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Where Can I Get My Vitamin Levels Checked

What Is An Adequate Level Of Vitamin D

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Adults under the age of 70 are advised to get 15 mcg of vitamin D per day. If you are 71 years of age or older, 20 mcg is recommended.

Previous research has explored the potentially protective relationship between vitamin D and COVID-19. A study published in August highlighted vitamin D deficiency in COVID-19 patients who experienced acute respiratory failure. An October study on 50 COVID-19 patients linked a high dose of a type of vitamin D with lower rates of intensive care unit treatment.

Given that vitamin D is involved in many bodily functions and plays an important role in immune health, Elizabeth Shaw, RDN, a nutritionist from California, recommends getting your vitamin D levels checked.

“Vitamin D concern is something I’ve seen become increasingly of interest over the last three years in my practice due to the fact so many individuals across the U.S. have low vitamin D levels,” Shaw tells Verywell. “As with everything, 2020 and the pandemic has definitely increased the public’s interest.”

Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency include fatigue, muscle weakness, bone and joint pain, and depression.

General Health Check Kits

While most home health check kits tend to look at one specific biomarker of health, there are general check-up kits available which give you a better overall idea of your current health status.

Medichecks Health and Lifestyle Check is designed to find out if your diet could be healthier by checking important health markers, such as cholesterol key vitamins iron storage and kidney function.

The test requires a simple finger prick blood test. Once the results have been analysed, you will get access to a doctors interpretation of the results, along with advice on what to do next.

Preparing For Your Treatment

We’ve tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.

For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you’re staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.

Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.

Recommended Reading: Is Vitamin B12 Good For Your Immune System

What Is Nutrient Testing

Nutrition tests measure your bodys actual levels of important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients necessary for the proper care and functioning of your body. They provide information whether your bodys levels of these nutrients are sufficient, how these levels influence your health and/or predict your risk of disease. Your blood, urine, saliva, stool, hair, nail, and other specimens are sent for analysis to reliable medical laboratories for levels of specific nutrients and their by-products. For example, Vitamin D for bone health, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for heart health. Catch brewing health problems early in their cycle, and take action to protect your health.

How To Choose An At Home Vitamin D Test Kit:

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As we touched on above, the most important things you need to consider when choosing an at-home testing kit for vitamin B12 include:

  • Check if they measure vitamin D , as testing for this majorly circulated form of vitamin D is currently considered the best indicator of vitamin D supply to the body https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/VitaminD.pdf
  • Do they use accredited UKAS laboratories to test your samples? You dont want just any old lab testing your results, make sure they are the real deal
  • Do they have doctors on hand to help interpret your results? Some aftercare is sometimes necessary, especially if you have confusing results, so check if they have a doctor on board to help if needed.
  • Do they have good reviews? Check their brand website and the reviews they have received to see what other people think of their service.

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Do I Need To Take Supplements

Its better to get essential nutrients from foods, but your doctor may recommend supplements if your diet is lacking certain vitamin and minerals. Vitamin B12 for vegetarian or vegan diets is one such example.

However, you shouldnt start taking any supplements without getting tested and talking with your doctor first. This can prevent the unnecessary use of supplements and even vitamin or mineral overdoses.

What Is Ldl Cholesterol

LDL stands for low-density lipoproteins and its this type which is known as bad cholesterol because it transports cholesterol from the liver to the tissues in the body. A build-up of LDL can cause plaques of cholesterol to form on artery walls, restricting blood flow. This can increase the risk of blood clots and could block the flow of blood to the heart and/or brain.

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What Is A Vitamin B12 Blood Test

If you went to your GP with a suspected low vitamin B12 level, a B12 deficiency, or pernicious anaemia one of the first things they would do is book you in for a blood test.6

These vitamin B12 deficiency tests check:

  • The level of vitamin B12 in your blood
  • Whether your red blood cells are larger than the norm
  • If you have a lower-than-normal level of haemoglobin a substance that transports oxygen around the body

How Do Home B12 Blood Tests Work

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It depends on the brand, but generally a home B12 blood test will work a little like this:

  • You order a test online or pick up a test kit from a store / clinic.
  • It will likely contain a finger prick and corresponding vial to collect blood from your finger so that it can be tested for vitamin B12.
  • You will have to send it to a lab / return address or arrange for somebody to collect it for you.
  • It will get tested and the service provider should communicate your results to you.
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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.

