How To Prevent And Treat Vitamin D Deficiency
Many patients and physicians think that adequate vitamin D intake can be obtained via diet alone. This assumption is erroneous. With the exception of fatty fish, the vitamin D content of most foods, including fortified dairy products, is relatively low to nonexistent. Even some dairy products in the United States are not fortified, making it important to read food labels to ensure the vitamin D content of foods.
What Is A Vitamin D Test
A vitamin D test tells you how much vitamin D is in your bloodstream. These tests can tell you if theres too much or too little vitamin D in your body.
Both the vitamin D you eat and naturally produce from sun exposure start as an inactive form. Later, the liver and kidneys convert 25-hydroxyvitamin D into the biologically active form, 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D.
Most vitamin D tests measure the total amount of 25-OH D in your blood. This is because 25-OH D has a longer half-life than that of 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D.
What Do My Test Results Mean
The Vitamin D3 test mainly determines the level of vitamin D in the body. If the test results show low levels of vitamin D then it can indicate
- Imbalanced diet
- Inability of the intestine in absorbing Vitamin D
- Lack of sun exposure
High levels of Vit D3 means overdose of Vitamin D3 supplements. Vitamin D overdose can never be the result of Vit D rich diet and sun exposure.
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What Abnormal Results Mean
A lower-than-normal level can be due to a vitamin D deficiency, which can result from:
- Lack of skin exposure to sunlight, darkly pigmented skin, or consistent use of high-SPF sunscreen
- Lack of enough vitamin D in the diet
- Liver and kidney diseases
- Poor food absorption
- Use of certain medicines, including phenytoin, phenobarbital, and rifampin
- Poor vitamin D absorption due to advanced age, weight-loss surgery, or conditions in which fat is not absorbed well
A low vitamin D level is more common in African American children , as well as in infants who are breastfed only.
A higher-than-normal level may be due to excess vitamin D, a condition called hypervitaminosis D. This is most commonly caused by taking too much vitamin D. It can result in too much calcium in the body . This leads to many symptoms and kidney damage.
Basic Vitamin Deficiency Panel
This package includes several common tests for vitamin levels. Maintaining healthy levels of essential vitamins and nutrients is an important part of overall health. Vitamin deficiencies can be the result of an improper diet or underlying health conditions such as digestive problems or malabsorption disorders. Deficiencies in one or more vitamins can be difficult to diagnose because it may take a while for symptoms to develop and many symptoms are common to other illnesses. Some of the symptoms of vitamin deficiency include fatigue, unexplained weight loss or gain, pale skin, dry patches of skin, confusion, poor circulation, brittle hair or nails, bleeding gums, hair loss, and poor vision. Blood testing to check your vitamin levels can help identify which vitamins you may need to focus on getting more of through adjusting your diet or taking supplements.
This package includes:
- Vitamin B12 and Folate: B12 and Folate play important roles in a number of bodily functions including the production of red and white blood cells, repairing damaged cells and tissues, and maintaining healthy nervous system function.
- Vitamin D: A Vitamin D 25 Hydroxy test measures the combined level of D2 and D3, the primary forms of vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for maintaining the body’s immune system as well as the healthy development of bones and teeth.
Turnaround for these tests is typically 1-3 business days.
This package includes:
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What Role Is Played By Calcium Nutrition
Maintenance of normal serum calcium levels results from an array of interrelated processes, including intestinal calcium absorption, calcium uptake and release from the skeleton, and renal calcium handling. As previously noted, vitamin D plays a critical role in each of these processes. Hypovitaminosis D impairs intestinal calcium absorption and leads to secondary HPT and risk of bone loss. Heaney et al found that maximal calcium absorption in men occurs when 25D levels are in the range of 30 to 40 ng/mL, consistent with vitamin D levels needed to suppress PTH. However, even in the presence of vitamin D sufficiency, inadequate oral calcium intake may cause secondary HPT. The National Osteoporosis Foundation guidelines recommend that men and women younger than 50 years ingest 1000 mg/d of elemental calcium, and those older than 50 years ingest 1200 mg/d .
Clinicians should be mindful of several important caveats when considering calcium supplementation.
First, up to 500 to 600 mg of elemental calcium can be efficiently absorbed in any single dose, with excess calcium passing unabsorbed through the gut.
