Functional Medicine | Vitamin D Testing
Vitamin D Testing
Vitamin D aids the body in absorbing calcium and phosphate, which are necessary for bone health and plays a large role in your wellness. Your body produces vitamin D anytime the skin is exposed to the sun; vitamin D is also found in many foods, including dairy products, eggs, and fatty fish. Are you getting enough vitamin D?
TESTING FOR VITAMIN D
A great deal of recent scientific research has shed much light on the significant roles that vitamin D plays in wellness and illness. As a result, vitamin D blood tests have become more advanced and widespread. This has led to both benefits and drawbacks in vitamin D testing.
On the downside, the sudden boom in public interest in getting their vitamin D levels tested has led to the hasty invention of several less-than-accurate forms of testing vitamin D levels. On the upside, it has also led to significant advances in accurately testing for vitamin D in the interest of early detection and prevention of many diseases.
Fortunately, we recognize this difference in the vitamin D tests out there and have ensured that the vitamin D test we offer: the 25-hydroxy vitamin D test, is as precise and accurate as they come. It measures the form that vitamin D takes before the kidney converts it into the active form of vitamin D.
After we get an individual’s baseline vitamin D level, we may recommend Vitamin D testing seasonally for them, depending on that level and their overall health status. In general, healthier people require vitamin D testing less frequently.
VITAMIN D IMBALANCES
Although some conditions, like lymphoma, are associated with elevated vitamin D levels, the far more common vitamin D imbalance is a vitamin D deficiency.
According to a National Center for Health Statistics analysis of data collected between 2001 and 2006, with 50 – 125 nanomoles per liter of vitamin D considered “adequate”:
- 24% of Americans were at risk of having inadequately low vitamin D levels, with 30 to 49 nmol/L
- 8% were at risk of being vitamin D deficient, defined as below 30 nmol/L
- 1% had a vitamin excess above 125 nmol/L
AT RISK FOR VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY
Those at risk for a vitamin D deficiency include people who:
- Avoid the sun or live in a colder climate
- Have a milk allergy or sensitivity/intolerance
- Stick to a strict vegetarian diet.
- Older adult
- Have Cystic Fibrosis (or other fat malabsorption condition)
- Have Crohn’s Disease (or other inflammatory bowel condition)
CONDITIONS ASSOCIATED WITH VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY
Even without the presence of any overt symptoms, however, a vitamin D deficiency could still pose a health risk. Although additional research is needed before definite conclusions can be made, current research suggests that the following conditions may be associated with Vitamin D deficiencies.
- cognitive issues
- mood disorders (depression, premenstrual syndrome, seasonal affective disorder)
- kidney disease
- cardiovascular disease
- muscle weakness and fatigue
- muscle pain
- tooth loss
- multiple sclerosis
- autoimmune diseases
- cancer (breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, cervical cancer, and possibly ovarian cancer and pancreatic cancer)
- Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes
- possibly asthma
A vitamin D deficiency or excess can lead to bone weakness, malformation, or improper calcium metabolism.
SYMPTOMS OF VITAMIN D EXCESS
Possible symptoms of too much vitamin D in the system include:
- bone pain
- muscle weakness
- kidney damage
- kidney stones
- poor appetite
- weight loss
- calcium deposits in the heart, lungs, or other soft tissues
TESTING VITAMIN D LEVELS IS IMPORTANT
Vitamin D Testing is not necessary for everyone but is part of an overall health and wellness strategy to be discussed with your functional medicine practitioner.
SCHEDULE YOUR VITAMIN D TESTING
If you live in the Chicago area and are wondering if you should schedule testing for vitamin D, you can schedule a free consultation with our functional medicine practitioner or reach us by phone or text at 773.878.7330. We are located in Andersonville, and Free parking can be found both on the street around our building and in a small lot at the north end of the building.