There are some essential nutrients that play an important role in body functions. When it comes to your bone health, vitamin D plays an important role here. It maintains the health of the bones. Two forms of vitamin D are crucial for your bone health.
D2 and D3 are the vitamin D forms that come from fortified foods. You can eat these foods to get these essential nutrients, such as milk, breakfast cereals, dairy items, etc.
Vitamin D3 comes from your own body when you spend some time in the sunlight. But it is also present in some foods, including fatty fish, eggs, salmon, tuna, mackerel, etc.
Vitamin D2 and D3 are changed into the vitamin D form which is known as 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D). When a vitamin D test is performed, it helps to measure the level of 25(OH)D in the blood.
When the results come in an abnormal number of vitamin D, it shows bone disorder, organ damage, or any other medical conditions.
This article will help you learn more about the vitamin D test and how it is performed.
How does a vitamin D test help?
When a doctor suspects a bone disorder, vitamin D is performed. But sometimes, it is also beneficial to measure the vitamin D amount in your blood. It indicates many potential chronic illnesses such as autoimmune diseases, psoriasis, asthma, etc.
Why is vitamin D tested?
Some people show symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. Experiencing these symptoms can indicate that you may have developed some medical conditions that need proper treatment.
The deficiency of vitamin D can be detected by performing a vitamin D test. Your healthcare provider may ask for a test if you have been experiencing the following symptoms:
- Bone softness
- Bone weakness
- Bone malformation
People with a high risk of vitamin D deficiency include some risk factors:
- Lack of sun exposure
- Age, common in older adults
- Previous gastric bypass surgery
- Difficulty in the absorption of fat in your diet
- Having darker complexion
What happens when a healthcare provider performs a vitamin D test?
A vitamin D test is basically a blood test that involves a blood sample. A healthcare provider will take a blood sample from the vein in your arm by inserting a small needle. The small needle will draw your blood and it will be collected in a test tube. You may feel no pain at all but a sting at the time of needle insertion. The test may take less than five minutes.
You do not need any preparation before the vitamin D test. For some tests like diabetes, people have to fast for a few hours but all you need is to visit the health care provider.
Are there any side effects?
There is no severe risk of vitamin D test but you may feel slight pain or bruise on the spot at the time of needle insertion.
Some people are afraid of needles but there is nothing to worry about. It is small in size and is inserted into the skin and draws blood from the vein in the arm.
What results do you get from the vitamin D test?
The results of vitamin D may indicate the following facts:
- Less sunlight exposure to sunlight
- Vitamin D absorption difficulty in the foods
- Not enough consumption of vitamin D
Low vitamin D in the body also reveals that your body may have trouble with the use of vitamins. Such results may also indicate liver or kidney disease. Your doctor may prescribe you dietary changes or supplements to fulfil the deficiency of vitamin D.
Having excess vitamin D results may also result due to taking excessive vitamins and pills. Some other supplements can also cause vitamin D in your body. Your doctor may ask you to stop taking these medicines as an excess amount of vitamin D in the body may lead to damaged blood vessels and organs.
The following diets can provide enough vitamin D to your body:
Salmon: It is a fatty fish that provides enough vitamin D. A farmed salmon may contain 250 IU but a wild salmon may contain 988 IU per serving.
Cod liver oil: It is a popular supplement that can help to get essential nutrients. It is a great source of vitamin A with 150% of the daily value in only one Tsp.
Egg yolk: Some people do not like seafood but you can eat egg yolk to get proper nutrition. It is highly rich in vitamin D and contains 37 IU or 5% of the daily value.
Fortified foods: Some natural sources provide enough vitamin D, like cow’s milk, soy milk, cereals, oatmeal, etc.
You need to spend a little time in the sunlight to get a vitamin D daily dose. But staying too much in sunlight may lead to skin cancer.