What About Vitamin D Toxicity
Vitamin D toxicity should not be diagnosed solely on the basis of an elevated 25D level instead, it should be recognized as a clinical syndrome of both hypervitaminosis D and hypercalcemia, in which hyperphosphatemia and hypercalciuria also commonly occur. Patients with vitamin D toxicity could present with clinical symptoms and signs of hypercalcemia and hypercalciuria . Hypervitaminosis D in the absence of hypercalcemia may prompt further investigation to evaluate the etiology of increased vitamin D levels however, unlike hypercalcemia, it is not a medical emergency. Although excess vitamin D supplementation can lead to hypercalcemia, vitamin D toxicity is extremely rare and generally occurs only after ingestion of large doses of vitamin D for prolonged periods in patients with normal gut absorption or in patients who may be concurrently ingesting generous if not excessive amounts of calcium. A 25D level of 80 ng/mL is the lowest reported level associated with toxicity in patients without primary HPT with normal renal function. Most patients with vitamin D toxicity have levels greater than 150 ng/mL. Binkley et al have recently reported that vitamin D supplementation with 1600 IU/d or 50,000 IU monthly was not associated with any laboratory parameters of toxicity and even failed to increase total 25D levels above 30 ng/mL in 19% of participants.
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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.
Best Labs To Check Magnesium Levels
Red blood cell magnesium This is the best way to measure magnesium levels. In the very rare instance that your doctor orders a magnesium level for you, it will most likely be serum magnesium. This test is practically useless in determining magnesium deficiency unless it is significantly deficient. This is because the body will borrow magnesium stores from other areas of the body, such as the bones and muscles, to maintain a normal serum level.
We believe optimal levels of RBC magnesium are between 50-70 mcg/g or 5-7 mg/dL, depending on the labs reference range.
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Why Take A Vitamin D Test
The Vitamin D screening test can be very helpful for those with an illness that could interfere with how the body is absorbing fat, namely those with Crohn disease and cystic fibrosis.
If you had undergone a gastric bypass, this test can help you assess whether your body is being able to receive its recommended doses of Vitamin D as it is a fat-soluble vitamin normally absorbed in the intestines. Finally, ordering the vitamin D test can help you determine the effectiveness of your vitamin supplementation.
What Is Being Tested
Vitamin D is a family of compounds that is essential for the proper growth and formation of teeth and bones. This test measures the level of vitamin D in the blood.
Two forms of vitamin D can be measured in the blood, 25-hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D. The 25-hydroxyvitamin D is the major form found in the blood and is the relatively inactive precursor to the active hormone, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D. Because of its long half-life and higher concentration, 25-hydroxyvitamin D is commonly measured to assess and monitor vitamin D status in individuals.
Vitamin D comes from two sources: endogenous, which is produced in the skin on exposure to sunlight, and exogenous, which is ingested in foods and supplements. The chemical structures of the types of vitamin D are slightly different, and they are named vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 . The D2 form is found in fortified foods and in most vitamin preparations and supplements. Vitamin D3 is the form produced in the body and is also used in some supplements. Vitamin D2 and D3 are equally effective when they are converted by the liver and the kidney into the active form, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D.
Some tests do not distinguish D2 and D3 forms of the vitamin and report only the total result. Newer methods, however, may report levels of both D2 and D3 and then add them together for a total level.
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Mylab Box At Home Vitamin D Test
myLab Box offers their at-home vitamin D test across all U.S. states except New York.
A person provides a finger-prick blood sample to take the test, and the company claims that a person can get their results within 25 days.
In some cases, a person may receive a free consultation with a doctor to discuss their results. If a persons test indicates they may have a vitamin D deficiency, myLAB Box suggests they share their test results with a doctor to get further advice.
What Your Vitamin D Test Results Mean
While many vitamins get tested, most assessments are focused on tracking deficiencies. Vitamin D toxicity, just like for any other vitamin, is rare. According to Endocrine Society, for an individual to be deficient in Vitamin D, they would have levels below 20 ng/mL. If levels are between 21 and 29, you are vitamin D insufficient.
Results of this vitamin test will depend on many factors such as age and gender. Normal health values of Vitamin D are between 50 nmol/L and 125 nmol/L. Potential deficiencies are between 30 and 50 nmol/L. The US Institute of Medicine simplified the algorithm by setting the values of 20 ng/mL or above to be an adequate level of Vitamin D. They also added that values higher than 30 ng/mL do not necessarily offer added benefits.
If your values are lower than recommended, and this is more common than having high levels, and you are having back pain then, you may need to do a bone density scan to evaluate the health status of your bones and eliminate any possible osteoporosis.
