Is also known as the “sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D is mostly made in the skin by exposure to sunlight. Unfortunately the U.K. does not produce sufficient and strong enough sunlight between October and April to give us any vitamin D. Certain foods, i.e. oily fish, fortified grain, egg yolks, and dairy products can supplement vitamin D production.
Vitamin D is essential to maintain glucose metabolism and to help absorb phosphorus and calcium for healthy teeth and bone strength.
A vitamin D test will determine if your body has a vitamin D deficiency. This test is also used to show if you have abnormal phosphorus, calcium, or parathyroid hormone levels.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Low levels of vitamin D in the body can result in osteoporosis, (a decrease in bone density), and Osteomalacia (adults) and rickets (children) caused by inadequate mineralisation of the bone. It also causes low calcium and phosphate, which leads to secondary hyperparathyroidism. Rickets results from the same underlying process, occurring in children and adolescents before the growth plates have closed.
Health Risks and Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
Insufficient amounts of vitamin D will result in symptoms i.e. muscle weakness and bone pain. Some people however only experience mild, subtle, symptoms. Even without the symptoms there is still health risks associated with it and there is recent evidence that the following diseases may be connected too:
What Causes Vitamin D Deficiency?
There are several common reasons why there is a vitamin D deficiency.
If you do not eat the recommended level of vitamin D for your body. People who follow a vegan diet are more prone to develop this deficiency because they do not eat enough natural source of vitamin D i.e. beef, liver, fish, egg yolks, fortified milk, and other animal-based products.
If your exposure to sunlight is limited. People with less skin exposure to the sun; live in northern latitudes; an occupation that prevents them from sun exposure (night workers); or wear long robes all the time are more prone to vitamin D deficiency. It is known that people with darker skin need more vitamin D .
If your kidneys fail to convert vitamin D to the active form, this can increase your risk of deficiency. If your digestive tract cannot absorb adequate vitamin D for any reason, you can also develop this type of deficiency.
Vitamin D Test Procedure
Before you proceed to the vitamin D procedure, you can take a look with the following procedure ideas.
Preparing for Test
To make the vitamin D test easier, it is better to arrive well-hydrated.
During the Test
When performing the test, a needle is inserted to your vein which is usually on the inner arm near your elbow to draw a small amount of blood.
If you think your body has a low level of vitamin D, undergoing a test is the best thing for you to do. The doctor will recommend the necessary tests based on the symptoms you are experiencing and conduct diagnosis to determine the appropriate treatment.