What If A Lower Vitamin D Level Is Desired
Even if your level is not in the toxic range, it may be higher than you want it to be. If you would like to decrease your vitamin D levels, vitamin D input must be reduced. Most often that will mean cutting back on your dose of supplemental vitamin D, and possibly your sun exposure as well. However, before doing this, consider whether a recent change in intake, such as an extra-large dose during a sickness or a recent vacation to a sunny location, may have caused a temporary high level. If your intake has been consistent, reducing your dose by 25-50% may help, followed by a re-test after about 3 to 6 months to assess your response to the lowered dose. . It may take at least 2-3 months for the vitamin D level to fully respond to the new intake, as illustrated in the chart below showing the response in both vitamin D3 and 25D to a single dose of 100,000 IU vitamin D3.
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 lab test results will be available to you on our secure, online platform.
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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Blood Tests To Check Vitamin D
In some cases, your healthcare provider may recommend checking your vitamin D levels it is not healthy to have levels that are too high or too low.
However, the current guidelines do not recommend vitamin D testing for everyoneespecially as testing can be expensive, and various laboratories may test or report the levels of vitamin D in different ways.
Experts recommend testing only for people at high risk for vitamin D deficiency, like those populations at high risk for developing low levels, or those with signs suggestive of a vitamin D problem .
The best way to check your vitamin D levels is to measure the amount of 25-hydroxy vitamin D D) circulating in the bloodstream. 25D is measured via drawing blood from your arm and sending it to the laboratory for analysis .
The reference ranges are not well established, and there is some argument among experts regarding what levels signify deficiency.
Benefits Of Vitamin D
Your healthcare provider may recommend that you get blood tests to check your vitamin D levels, especially if you are at risk for vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient because it is involved in many different processes in the body, including maintaining calcium levels, immune health, and other potential benefits.
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Do You Need A Vitamin D Test
A vitamin D test can determine whether you have a vitamin D deficiency or excess levels in your body.
You may have excess vitamin D if you take large doses of vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D deficiency is more common .
Your physician or healthcare professional is the best person to help you determine if you are at risk for low vitamin D and whether testing would be helpful.
What Is The Role Of Vitamin D In The Body
Vitamin D, also called calciferol, is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for the normal development of bones and teeth.
Contrary to its name, vitamin D is actually not a vitamin, but a hormone with an important role in the body:
- It is required for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus by the intestinal tract .
- Protects against muscle weakness
- It is involved in regulation of heartbeat
Vitamin D is obtained in two ways:
- Endogenous: Exposure of skin to sunlight
- Exogenous: Absorbed from foods and supplements
Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because it is produced when the skin is exposed to sunlight.
Vitamin D can be categorized as:
- Vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol: Can be obtained from animal sources and it is transformed into vitamin D in the skin on exposure to the ultraviolet portion of sunlight.
- Vitamin D2 or ergocalciferols: It is present in plants and yeasts.
Only a few foods have a significant amount of vitamin D such as fish liver oils, fatty fish , egg yolks, liver, and dairy products. There are also foods supplemented with vitamin D like cereals.
Vitamin D is metabolized first in the liver to its main circulating form, 25-hydroxyvitamin D and then in the kidneys to its biologically active form, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D , a hormone regulating calcium and phosphate metabolism.
Vitamin D deficiency results in impaired formation of the bones, producing rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
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Understanding Your Lab Results: All About Vitamin D
If you keep up on health news and trends, youve likely heard a lot about vitamin D and its role in bone health and supporting immunity. Youve probably also heard vitamin D deficiency is rampant in modern society.
And if you see a doctor who is up on these trends, youve likely had your vitamin D levels testing at your annual checkup.
What most people dont realize is vitamin D is crucial to not only bone and immune health, but to nearly every single bodily function and the prevention of chronic disease.
Plus, what may appear as normal on your lab panel does not necessarily equate to optimal when it comes to promoting health and longevity and preventing chronic disease.
At kNew Health we believe you have the right to fully understand your lab tests, including how to read the results, what they mean and how to optimize your lab markers to prevent disease and promote excellent health.
Which is why were kicking off our: Understanding Your Lab Results series with vitamin D.
In todays article, well teach you everything you need to know about vitamin D blood tests including:
- The role vitamin D plays throughout all your bodily systems
- The root causes of deficiency
- Optimal/functional lab marker ranges
- What you can do to optimize your vitamin D levels
- And how often to get your levels checked
Are Vitamin D Levels Between 60 And 100 Ng/ml Too High
Our scientists consensus recommended range of vitamin D status for general health is 40-60 ng/ml . This is based on overwhelming evidence about the association between vitamin D and many diseases including bone diseases , multiple sclerosis, diabetes, cancer, and many others. There is also evidence that levels above 60 ng/ml may provide additional benefit for breast cancer prevention and treatment of some diseases including psoriasis, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and tuberculosis. GrassrootsHealth considers levels between 60 and 100 ng/ml to be the high end of a normal range and for a few, can be achieved through diet and sun exposure alone.
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Can Vitamin B Cause Weight Loss
Vitamin B12 is one of the essential B vitamins that help support a healthy nervous system. B12 works by converting the food we eat into sugar and other types of fuel that keep the body running smoothly. B12 is often associated with weight loss because of its ability to boost metabolism and provide lasting energy.
