Can You Test Your Own Vitamin D Levels at Home?
Surprise, you can! Read on to learn more about the role of Vitamin D in your overall health and how you can screen for a possible deficiency.
The role of vitamin D is important for the development of our bodies. After all, it absorbs calcium to promote strong bones and healthy bone growth. In children, not enough vitamin D can result in soft bones. As for adults, bones can become fragile without enough vitamin D. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg in terms of health repercussions that can occur with a lack of this vitamin. The role of vitamin D may be even more important than it might seem. A deficiency has been linked to depression and weight gain, as well as certain forms of cancer.
These days, a lot of medical treatment can be performed from the comfort of home. Home testing is opening up brand new doors for many people, especially in the fields of STDs, fertility and other health topics. That said, many people still ask “Can you test your own Vitamin D levels at home?”
The Role of Vitamin D in Our Bodies
So can you test your own Vitamin D levels at home? Absolutely. But why would you want to? Join us for a closer look at the role of vitamin D plays in your health
On the whole, vitamin D helps our bodies use calcium. It is a crucial element for growing and maintaining healthy bones and teeth. In addition, vitamin D boosts our immune system by regulating how calcium and phosphorus are absorbed into our bodies.
Unfortunately, according to the CDC, three-quarters of Americans are suffering from a vitamin D deficiency. The American Academy of Pediatrics report that deficiency rates for infants, children and adolescents are even more worrisome. Lower levels of the D have been linked to a number of medical conditions.
Below is a list of a few health problems that can be caused by an untreated case of Vitamin D deficiency:
- Cancer, specifically in the prostate, colon or breasts
- Kidney disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Cardiovascular disease
- Periodontal disease
As you can see, Vitamin D plays a pretty crucial role in your overall health. It’s important to keep your levels as high as possible.
Where to Get More Vitamin D
Now that you realize how important Vitamin D can be, it’s time to figure out where it comes from. There are two forms of Vitamin D that are important for nutrition. These are Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3.
One of the primary sources of these life-giving nutrients is sunlight. That’s right, simply standing in the sun can help your body create Vitamin D. It is fat-soluble, so it is stored within the body’s fatty tissues. When you’re not in direct sunlight, your body knows to release the vitamin D to keep you healthy and happy.
Beyond sunlight, there is another key area where people can build Vitamin D… food! Your diet can be very important. For the best results, try eating D2 and D3 rich foods, such as fatty fish, dairy and eggs!
Testing for a Vitamin D Deficiency
As you can probably imagine, your Vitamin D levels can fluctuate depending on the time of year, the food you eat or the amount of time you spend outside. Obviously, most people spend less time out of the house during the colder months. That can lead to Vitamin D deficiency.
As we explored above, low levels of this vitamin can be hazardous to your health. It can even contribute to the development of major illnesses such as cancer. For this reason, myLAB Box offers a test for Vitamin D deficiency that you can take from the comfort of home.
How Does Vitamin D Testing Work?
In your bloodstream, Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3 are changed into a form of Vitamin D called 25 hydroxyvitamin D, or 25(OH)D. myLAB Box’s Vitamin D blood test measures the level of 25(OH)D in your blood. Abnormal levels of Vitamin D can indicate bone disorders, nutrition problems, organ damage, or other medical conditions. By becoming aware of any potential deficiencies, you can take steps to increase your Vitamin D levels.
Connection Between Vitamin D and Cancer
Some studies have linked low levels of Vitamin D with certain forms of cancer. For instance, a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology found that more than three-fourths of people with a variety of cancers had low levels of Vitamin D.
What Treatment is Available for Vitamin D Deficiency?
Luckily, there are several easy ways for people with this deficiency to get more Vitamin D into their bodies.
Sunlight: The easiest–and most natural–way to get this vitamin is to expose the bare skin to sunlight. Of course, the sun can have damaging effects on the body as well, so it is only necessary to be in the sun for about half of the time it may take to burn.
Supplements: When someone doesn’t get enough sunlight, another option or them is to take Vitamin D3 supplements in the form of a tablet or capsule. The Vitamin D Council recommends up to 1,000 IU of the vitamin for children and up to 5,000 IU for adults.
Food: There are several foods that naturally contain Vitamin D, but it is unlikely that one will get enough of the vitamin from these food items. The most efficient way to get the amount needed is through sunlight and supplements. That said, food that naturally contain Vitamin D include salmon, mushrooms and mackerel.
As you can see, the role of Vitamin D is one that is perhaps underestimated, but also packs a big punch in terms of the way it helps the body to function.
The at-home testing process is rather straightforward. 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
Fortunately, the treatment for this health concern can be as simple as eating more Vitamin D rich foods or spending more time outdoors. A low result may also mean that your body is having trouble using the vitamin as it should, and may indicate kidney or liver disease.
On the other hand, it’s also possible to have excess levels of Vitamin D. If your results show you have high levels, it is most likely due to taking too many vitamin pills or other supplements. Too much Vitamin D can cause damage to your organs and blood vessels. The treatment here is often to adjust your diet and supplement intake.
In the end, it’s important to keep your body properly balanced. Vitamin D is critical for a person’s body to be able to reach peak performance. After testing, if you notice either a deficiency or excess of Vitamin D, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor.