Tired of feeling tired? Worried about what your joint pain and muscle weakness could mean? Vitamin D testing at home could give you the answers you are looking for.
The Lab Me At-Home Vitamin D test is both an affordable and convenient option.
Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is the only essential vitamin that our bodies can actually produce. Although our bodies make vitamin D through exposure to the sun, not everyone gets enough.
The other ways to get Vitamin D is through diet and supplements. But how do you know when to take supplements, and if you need them at all?
Tell me more about Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin because it helps keep bones, teeth and muscles strong and healthy. It works by helping our bodies absorb calcium more effectively and is essential for bone growth and development in children who are still growing.
Not just for healthy bones, Vitamin D is also essential for overall immune health. It plays a role in cell growth and may help in lowering inflammation in the body.
Vitamin D has also been shown to reduce the risk of viral respiratory tract infections. More recently, Vitamin D has been in the spotlight for its possible connection to COVID-19. There has been some research into whether adequate Vitamin D levels provide protection for viral infections like COVID-19.
Why should I check my vitamin D levels?
If you seem to always feel tired or depressed, feel weak or in pain, you may want to have your vitamin D levels checked.
A Vitamin D blood test can tell you if you have a deficiency or not by measuring the concentration of Vitamin D in your blood.
If you feel you may have a deficiency or are in a group with a higher risk of Vitamin D deficiency it is important to have your levels checked regularly.
You may be at higher risk of lower Vitamin D if you are elderly, pregnant, have darker skin, have an autoimmune condition or suffer from a gastrointestinal disorder that may affect absorption of nutrients.
Millions of adults are also at risk of developing osteoporosis, a deterioration of bone tissue or low bone density. Deficiency in Vitamin D can contribute to your risk of osteoporosis as you may not be able to absorb calcium as efficiently as needed.
What about Vitamin D testing at home?
Vitamin D testing at home is easy and can act as an early detection system.
The Lab Me At-Home Vitamin D test uses a patented FDA approved blood collection system that gives virtually identical results to arm drawn blood. And it is available at just $89 for the Vitamin D test alone or $129 for a test with 13 additional biomarkers tested.
Vitamin D testing at home is especially convenient if you are social distancing or can’t get to your usual healthcare provider.
If you are experiencing any of the following, an at home test is a simple and easy way to get answers.
• Feelings of depression
• Ongoing weakness
• Slow wound healing
• Unexplained joint or muscle pain
• Unexplained and ongoing fatigue
• Unusual mood changes
If you are not getting good exposure to daily sunlight, are going through menopause or are at risk of developing osteoporosis, or if you are following a plant-based diet and are worried about getting the right amount of Vitamin D in your diet, you should consider Vitamin D testing at home.
If you supplement with Vitamin D you may also want to keep a check on your levels. Too much Vitamin D, although not as common, can also be dangerous to your health.
Knowledge is power. Knowing your Vitamin D levels will help you make the changes you need for optimal physical health.
What does too little Vitamin D feel like?
A lack of Vitamin D can be experienced as tiredness or impaired cognitive functioning, aches in the bones, muscle weakness or cramps and in feeling down or depressed. Because these symptoms are quite generalized, it is always best to test your Vitamin D levels to be sure.
What causes Vitamin D deficiency?
Even though our bodies make Vitamin D on their own, many lifestyle and personal factors can affect how much we are able to make. Our diets also play a part in how much Vitamin D we take in each day.
You may keep yourself out of or protected from the sun by wearing clothing that covers your skin or by putting on sunblock every day.
In some places long winters can mean very little actual sunlight or you may simply spend more time indoors. The best time for natural sun exposure is 10am to 3pm, the times many people would be inside for work or school.
Darker skin also requires more sun for optimal Vitamin D production.
Certain conditions such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease and cystic fibrosis could make it more difficult for your body to produce or absorb Vitamin D properly.
What will an at home vitamin D test tell me?
A Vitamin D test will tell you the level of Vitamin D in your blood, given as nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).
Levels of 30 ng/mL or under are considered too low. Levels of 100 ng/mL or more is too high which brings the risk of hypercalcemia or too much calcium in the blood, and with it the risk kidney stones or weak bones.
Anything in between these numbers is considered normal but you may want to check with your healthcare provider on the optimal level for you, especially if you have any particular health conditions that concern you.
For best and most accurate results it is recommended you do the at home Vitamin D test first thing in the morning and return it to the lab on the same day.
The good news is that once you know your levels you can easily adjust your diet or lifestyle to ensure you are getting enough.
Ensure you get five to 30 minutes of decent sunshine without any sunblock 2 or more times a week.
Include good sources of Vitamin D in your diet such as salmon, tuna or foods fortified with Vitamin D. If you feel your levels are too low, you may consider a daily Vitamin D supplement.
Remember to consult with your doctor on any changes you want to make.