Will The Doctor Test For Vitamin Deficiencies At My Annual Physical
Nutritional deficiencies arent typically checked at annual physicals unless you specifically ask your doctor for these tests.
More commonly, your doctor will order a CBC, cholesterol check, and other preventive blood tests at your physical. If you decide to take an at-home vitamin deficiency test, you also have the option of following up with further testing at your doctors office.
A general checkup is always a time to talk with the doctor if you have a history of vitamin deficiencies or if you have certain health conditions that increase your chance for them.
Our Top 10 Vitamin Tests Reviewed
LetsGetChecked is our #1 pick for at-home vitamin testing thank to fast results, excellent support, and a variety of tests, which includes individual and panel tests.
Screen your levels for vitamins D and B12, which are essential in maintaining a healthy immune system, skeletal and nervous systems, and generating red blood cells.
The test kit contained everything our researcher needed to collect his blood sample quickly and easily at home. Dont worry if youre a little squeamish, all you need is a finger prick sample and our test taker reported that it was totally painless.
You should be done in just a few minutes and no special shipping is required. Simply pop your samples in the discreet prepaid packaging provided and pop them in a post box near you.
We were expecting our results within 2-5 days and were pleasantly surprised that they were delivered in just 3 days after sending our samples to the lab. We found the report to be very straightforward. It lists the biomarker i.e. vitamins, along with your current levels, and whether they fit in the normal range.
If your levels are shown to be deficient you can make the necessary lifestyle changes and monitor your levels to check for improvements with LetsGetCheckeds subscription option, which can save you up to 30%.
Fasting may also be required before collecting your sample, but as you collect it in the morning, this was no major issue for our test taker.
Common Vitamin And Mineral Result Ranges
Iron rangesThere are several tests to check your iron levels. The ideal ranges for each test are:
- serum ferritin 13-150 ng/l for women and 30-400 ng/l for men
- haemoglobin 120-160 g/L for women and 130-170 g/L for men
- transferrin saturation 20-55% for both women and men
- total iron-binding capacity 45-72 umol/L for both women and men
- unsaturated iron-binding capacity 24.2-70.1 umol/L for women and 22.3-61.7 umol/L for men
Vitamin D ranges
- between 50-175 nmol/L is normal
- between 75-100 nmol/L is optimal
Vitamin B12 rangesAn active B12 test measures the amount of vitamin B12 thats available for your body to use. You can also do a total B12. Vitamin B12 reference ranges:
- active B12 between 37.5- 188 pmol/L is normal
- total B12 between 300- 569 pmol/L is normal
Folate ranges Folate reference range:
- between 8.83-60.8 nmol/L is normal
You May Like: How To Control Blood Sugar
Best Labs To Check Magnesium Levels
Red blood cell magnesium This is the best way to measure magnesium levels. In the very rare instance that your doctor orders a magnesium level for you, it will most likely be serum magnesium. This test is practically useless in determining magnesium deficiency unless it is significantly deficient. This is because the body will borrow magnesium stores from other areas of the body, such as the bones and muscles, to maintain a normal serum level.
We believe optimal levels of RBC magnesium are between 50-70 mcg/g or 5-7 mg/dL, depending on the labs reference range.
Do I Need To Take Supplements
Its better to get essential nutrients from foods, but your doctor may recommend supplements if your diet is lacking certain vitamin and minerals. Vitamin B12 for vegetarian or vegan diets is one such example.
However, you shouldnt start taking any supplements without getting tested and talking with your doctor first. This can prevent the unnecessary use of supplements and even vitamin or mineral overdoses.
Don’t Miss: What Is Ca19 9 Blood Test
How To Increase Vitamin B12 Levels
Food: When possible, it is always best to get your nutrients through food. Foods highest in B12 include beef liver, sardines, Atlantic mackerel, lamb, salmon, eggs, and milk products.
Supplementation: The route of delivery and type of supplement you use depends on a few different factors. If you are significantly deficient and symptomatic, you will benefit most from intramuscular injections of B12 initially.
In our practice, we prefer using sublingual B12 versus oral B12 because some patients have difficulty absorbing oral B12 as a result of low stomach acid, impaired intrinsic factor, or intestinal inflammation. When using sublingual B12, we prefer methylcobalamin versus cyanocobalamin because methylcobalamin is the active form used in the body, whereas cyanocobalamin must be converted prior to use in the body.
What Is A Vitamin Deficiency
A varied diet usually includes all vitamins you need. However, in developed countries vitamin deficiency can occur in:
- people with alcohol and drug dependency
- those with a poor diet
- vegans – vitamin D and B12 may be lacking in vegans, who eat no animal products
- people with gut disorders
- people who don’t get enough sunlight.
Don’t Miss: High Blood Pressure Post Partum
Best Labs To Check Vitamin B12 Levels
Serum Vitamin B12: This is a simple and fairly reliable way to measure vitamin B12 levels. Many doctors believe they can surmise B12 deficiency by looking at the shape of red blood cells. While this test a complete blood count can indicate a vitamin B12 deficiency, it is not very reliable and does nothing to detect a functional deficiency. A functional deficiency is when you have a nutrient level that is considered normal by conventional standards, but the nutrient is not at an adequate level to do its job in the body optimally.
