How Much Does a Vitamin D Test Cost?
Next Health Staff | | 0 comments
More and more people these days are taking their health into their own hands, now much more likely to monitor their nutrient levels so they can pursue wellness much more effectively and proactively than before.
This is a great thing for many! But it also means that you need to learn how much various tests cost.
Among one of the most important of these are vitamin D tests. Vitamin D is a crucial compound for our overall bodily health. But it’s also one that over half of the American population is deficient. We simply spend too much time indoors compared to how we naturally produced vitamin D through sun exposure decades ago.
Therefore, you might be interested in signing up for a vitamin D test so you can determine whether you need to take a vitamin D supplement or get more sunshine. Not sure how much a vitamin D test costs? Let’s answer this question and more in our detailed breakdown.
Vitamin D: An Overview
Vitamin D is one of the most essential vitamins for your body. It plays a key role in many bodily functions, but its primary benefit is the regulation of phosphate and calcium throughout your body. Specifically, it ensures that certain bodily systems and tissues, like your bones and teeth, have enough calcium in order to rebuild themselves from daily wear and tear and to grow if they aren't at their adult sizes.
Vitamin D is sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin” because our bodies can create it naturally, meaning we don’t necessarily need to ingest all of our vitamin D from food sources. When ultraviolet light strikes our skin, it triggers vitamin D synthesis. In earlier times, humans got plenty of vitamin D from a combination of sunlight exposure and diet.
These days, many of us spend much of our time indoors. We don’t expose our bare skin to sunlight nearly as often as our species used to. Over time, this can lead to vitamin D deficiency, which itself can cause a number of worrying health issues.
Why Take a Vitamin D Test?
In most cases, people may take vitamin D tests when they think they are suffering from vitamin D deficiency or if they notice any of its symptoms (more on that below). People might also take vitamin D tests if they want to know if they should increase their daily exposure to sunlight, take a vitamin D oral supplement, or change their diet to include more vitamin D-rich foods.
Others may regularly need vitamin D tests if they have certain conditions and levels of vitamin D are impacted by the kind of treatment they receive on an ongoing basis. For example, those with kidney and liver disease, osteoporosis, and certain types of bone disorders must regularly take vitamin D tests to make sure that their current treatments are working as projected.
Vitamin D tests involve taking a small sample of blood and checking serum vitamin D levels. The blood sample serves as a generalized measurement of vitamin D throughout the body. These tests are usually quite simple and can be performed by licensed clinicians or other diagnostic test providers.
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
Many people experience the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency and worry that they need to take a test in order to get to the root of the problem. Vitamin D deficiency is very common, though a lower level of deficiency is not always enough to severely impact one’s quality of life.
Common symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include:
Frequent illness – Vitamin D does more than keep your bones strong, it also bolsters your immune system, which is responsible for fighting off harmful viruses and bacteria that can cause a number of illnesses. Those who become sick often may have low vitamin D levels as one of many converging factors.
Regular fatigue – Vitamin D deficiency can also cause fatigue or low energy. This fatigue usually occurs during the morning and evening periods of the day, during which time people normally have most of their daily energy.
Bone or back pain – As mentioned, vitamin D plays a big role in calcium absorption throughout your body. If you regularly experience back or bone pain, it may be a sign that your spine or other bones are not absorbing enough calcium and are breaking down over time.
Depression – Those who feel regularly depressed may also be vitamin D deficient. The association isn’t fully understood, but it is known that low vitamin D levels are heavily linked to depression in adults
- Bone loss – Of course, significant bone loss is almost assuredly a sign of low vitamin D levels throughout the body since vitamin D plays such a big role in bone density and bone health.
Note that no single one of these symptoms is necessarily indicative of vitamin D deficiency. But some or all of them together heavily point to low levels of vitamin D being the culprit overall.
If you’re not sure whether you have a vitamin D deficiency, your best course of action is to contact your doctor.
When Should You Get a Vitamin D Test?
Ultimately, the majority of people suffering from minor vitamin D deficiency do not need to get a dedicated vitamin D test. In these cases, they can simply try to go outside more often or take an oral vitamin D supplement. Any issues they experience should clear up quickly.
However, there are times when vitamin D tests are necessary and worthwhile to pursue. These include:
- When you have osteoporosis. Osteoporosis causes your bones to be weaker than normal. Regular vitamin D tests may be normal so your doctor can determine whether your treatment needs to be increased, decreased, or stay the same.
- When you have a disease or condition that changes how well your body can absorb vitamin D. These include celiac disease, kidney disease, and liver disease. Regularly measuring your vitamin D levels is crucial for the same reasons as described above.
However, vitamin D tests, while not particularly expensive, do not need to be taken very frequently. In general, taking a vitamin D test as often as ordered by your doctor or once per year is fine.
Costs of Vitamin D Tests
Fortunately, vitamin D tests are not exorbitantly expensive. You can find regular vitamin D tests for about $50. Furthermore, most people’s health insurance covers vitamin D tests so long as you only have one or two per year, or if they are doctor-mandated.
Complete Vitamin/Hormone Tests
Alternative to asking for testing from a PCP, many people are turning to more in-depth and comprehensive at-home testing kits, like those provided by Next|Health.
We offer a variety of at-home testing kits for micronutrient levels, hormone levels, and other compounds. Some tests can even be used to detect markers of health issues before they become larger problems.
Next|Health’s at-home micronutrient testing kit is significantly more comprehensive than a standard vitamin D test, and can provide you with a wealth of information about your nutritional profile. This information can then be used to pursue wellness across a wide range of goals, therapies, and improvement efforts.
Plus, each test comes with detailed instructions so you can accurately interpret your results. No biology degree needed to know what you need to live your healthiest life. Alternatively, you can visit our clinics in person for a more detailed lab test administered in total comfort.
How much Vitamin D do I need?
Typically, if you go to a doctor, you’ll be told that there’s an “acceptable range” of Vitamin D levels. This can be anywhere from 12.5ng/ml up to 60ng/ml. At Next-Health, our focus, instead, is on finding your optimal Vitamin D levels. Rather than just keeping your levels “good enough,” our hope is to determine the optimal level for your health and keep you there.
As you can see, the cost of taking a vitamin D test is not particularly high. Therefore, you can and should pursue vitamin D testing at least once in a while to make sure that your body has enough for proper bone health and adequate muscle growth. This is especially true if you suffer from osteoporosis or are at risk of osteoporosis and other bone-related health conditions.
However, you might also be interested in more comprehensive vitamin and mineral tests. If that’s the case, be sure to contact Next|Health to get started. At our licensed clinic, our wellness experts will speak with you extensively about your overall health goals and advise you on the best next steps, whether that’s diagnostic testing or proactive treatment based on your goals.
Ready to get started? Click here to explore Next|Health’s At Home Testing Kits and get the insight you need to take your health to the next level.