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.
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How Can I Track My Nutrient Intake And Levels Over Time
To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute has created an online tracking system called myData-myAnswers. For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details. This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels. Check it out today!
How To Choose
Some things a person may consider when looking for an at-home test, include:
- Cost: Some tests are more cost-effective than others so a person may consider their available budget when choosing a test.
- Certifications and accreditations: Individuals should check for CAP, CLIA, and ISO certifications.
- Reviews and reputation: Checking independent reviews from sites such as Trustpilot or the Better Business Bureau can help a person make an informed decision about a companys reputation.
Vitamin D tests involve taking a blood sample. There are two forms of vitamin D in the blood: 25-hydroxy vitamin D, or calcidiol, and 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D, or calcitriol.
Tests will measure the amount of 25-hydroxy vitamin D in the blood.
This is because 25-hydroxy vitamin D is a better indicator of a persons vitamin D levels and stays in the bloodstream for longer, making it easier to detect.
If a person has a vitamin D test at a doctors office, the doctor will take a small blood sample from their arm using a needle. If a person takes a test at home, they will take a blood sample using a finger prick test.
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
- 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.
Are Vitamin D Levels Over 100 Ng/ml Too High
We do not currently have data to support any additional health benefit of having a level above 100 ng/ml. Levels in excess of 150 ng/ml raise the concern for vitamin D toxicity which is most frequently diagnosed when levels are over 200 ng/ml, though not everyone who reaches that level experiences toxicity. A meta-analysis of 15 clinical trials found no toxicity below a vitamin D level of 200 ng/ml or below a vitamin D intake of 30,000 IU/day.
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How Is Vitamin D Deficiency Diagnosed
Healthcare providers dont 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 and/or have symptoms of it.
Your provider can order a blood test to measure your levels of vitamin D. There are two types of tests that they might order, but the most common is the 25-hydroxyvitamin D, known as 25D for short.
Whats The Optimal/functional Range Of Vitamin D For You
When we look at optimal vitamin D levels through the functional medicine lens , we want to see levels between 40-60with anything less than 30 warranting either more sun exposure and/or supplementation.
Why arent normal ranges enough?
Normal vitamin D ranges were established to prevent rickets, not to optimize your health and prevent other chronic diseases. So, if you want to do more than prevent rickets, aim for those optimal/functional ranges.
Since everyones levels will vary and it is possible to overdo vitamin D supplementation , we highly recommend working with your kNew Health Coach or practitioner to determine the best amount of vitamin D for you.
Theres no sense in guessing or automatically resorting to high-dose vitamin D supplementation when the lab work can guide you safely.
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Symptoms And Health Risks Of Vitamin D Deficiency
Symptoms of bone pain and muscle weakness can mean you have a vitamin D deficiency. However, for many people, the symptoms are subtle. Yet, even without symptoms, too little vitamin D can pose health risks. Low blood levels of the vitamin have been associated with the following:
- Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Cognitive impairment in older adults
- Severe asthma in children
Research suggests that vitamin D could play a role in the prevention and treatment of a number of different conditions, including type1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance, and multiple sclerosis.
How Prevalent Is Vitamin D Deficiency And Who Is At Risk
Worldwide, naturally occurring dietary sources of vitamin D are limited, and food fortification is optional, inconsistent, inadequate, or nonexistent. Therefore, for most people, vitamin D is primarily obtained by cutaneous production from sun exposure. However, many variables influence the amount of UVB from sunlight that reaches the skin and its effectiveness. These include time of day, season, latitude, altitude, clothing, sunscreen use, pigmentation, and age. In Minnesota in 2008, less than half of days provided enough solar UVB radiation at noon to effect cutaneous vitamin D production.2 Even those who normally reside in sunny climates are commonly found to be deficient in vitamin D, probably due to cultural habits and/or dress.3 Even if regularly exposed to sunlight, elderly people produce 75% less cutaneous D3 than young adults.4 Further barriers to cutaneous vitamin D production are ongoing public health campaigns promoting sunscreen use, as advocated by the American Academy of Dermatology . Unfortunately, commonly recommended daily intakes of vitamin D are known to be insufficient if sunlight exposure is limited.5
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When Should You Have A Vitamin D Test
Talk to your doctor about your risks. If you have one of these conditions, you might need a vitamin D test:
- Osteoporosis: This disease makes your bones weak, so they are more likely to break.
- If you have a disease that damages your bodys ability to use vitamin D. These are usually serious and ongoing diseases of the digestive system, such as inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, kidney disease, liver disease, pancreatitis and others.
If your doctor suggests getting a vitamin D test, ask about your risks. If your risk is high, you should get the test. If your risk is low, ask if you can avoid the test. Ask if you can boost your vitamin D with sunlight and food, and possibly supplements.
If your doctor does need to keep track of your Vitamin D, make sure the same test is used each time. Ask your doctor which tests are best.
This report is for you to use when talking with your healthcare provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment. Use of this report is at your own risk.
How Can I Increase My Vitamin D Levels
According to John Hopkins Medicine, the body is able to make vitamin D naturally when a person exposes it to the sun. However, there may be limitations if a person is older, lives further north, or has a darker skin tone.
That said, a person can add certain foods containing vitamin D to their diet. These include:
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