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Are at Home Vitamin D Tests Accurate

Are at Home Vitamin D Tests Accurate

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Are at Home Vitamin D Tests Accurate


Vitamin D blood tests, whether you have them done at a medical facility or do them yourself at home, are processed in the same way via a professional medical laboratory, so at-home vitamin D tests are as accurate as having them done at the doctor. But you need to take them properly to avoid any contamination, so if you’re not confident you can do it yourself, make an appointment with your GP, ask a friend or family member to help you, or take your test to the pharmacy and ask a pharmacist to help you. 

Accuracy is not the only benefit of at-home vitamin D tests, let’s look at how they work and why they’re a useful tool to have.

How Do At-Home Vitamin D Tests Work?

How Do At-Home Vitamin D Tests Work?

When you have an appointment with your doctor for a blood test, they’ll usually put a tight band around your arm and put a needle in your arm to extract some blood which they’ll place in a vial and send off to a laboratory for results. It sounds simple - until you think about how long it takes to get a GP appointment in the UK…

At-home tests can be easily bought online and securely delivered to your door within 24 hours so you can take your test and post it back to the company’s medical laboratory. Rather than having to find a vein with a needle, at-home vitamin D tests use a lancet - a small plastic tube with a needle hidden inside. When you press the lancet against the tip of your finger, the needle pops out and pricks your fingertip, drawing blood for you to collect in the vial.

Once you’ve sent your sample off to the laboratory, you’ll usually have your results back within a few days either via a secure email or made available to view in the company’s app. The results will also come with information on how to interpret your results and advice on what your next steps should be if your results are outside of the normal ranges.

Are At-Home Vitamin D Tests Accurate?

Since at-home vitamin D tests are sent off to medical laboratories in the same way that blood tests taken in hospitals are sent for analysis, there’s no difference in the accuracy of results between an at-home vitamin D test and one you might have done at the doctor’s practice.

However, as most people taking at-home vitamin D tests are not medical professionals, there is a higher risk with at-home tests that the sample can be contaminated, unless the instructions for the test are followed precisely. Moreover, with some medical testing companies there is a small risk that tests will be lost in the post, but at Official Rapid Tests’, we use secure NFC tracking tags to make sure this never happens.

Are At-Home Vitamin D Tests Accurate?

Why are At-Home Vitamin D Tests Helpful?

Taking health tests at home is beneficial for numerous reasons:

  • Removes waiting for a GP appointment
  • Allows you to take control of your healthcare
  • Can be taken at a time that suits you
  • Better for people with a fear of needles

The NHS is under a lot of pressure due to high demand, low funding, poor resources and limited staff, and primary care facilities are feeling the effects of this pressure greatly causing patients to have to wait weeks at a time for initial appointments and even longer if they need to see a specialist. At-home vitamin D tests can be easily bought online or in a pharmacy with no waiting time, and results delivered within 24 to 72 hours, and can be kept in your house to be taken at a time that suits you, so there’s no need to book a morning off work for an appointment either.

Moreover, hospitals can be scary places for some people, whether they’ve had a bad experience in a hospital before, or are scared of needles, the idea of visiting a hospital can be off-putting for many people, who then neglect their healthcare as a result. Taking tests at home can help you take your healthcare into your own hands and ensure you get the medical testing you need. Also, lancets don’t show the needle inside, so these kinds of tests are much more tolerable for people with phobias of needles.

When to Take an At-Home Vitamin D Test

When to Take an At-Home Vitamin D Test

Not everyone needs to take a vitamin D test, in fact, if you eat a healthy balanced diet, get regular sun, aren’t among a high-risk group for vitamin D deficiency and don’t have any symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, you don’t need to take a vitamin D test.

However, you should take a vitamin D test if you’re at a high risk of vitamin D deficiency, or are experiencing some symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. High-risk groups include:

  • Babies
  • Housebound people and those with limited mobility
  • People who have or have had skin cancer
  • People who cover their skin when outside
  • People with dark skin
  • Vegans and vegetarians
  • People in cold and dark countries

Since we make 90% of our vitamin D from exposing our skin to the sun, most high-risk groups involve people who don’t or can’t regularly expose their skin to the sun, either due to sensitive skin like babies and people with skin cancer, or Muslim women who cover themselves for religious reasons.

But people with dark skin are also at risk of vitamin D deficiency as more skin pigment allows less sunlight to be absorbed in the skin, protecting them from sun damage, but requiring more time in the sun for sufficient sunlight to be converted to vitamin D. This is also the case for everyone who lives in dark and cold climates, such as Britain through Autumn and Winter; the sun simply isn’t strong enough at this time of year for us to effectively produce vitamin D, so the UK government advises Brits to take supplements from September to March.

Although 90% is produced internally, 10% of our vitamin D is supplied through food. Foods high in vitamin D include:

  • Red meat, especially liver
  • Oily fish like mackerel and sardines
  • Eggs
  • Mushrooms
  • Fortified foods like cereal

As many vitamin D-rich foods are animal products, vegans and vegetarians are at high risk of being vitamin D deficient, so should consider taking supplements or safely increasing their sun exposure. Too much sun can cause skin damage so people should be careful around spending too much time in the sun, especially at midday, so should make sure they have sunscreen on.

​​Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

​​Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

Many people don’t experience any symptoms of being vitamin D deficient and those that do often mistake their symptoms for other conditions, so if you’re at high risk of being vitamin D deficient, you should be aware of the symptoms to know when to take a test.

Symptoms include:

  • Lethargy
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Bone and joint aches and pains
  • Bowed legs in children
  • Brittle and weak bones in adults

It’s normal to have some aches and pains as we age, especially if we’re sitting at a desk all day or doing physical labour, but if you’re eating and sleeping healthily and can’t explain the tiredness or muscle pain, it would be wise to take a vitamin D test.

Vitamin D controls the levels of calcium and phosphate in the body, which are integral for growing and maintaining healthy bones, so deficiency may cause irregular bone growth in children, or weak bones leading to breaks, fractures and complications in older people. So if you’re at risk or experiencing symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, you should take a vitamin D test as soon as possible.

Get Your At-Home Vitamin D Test Today!

At Official Rapid Tests, we want to ensure everybody has access to the healthcare they need, regardless of location or income, which is why we’ve made our instant at-home medical tests available across the country and at an affordable price.

Don’t wait around for a doctor’s appointment, get your instant vitamin D test today!