    Is Vitamin Deficiency Common

    A vitamin deficiency may not be common based on your genetic, ecological, and nutritional background. If you are regularly consuming foods rich in vitamins and are exposed to ample sunlight, then you may not be at a higher risk of deficiencies.

    If you have a supplementation protocol as well, to target the most common deficiencies, then you may also not be susceptible to further deficiency. Indian adults can face common deficiencies in Vitamin D, vitamin B12, and Vitamin B9 . Studies suggest that 7 out of every 10 Indians are vitamin deficient.

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    Three Tests Your Doctor Should Be Ordering But Isnt

    AUGUST 14, 2018 by DR. HEATHER MODAY, MD

    As part of every work up with a patient, I order testing for vitamin and mineral levels. After reviewing the tests, my patients are often shocked. They often ask- Why doesnt my doctor order vitamin and mineral levels on me? I wish I had an answer to that question as I consider nutritional evaluations an inherent part of assessing someones overall health. Every biochemical process in the body requires certain nutrients to work properly. When we dont have adequate stores, that is when disease develops.

    A body with suboptimal levels of vitamins and minerals is like a building constructed with poor materials: it doesnt work well and eventually will fall apart. As we age, if we accumulate deficiencies along with cellular damage, we age faster and develop disease. The conventional fix is to start a new medication which often causes more deficiencies and strain on our system. The better fix is to focus on our nutritional stores and make sure that our diet is adequate to keep up with our needs.

    It is true that many conventional doctors dont bother to order these tests. Perhaps they dont believe that nutrition matters in health, or that they will be able to interpret them correctly and counsel you correctly. Or most sadly, they wont offer the testing because they feel insurance wont cover it. Most nutrition testing is at least partially covered and at most cost less than a nice pair of shoes.

    How To Choose A Home B12 Test At Home Kit:

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    As we touched on above, the most important things you need to consider when choosing an at-home testing kit for vitamin B12 include:

    • Check if they measure active B12 levels or total B12 levels, and choose which you would prefer. Remember total vitamin B12 levels tests are not always suitable for diagnosing a deficiency
    • Do they use accredited UKAS laboratories to test your samples? You dont want just any old lab testing your results, make sure they are the real deal
    • Do they have doctors on hand to help interpret your results? Some aftercare is sometimes necessary, especially if you have confusing results, so check if they have a doctor on board to help if needed.
    • Do they have good reviews? Check their brand website and the reviews they have received to see what other people think of their service.

    Recommended Reading: How Much Vitamin D Per Day For A Woman

    Benefits Of Home Vitamin D Diagnostic Kits

    Benefits of home vitamin D diagnostics kits can include:

    • No doctors appointment necessary
    • Dont need to book off work / use holiday
    • Do it whenever is best for you
    • Quick and easy

    However, it is important to keep in mind that these sorts of tests are no substitute for seeing your doctor, especially if you are suffering symptoms, as these companies will not be able to diagnose, consult or provide any treatment.

    But, if you just want to know for peace of mind or if you should be upping the vitamin D in your life, they can provide very useful.

    Private Vitamin D Level Testing

    The best option for you is to go to a private clinic, where medical practitioners will test your Vitamin D level for a fee. Before you book your appointment, you should also clarify whether the discussion about your results is included in the fee. Some clients also complain about high-pressure sales from private clinics that sell supplements. Im sure their lab results are accurate, but its important to know what youre getting yourself into.

    Direct Health Solutions offers competitive pricing for private Vitamin D testing in Calgary and surrounding area. We charge $60 in addition to your house call fee . You will typically receive your results in 2 business days. We do not sell supplements and, therefore, make recommendations based on your best interests. Best of all, we will collect your blood work in the privacy and comfort of your home or office. We also only use butterfly needles, which are significantly more comfortable than the standard, larger needles used at most labs.

