplement.
There’s nothing you can do to speed up this process, but you can increase your chances of success by ensuring you take in some fat alongside your vitamin D supplement in order to promote optimal absorption.* Better yet, opt for a supplement that contains vitamin D3 and a source of fat so you don’t have to wait for snack- or mealtime to get your daily dose of the sunshine vitamin. *
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What Is The Difference Of The 25d Value Shown In Ng/ml Or Nmol/l
In Europe the 25D value is usually measured in ng/ml. But any laboratories also use nmol/l.
– To calculate a test result from nmol/l to ng/ml, divide the nmol/l value by 2,5. For example, 50 nmol/l are equal to 20 ng/ml .
– To calculate a test result from ng/ml to nmol/l, multiply the ng/ml value with 2,5. For example, 20 ng/ml are equal to 50 nmol/l .
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Can Medications Cause A Vitamin D Deficiency
Yes. Vitamin D levels can be lowered by certain medications. These include:
- Cholesterol-lowering drugs .
- Seizure-control drugs .
- A tuberculosis drug .
- A weight-loss drug .
Always tell your doctor about the drugs you take and any vitamin D supplements or other supplements or herbs/alternative health products that you take.
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What Happens During A Vitamin D Test
A vitamin D test is a blood test. During a blood test, a health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
How To Determine The Vitamin D3 Level
You can measure your vitamin D levels by using a blood test to determine if you have enough vitamin D in your body. In fact, not the active form of vitamin D is measured, but the concentration of 25D in the blood.
The 25 D value is a precursor of vitamin D, in which form is is transported in the blood. If necessary, this form is converted into the active form of vitamin D .
The 25 D value shows how much vitamin D you got through nutrition or produced during sun exposure. But this value does not tell you anything about your vitamin D levels throughout the year, which will vary depending on the sun exposure and vitamin D uptake from food.
The half-life of 25 Vitamin D is 2 month. This means, that the vitamin D level will fall to half of its value, provided that you no longer get any vitamin D at all.
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Standardisation Of Vitamin D Measurement
The above discussion clearly highlights the need for careful standardisation of vitamin D measurement procedures. Since 1989, proficiency testing exercises have been organised through DEQAS , which have greatly reduced inter-laboratory variability between the participating laboratories. Furthermore, the availability of certified standard reference materials from the NIST has allowed clinical laboratories to validate their methods. The most recent NIST SRM is SRM 972a, which includes 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, 25-hydroxyvitamin D2, 3 -epi-25-hydroxyvitamin D3 as well as 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 at different concentrations. These materials have reduced inter-laboratory imprecision of determination of total 25-hydroxyvitamin D .
The Vitamin D Standardisation Programme represents an international initiative established in 2010 to produce standardised serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D laboratory measurements. The aim of the VDSP is to produce a gold standard reference assay or to put forth standard measurement procedures developed by NIST, the University of Ghent and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Their procedures are termed reference measurement procedures and the goal is to enable future vitamin D studies to be comparable, and foremost unbiased in terms of laboratory variability, in vitamin D quantification.
Based On Years Of Patient Testing And Data Analysis We Have Updated Our Laboratory Report Reference Range To Reflect That Values Between 20
This raises the issue: is normal the same thing as optimal? Not necessarily. The Vitamin D Council places the ideal level between 40 and 80 ng/mL with levels below 20 ng/mL as deficient. The Endocrine Society has a Clinical Practice Guideline on the evaluation, treatment, and prevention of vitamin D deficiency. This guideline recommends a minimum vitamin D level of 20 ng/mL, but to guarantee sufficiency they recommend between 30 and 50 ng/mL for both children and adults. In contrast, the Vitamin D Council states that even levels between 30 and 40 ng/mL are still not quite sufficient. On the other end of the spectrum, results that fall between 80 and 100 ng/mL are not achievable naturally that is, they are only reached with some form of vitamin D supplementation. So, while they are not harmful levels, they are instead reflective of supplementation and therefore not what would be detected in a “normal” patient population.
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The Role Of Vitamin D In Our Bodies
So can you test your own Vitamin D levels at home? Absolutely. But why would you want to? Join us for a closer look at the role of vitamin D plays in your health
On the whole, vitamin D helps our bodies use calcium. It is a crucial element for growing and maintaining healthy bones and teeth. In addition, vitamin D boosts our immune system by regulating how calcium and phosphorus are absorbed into our bodies.
Unfortunately, according to the CDC, three-quarters of Americans are suffering from a vitamin D deficiency. The American Academy of Pediatrics report that deficiency rates for infants, children and adolescents are even more worrisome. Lower levels of the D have been linked to a number of medical conditions.