When your levels are lower than recommended, you might not be eating a well-balanced diet. Sometimes, the intestines do not properly absorb the vitamin, which leads to lower levels. Also, not being exposed to the sun might be causing this abnormal level. Many studies link vitamin D deficiency to cancers, immune illnesses and heart problems.
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What Do The Results Mean
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
A low result may also mean your body is having trouble using the vitamin as it should, and may indicate kidney or liver disease.
A vitamin D deficiency is usually treated with supplements and/or dietary changes.
If your results show you have an excess of vitamin D, it is most likely due to taking too many vitamin pills or other supplements. Youll need to stop taking these supplements to reduce your vitamin D levels. Too much vitamin D can cause damage to your organs and blood vessels.
To learn what your results mean, talk to your health care provider.
Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.
How Does The Everlywell At
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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How To Sensibly And Safely Optimize Your Vitamin D Levels
If your lab work reveals sub-optimal vitamin D levels, the next step is to make a plan to replenish and rebuild your stores.
Its never too late to do this! And, as you saw in the section above, the preventative health benefits are second-to-none.
The best way to optimize your levels safely is to get enough sun exposure for your skin type, location, etc. And youll need to work with your Health Coach or practitioner to determine this and exercise good common sense .
The next-best way to optimize your levels is through appropriate supplementation.
Bear in mind, you dont want to take the wrong form of vitamin D.
Vitamin D3, preferably with K2, is the active form of vitamin D and thus the safest and most effective form of supplementation available.
Your Health Coach or practitioner can work with you to recommend a reputable brand and dosage based on your lab markers and goals.
As a complement to safe sun exposure and supplementation, its a good idea to include some vitamin-D-rich foods in your diet such as: wild salmon, sardines, grass fed beef, dairy , mushrooms and eggs.
Why Is Vitamin D Important
This at-home vitamin D blood test lets you test for vitamin D deficiency or toxicity in the comfort of your own home with just a simple finger prick. But why does vitamin D matter in the first place?
Vitamin D plays a vital role in the bodyâs ability to regulate the absorption and levels of calcium and phosphorus. It also greatly influences your ability to maintain a healthy bone structure, reduce inflammation, and promote cell growth.
Commonly referred to as the âsunshine vitamin,â vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and is stored in the fatty tissues of the body, which is then released when not in direct sunlight. We typically get 50-90% of our vitamin D from the sunlight itself, with the remainder coming from our diet, where it is mostly found within fatty fish , egg yolks, and fortified dairy products.
Lack of vitamin D or severe vitamin D deficiency is also believed to cause an increased risk of serious illnesses like:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Muscle Weakness or Pain
Your results will contain your personal level of vitamin D and whether it is low, normal, or high as compared to someone who shares a similar demographic profile as you .
If your results indicate that you may have vitamin D insufficiency, we can provide guidance and general recommendations to help improve low vitamin D levels. We might also suggest other lifestyle changes that are often helpful in getting your bodyâs levels within the recommended range.
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Is Vitamin D A Necessary Component Of Calcium Supplements
Since absorption of calcium is dependent on vitamin D, many manufacturers of calcium supplements add vitamin D to assure optimal calcium uptake. If you have adequate amounts of vitamin D from other sources, the additional vitamin D is not necessary. The amount of vitamin D in these tablets is not likely to lead to excess vitamin D or be harmful either.
How Is It Used
A vitamin D test is used to:
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Coronavirus Serology Testing: What You Need To Know
The Coronavirus Antibody Test is now available. This COVID-19 Antibody test is not a test for an active infection. We have implemented a set of screening questions to help protect you from the unnecessary ordering of this test. Please read the complete information located on the test page carefully before ordering this test.
It usually takes around 10 to 18 days to produce enough antibodies to be detected in the blood. Please consider this should you decide to order this test. If you are tested too early, you may receive back a test result that is titled Equivocal. If your test results are equivocal, the laboratory is unable to confirm if you have IgG antibodies in the sample you provided. Equivocal means that the results were neither positive nor negative. You will need to be retested in order to confirm whether or not you have IgG antibodies in your blood. An equivocal result can happen if you do not have enough antibodies for the test to detect, such as if you test too soon after becoming infected.
Coronavirus Antibody Testing now available for $199 with promo code COVID19AB at checkout. to order the test. Please do not order this test without adding promo code COVID19AB at checkout .