We like to see serum B12 levels at a minimum of 500 pg/mL, but prefer it to be above 900 pg/mL. We will often cross-reference this number with a urine MMA test.
Urine Methylmalonic Acid : MMA is a marker that, when elevated, indicates a vitamin B12 deficiency. We love to use this test in our practice because it shows if B12 is doing its job adequately. We have many patients who have normal serum B12 levels but an elevated MMA, meaning that they are functionally deficient.
Optimal urinary MMA levels should be below 1.0 mmol/mol. Some patients have serum B12 levels that are above the normal reference range, yet their MMA was elevated, indicating a functional deficiency. This is why functional tests like urinary MMA are so important.
Short On Time Here Are Our Top Picks For The Best At
- LetsGetChecked Monitor your levels of key vitamins with a money-saving subscription.
- Everlywell Affordable vitamin testing, particularly useful for measuring your levels of B vitamins.
- MyLAB Box Plenty of options for vitamin D testing and great screening panels.
- 7 more great vitamin tests | Comparison table | FAQs
Also Check: Freestyle Precision Neo Blood Glucose Test Strips
What Is Nutrition Testing
Nutrients can be separated into two distinct categories:
Nutrition testing can be used to evaluate the levels of these macronutrients and micronutrients in the blood. Test results can be compared to a reference range of normal values, and help doctors diagnose nutritional deficiencies.
Nutritional testing has many uses in functional medicine, such as in assessing blood chemistry, hormone function, gut health, metabolic function, blood sugar regulation, food sensitivities and allergies, organ function and more.
How To Choose An At
People may wish to consider these factors before buying a test online:
- The nutrients tested: Many companies offer comprehensive panels, which test for several vitamins and minerals. However, some tests only check levels of certain vitamins. A person should pick the test that best suits their needs.
- The collection method: Anyone uncomfortable drawing a finger-prick blood sample may prefer a test that relies on a saliva sample instead, for example.
- The timing of results: Some tests have shorter turnaround times, but these may be more expensive.
- Price: Different at-home vitamin deficiency tests fit different budgets.
Don’t Miss: How Much Does Blood Work Cost At Labcorp
Who Should Get Tested
It may be difficult to tell if you have a nutritional deficiency without knowing exactly what symptoms to look for. Also, it doesnt help that symptoms vary widely and some are even mild enough to be easily ignored. Some major signs of a deficiency include:
- Brittle hair and nails
- Mouth ulcers or cracks in the corners of your mouth
- Poor night vision or white growths in your eyes
- Scaly patches on your skin or dandruff
- Red or white bumps on your skin
- Restless leg syndrome
Even if you are not experiencing any of these symptoms, you may still have a nutritional deficiency. If you are concerned about your nutritional health, getting testing can help alleviate any anxieties you may have. Testing such as a vitamin blood test for vitamin deficiency or a vitamin and mineral deficiency test may help pinpoint the cause of a variety of health issues.
How To Test Your Vitamin And Mineral Levels
Most vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be picked up with a blood test, like:
- a finger-prick blood test using a lancet, you can prick your finger and collect a small blood sample
- a venous blood test if you don’t want to collect your sample, we can arrange a trained nurse to do this for you at a clinic
Recommended Reading: How Many Season Of Blue Bloods Are There
What Happens If There Is A Deficiency
When a lack of micronutrient occurs, depending on which one it is, the patient suffers from a deficiency disease. The effects of these diseases can sometimes be crippling as seen in the cases of Rickets, which is a lack of Vitamin D and Scurvy- a lack of Vitamin C.
Additionally, certain nutrients are required to be present in an expectant mother while a fetus is forming, a lack of which causes serious birth defects. There are many forms of supplements that can be taken to alleviate the symptoms.
Minerals such as folic acid have been used in the prevention of birth defects, in particular, Neural Tube Defect which occurs during the formation of a fetus. According to a study on NCBI consumption of foods rich in folate as well as a dosage of 0.4mg a day of the iron supplement preconception, significantly reduced the occurrence of birth deformities.
Some studies show, however, that these dietary supplements should be taken in measured doses as overconsumption does affect a persons health in the long term. In fact, these studies show that over-consumption of some of these supplements could lead to an increased risk of developing cancer.
Doctor, author and fitness enthusiast, Ahmed Zayed, MD, is a surgery resident with a passion for helping people live a happy healthy life. He is the author of numerous health-related books and contributor to several medicine, health and wellbeing websites.
Nutrients can be separated into two distinct categories:
Blood Test For Minerals And Vitamin Deficiencies
There are many reasons why a blood test for minerals and vitamin deficiencies may be recommended. In cases where a person may be consuming food from a limited number of food groups while avoiding others, it may lead to a nutritional deficiency. There are also cases where a person may have experienced starvation, and a test might be necessary to determine which minerals they might be lacking. Disease such as Celiac disease which is an autoimmune condition also cause malabsorption of nutrients in the small intestines leading to deficiencies and may require a blood test. Patients with Celiac disease have been seen to suffer a lack of vitamins A, B12, B6 and a decrease in zinc as well as a decrease in iron storage according to a study published on NCBI.
