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Can Blood Test Show Vitamin D Deficiency

Can Blood Test Show Vitamin D Deficiency

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Can Blood Test Show Vitamin D Deficiency


The most effective way to diagnose someone with vitamin D deficiency is by performing a blood test, as blood tests accurately show a person’s level of vitamin D in the blood. They can be performed by a doctor or other medical practitioner, as well as by yourself with an at-home vitamin D test.

How vitamin D tests work and why it's important to take one if you suspect you have vitamin D deficiency, you’re about to find out.

How Do Vitamin D Tests Work?

How Do Vitamin D Tests Work?

Vitamin D tests are simple blood tests that will be sent off to a medical laboratory and tested for vitamin D levels. They can be done at a GP surgery or hospital with a needle, or at home with a lancet and vial to collect your blood sample. Whether you do it yourself or at the doctor’s you’ll receive a document from the laboratory with a value indicating your vitamin D levels.

Normal vitamin D values are between 20 and 50 ng/mL, so if your test results show a value less than 20 ng/mL, you have vitamin D deficiency and should visit your doctor and start to make some lifestyle changes in an attempt to increase your vitamin D levels naturally.

What is Vitamin D Deficiency?

Vitamin D deficiency simply means a lack of sufficient vitamin D in the body, which can be a serious condition if left untreated, especially in childhood. Our bodies produce 90% of our vitamin D from exposing our skin to the sun, while the other 10% is obtained from foods, so it can be more difficult for some people to maintain their vitamin D levels, including:

  • Babies
  • Elderly people
  • Housebound people or those with mobility issues
  • People who cover their skin for religious or cultural reasons
  • People who have or have had skin cancer
  • Dark-skinned people
  • Vegans and vegetarians
  • Residents of countries with long or dark Winters.

Since the UK has long Winters with decreased sunlight, the UK government recommends residents take vitamin D supplements from September to March to ensure they have sufficient levels of vitamin D.

Vitamin D regulates the body's calcium and phosphate levels which are integral for building and maintaining healthy bones, so vitamin D deficiency can cause weak or brittle bones in adults, and rickets in children, as well as bone and muscle pain, and fatigue. Anyone showing symptoms of vitamin D deficiency should take a vitamin D test and visit their doctor as soon as possible.

What is Vitamin D Deficiency?

Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency can have serious consequences for our health so it’s important to be aware of the symptoms and visit the doctor when we feel something is wrong with our health.

Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency include:

  • Fatigue
  • Low mood
  • Sore bones, muscles and joints
  • Bowed leg bones in children

Many people experience no symptoms of vitamin D deficiency at all, while others have some general aches and pains that are often attributed to other things, so it’s important that everyone, whether they are at a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency than others or not, maintains a healthy vitamin D level throughout the year.

Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

If you eat a balanced diet and safely get regular sun exposure all year long, you’ll most likely have sufficient vitamin D levels, but for people who are at a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency, it’s important to regulate your levels either by making lifestyle changes or by taking vitamin D supplements.

Diet and Lifestyle

Making simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can increase your vitamin D levels, improve your way of life and be more sustainable in the long term than just taking supplements that have no other additional benefits.

However, if you’ve been a lifelong vegan, belong to a particular religion or have mobility issues that prevent you from getting regular sunshine, it’s not that easy to make lifestyle changes to increase your vitamin D levels. But, most people can make simple changes to their diets and daily lives, especially over Winter, to increase the amount of vitamin D they obtain through food and create from sun exposure.

Oily fish like mackerel and sardines, red meat, liver, eggs, mushrooms, and fortified cereals and juices are all high in vitamin D, so if you have a moderately low level of vitamin D in your blood, you can increase the amount of these products in your diet to improve your symptoms.

Also, if you’re able to get out of the house and get some sunshine, just 10 minutes at noon is required to get a sufficient supply of vitamin D in Summer, or around 2 hours in Winter, so you can make the most of the good weather, improve your mood with the sunshine, and increase your vitamin D levels all at the same time. Just remember to put on factor 30 sunscreen to protect your skin from sun damage at least between 11 am and 3 pm.

Vitamin D Supplements

Vitamin D Supplements

Not everyone can change their diet or suddenly start spending more of their time outside in the sun to increase their vitamin D, and others have such severe vitamin D deficiency that high doses of vitamin D supplements are needed to be prescribed.

If your vitamin D test has shown you have very low vitamin D levels, you should consult with your doctor as soon as possible to receive medical advice on your specific case, otherwise, you should begin taking vitamin D supplements as soon as possible according to the recommendations on the box. You can buy vitamin D supplements over the counter in the UK.

Adults and children over 1 who have low vitamin D levels - or to prevent low vitamin D levels in Winter or for high-risk people - should take 10 micrograms (μg) of vitamin D daily. Babies under 1 year should take 8.5 to 10 micrograms, as needed. Check the label on the supplements before buying them to ensure each tablet contains only 10 μg or less - unless your doctor has advised otherwise.

After taking the supplements, you should notice a difference after one month, however, this may vary slightly from person to person. Fortunately, it’s never been easier to test your own vitamin D levels to see if your treatment is working, thanks to at-home vitamin D tests.

Advantages of At-Home Vitamin D Tests

Advantages of At-Home Vitamin D Tests

Booking a GP appointment in the UK is no easy feat, with almost 5 million people waiting 2 weeks or more to see their doctor, so if you need to make an appointment and have a blood test, you might be waiting a long time.

With vitamin D tests that you can buy online and take at home, you don’t need to wait for anybody. After your purchase, the vitamin D test will be delivered securely to your door with a prepaid postal box for you to return to the medical laboratory once you’ve taken the test, and you’ll get your results in a matter of days. This allows people to take control of their healthcare by skipping the waiting lists and getting fast factual data about their health.

Each at-home test contains an information brochure about how to take the test and what to expect from the testing company, and you’ll receive a medical information leaflet with your results explaining how to interpret them and suggesting steps you need to take if your results are outside of the normal ranges.

Moreover, doctors recommend taking a vitamin D test again 6 months after beginning a course of treatment - either taking supplements or increasing your vitamin D naturally - so to avoid waiting for a GP appointment, you can simply buy an at-home vitamin D test, check your own levels and inform your doctor of your progress over the phone.

Buy Your At-Home Vitamin D Test Today!

At Official Rapid Tests, we want to make it easy for people to take control of their healthcare and get important medical tests quickly, easily - and for a low price.

Buy your at-home vitamin D test today, or browse our other at-home tests.