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    How Can I Improve My Vitamin D Levels

    Vitamin D levels can be improved with the right diet, supplementation, and lifestyle modifications. Since Vitamin D plays a role in energy, strength, and vitality it is important to get the vitamin from dairy, meat, leafy vegetables, and fortified foods.

    Exercising in sunshine will also help improve your vitamin D levels that can enhance your body’s ability to absorb calcium effectively. You can also opt for a supplementation plan as prescribed by your doctor depending on the levels of vitamin D in the body.

    Benefits Of Blood Testing For Nutritional Deficiencies

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    Nutrition is one of the cornerstones of good health. The foods that you eat not only provide nourishment and energy for your body, they also supply macronutrients and micronutrients your organs and body systems need to function properly.

    Whether you are suffering from food allergies, chronic illness or simply want to understand the current state of your health, nutritional testing services can provide valuable insights about how the foods you eat are affecting your body.

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    How To Increase Vitamin B12 Levels

    Food: When possible, it is always best to get your nutrients through food. Foods highest in B12 include beef liver, sardines, Atlantic mackerel, lamb, salmon, eggs, and milk products.

    Supplementation: The route of delivery and type of supplement you use depends on a few different factors. If you are significantly deficient and symptomatic, you will benefit most from intramuscular injections of B12 initially.

    In our practice, we prefer using sublingual B12 versus oral B12 because some patients have difficulty absorbing oral B12 as a result of low stomach acid, impaired intrinsic factor, or intestinal inflammation. When using sublingual B12, we prefer methylcobalamin versus cyanocobalamin because methylcobalamin is the active form used in the body, whereas cyanocobalamin must be converted prior to use in the body.

    Types Of Nutritional Tests

    There are hundreds of nutritional tests that can be used to diagnose various conditions, diseases, and nutrient deficiencies. Some of the most common nutritional tests include:

    • Vitamins
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folate
  • Each of these vitamins plays a vital role in various body functions, such as growing healthy teeth and nails, regulating metabolism, and maintaining brain function. A vitamin panel blood test checks the levels of these thirteen essential vitamins to identify any deficiencies and determine if supplements are needed.

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    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.

    Best Labs To Check Vitamin B12 Levels

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    Serum Vitamin B12: This is a simple and fairly reliable way to measure vitamin B12 levels. Many doctors believe they can surmise B12 deficiency by looking at the shape of red blood cells. While this test a complete blood count can indicate a vitamin B12 deficiency, it is not very reliable and does nothing to detect a functional deficiency. A functional deficiency is when you have a nutrient level that is considered normal by conventional standards, but the nutrient is not at an adequate level to do its job in the body optimally.

    We like to see serum B12 levels at a minimum of 500 pg/mL, but prefer it to be above 900 pg/mL. We will often cross-reference this number with a urine MMA test.

    Urine Methylmalonic Acid : MMA is a marker that, when elevated, indicates a vitamin B12 deficiency. We love to use this test in our practice because it shows if B12 is doing its job adequately. We have many patients who have normal serum B12 levels but an elevated MMA, meaning that they are functionally deficient.

    Optimal urinary MMA levels should be below 1.0 mmol/mol. Some patients have serum B12 levels that are above the normal reference range, yet their MMA was elevated, indicating a functional deficiency. This is why functional tests like urinary MMA are so important.

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    Why Get Nutritional Testing

    Nutrients play a vital role in almost every physiological process in the body, from metabolism and immunity to digestion and hormone regulation. Over time, nutritional imbalances can lead to symptoms such as weight gain or loss, muscle mass and/or bone density loss, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, poor memory and focus, insomnia and even life-threatening diseases.

    All too often, patients suffering from these ailments have their concerns brushed aside by physicians. In reality, they may be on track to developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension or heart disease. A simple blood test is a powerful tool that can help identify nutritional problems early and prevent the development of disease.

    Even patients who do not suffer from uncomfortable symptoms may be deficient in certain essential nutrients. Iron, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, calcium, and magnesium are among the most common nutrient deficiencies in the United States and can be easily identified with a blood test for nutritional deficiencies. Modifying your diet or adding in supplements is an easy way to correct deficiencies and achieve optimal health.

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