Read Also: Surgery To Remove Blood Clot In Leg
Whats In The Fine Print
There is a chance that they may be some hidden fees or other unexpected caveats that you may not notice before you order your vitamin test.
Thankfully, after researching each provider thoroughly, we can confirm that our top at-home vitamin test companies offer free shipping both ways, so there are no extra costs to receive your kit or return your samples.
Better yet, the companies that offer consultations, do so free of charge, with the exception of Personalabs. A telephone consultation with a physician following your results costs $89 and while its probably cheaper than a doctor visit, you can get a free nurse consultation with LetsGetChecked.
A number of vitamin tests require special preparation before taking the test, with most needing you to fast for a certain amount of time before collecting your samples, so you get an accurate reading of your current levels.
Measuring levels of certain hormones may require additional preparation, for example in the case of a vitamin C test, you will need to refrain from consuming fruits and alcohol for 24 hours before taking the test.
How To Get Vitamin Deficiency Tests
The best way to get a vitamin deficiency test done is to order a complete vitamin profile kit online. You can order through MyDiagnostics at the discounted price of INR 2600 and get all instructions to collect samples within the kit.
You can also chat with us on WhatsApp to speak to us about any doubts. You will also get results directly via email within 48 hours, with complete analysis and details. The vitamin deficiency test kit is available across the country for individuals of all ages that want to measure their levels.
- A comprehensive vitamin panel is tested to detect a deficiency or overabundance of vitamins required by your body to eliminate health risks, build immunity, and maintain bone health.
- Range of vitamins like all play important nutrients and testing their levels is highly recommended to get rid of symptoms related to deficiencies from everyday life.
- Those experiencing symptoms of vitamin deficiency like hair loss, bleeding gums, brittle hair and nails, red or white bumps on the skin, slow wound healing, irregular heartbeat, poor night vision, and fatigue.
- Maintaining Essential vitamin levels during pregnancy can reduce the risk of birth defects.
- Knowing your numbers can help you manage a deficiency with the help of diet or supplements as recommended by your doctor.
- Fasting before vitamin testing is required.
- Do not consume alcoholic beverages before the test.
Don’t Miss: What Causes Blood Platelets To Be Low
What Is A Vitamin Test
A vitamin test is used to identify vitamin and nutrient deficiencies in a patient, which could be causing or contributing to chronic health issues or conditions. Nutritional imbalances can lead to conditions such as hair loss, fragile nails, white nail spots, insomnia, rashes, feeling unwell and other health problems. Vitamin deficiencies can also lead to more serious health conditions. These can have a drastic effect on your physical and mental well-being. Thatâs why taking a vitamin test regularly, either as part of a yearly checkup, or for particular symptoms is so important.
Who May Need A Vitamin Test
Your physician or nutritionist may order a vitamin test as part of your yearly checkup. Or you could do it yourself. If you feel any of the symptoms, like hair loss, fragile nails, white nail spots, insomnia, rashes, feeling unwell, depression or bleeding gums, then a vitamin test is often the first step to pinpointing the cause. A vitamin test is also an essential tool for anyone undergoing a big change affecting your digestion. For example surgeries on the stomach or digestive system, like gastric bypass. Or dietary changes can all affect your vitamin levels and should be monitored.
Recommended Reading: What Is Mpv On Blood Work
What Are The Consequences Of Vitamin Deficiencies
While the exact health concerns vary by the type of nutritional deficiency you have, the consequences may go beyond feeling fatigued.
For example, an extremely low intake of iron could lead to anemia, and a long-term vitamin D deficiency could impact your bone health and overall inflammation in the body.
Symptoms Of Vitamin And Mineral Deficiencies
As theres such a wide range of vitamins and minerals, the symptoms of a deficiency can vary. Here are some of the most common signs of vitamin and mineral deficiencies outlined below.
Iron is a mineral that your body needs to make red blood cells these carry oxygen around your body. If you dont get enough iron you might:
- get heart palpitations
Blood loss is a cause of iron deficiency so women are more at risk due to periods and pregnancy. If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet you might also be at an increased risk because plant-based sources of iron are harder for your body to absorb.
Vitamin D deficiencyVitamin D is used by every cell in your body and is essential for your bone and muscle health, as well as for supporting your immune system. If you dont get enough vitamin D you might:
- have weak bones putting you at risk of osteoporosis long-term
- have muscle pain
- feel anxious or depressed
You get most of the vitamin D you need from sunlight, but its also found in foods like eggs, oily fish, liver, and dairy although its hard to get enough from diet alone. In the UK, low vitamin D levels are common because you dont get enough sun exposure during winter.
You can prevent or treat a deficiency with our vegan vitamin D supplements.
You can prevent or treat a deficiency with our vegan vitamin B12 supplements.
Also Check: Low Blood Sugar Levels Chart For Adults