Vitamin D Test

13 Jan
Vitamin D Test
Vitamin D assists our body in using calcium to build strong bones and proper skeletal formation. Adequate vitamin D levels have also been shown to help with the prevention and treatment of type1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance, and multiple sclerosis. An estimated one billion people worldwide, across ethnicities and age groups, are deficient in vitamin D.
Known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is produced by the skin in response to sunlight. You may be at risk for a vitamin D deficiency if you don’t get enough sunlight. This is especially prevalent in areas with long dark winters. Your body is usually able to get all the vitamin D it needs if you regularly expose enough bare skin to the sun during the summer months. However, because of more time spent indoors and the health benefits of using sunscreen, many people don’t get enough sunlight.
Vitamin D also occurs naturally in a few foods, including fish, fish liver oils, egg yolks, and in fortified dairy and grain products. Individuals who have milk allergies/intolerances, follow a very low fat diet, or adhere to a strict vegetarian diet, may have difficulties consuming an adequate amount of vitamin D.
Tests for Vitamin D Deficiency
The most accurate way to measure how much vitamin D is in your body is the 25-hydroxy vitamin D test. This test measures the amount of the active vitamin in your kidneys that controls calcium and phosphate levels via a blood test. The normal range is 30.0 to 74.0 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).
Treatment for Vitamin D Deficiency
Most often, treatment for vitamin D deficiency involves getting more vitamin D through diet, supplements, and/or through spending more time in the sun. The Institute of Medicine recommends consuming 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D, daily, for everyone ages 1-70 and 800 IU for adults older than 70 to optimize bone health. Those with vitamin D deficiency might need higher doses to get back to normalized levels.
If your vitamin D level is below 30 ng/mL, talk with your health care provider about treatment recommendations. If you don’t spend much time in the sun or are always careful to cover your skin (sunscreen inhibits vitamin D production) especially during winter months, you should speak to your health care provider about taking a vitamin D supplement, particularly if you have risk factors for vitamin D deficiency.

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