If a doctor is trying to diagnose a patient with unusual symptoms, they want to look carefully at everything about the patient. To do this, they need to look closely at everything happening inside the patient's body, including their nutrition and how their body is handling vitamins.
They may question their nutrition patterns, wondering if they get all the needed vitamins to stay healthy and avoid correlated health issues. A vitamin blood test provides a doctor with specific information about vitamins, or lack of them, in the patient's body systems.
Because being vitamin deficient can lead to other significant health problems, people need to check for vitamin deficiencies with blood tests regularly.
Read on to learn more about vitamin deficiencies and how getting information from vitamin blood tests can help to improve your health.
What Is Vitamin Deficiency?
A healthy body has 13 different essential vitamins working to keep it healthy. Each of the vitamins your body takes in has a role in helping to keep your body healthy, functioning, and resisting illness. The vitamins your body needs come from both the food you eat and Earth.
Some of the vitamins you need are in very small quantities, while others you need more significant quantities for your body to stay healthy.
So, a body that is suffering from a vitamin deficiency is missing some of those important nutrients. Because those vitamins have specific roles in the body, depending on what you're missing, your body will start to show signs that you're not getting enough of one or more of those vitamins.
Risk Factors for Vitamin Deficiency?
There can be some serious risk factors associated with vitamin deficiency. Of course, the risk factors will vary depending on which vitamin is deficient.
For example, a person may suffer from anemia. Anemia happens when your body has a deficiency of folate, vitamin B-12, and vitamin C. Your body might become deficient in those vitamins if you aren't eating the right foods, or your body can't absorb and hold those vitamins properly.
Another common vitamin deficiency comes from not getting enough vitamin D. Vitamin D can help prevent getting some cancers, and it also helps maintain strong bones in the body. People who suffer from a vitamin D deficiency can experience a variety of problems. These include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Infections and immune system disorders
- Some types of cancer
- Multiple sclerosis
These are just a few of the risk factors when a person experiences a vitamin deficiency. Many more are possible from the other 13 essential vitamins.
Causes of Vitamin Deficiency
There are a variety of causes that create a vitamin deficiency, depending on the patient and their specific deficiency. By and large, vitamin deficiency comes from the lack of a particular vitamin in the system.
For many people, that is related to nutrition. They are not eating enough of the right foods to get their body the vitamins. Some patients, though, are eating the right foods, and their body is doing something wrong and not taking the vitamins in.
Some diseases also disrupt the body's ability to take in vitamins. For example, those who have diabetes, celiac disease, or Crohn's disease have difficulty with vitamin absorption.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin Deficiency?
Signs of a vitamin deficiency vary like the causes. Depending on the specific vitamin, the symptoms vary If there are concerns about diet or underlying health conditions, the doctor will consider signs of vitamin deficiency. Some of these signs might include:
- Brittle bones
- Hair loss
- Bleeding gums
- Mouth ulcers
- Skin conditions
- Leg cramps
- Weight loss
The tricky thing about a vitamin deficiency is that the symptoms can also be connected to other health conditions, making testing for the specific vitamin deficiency necessary.
Diagnosis of Vitamin Deficiencies
If a doctor suspects an issue with a vitamin deficiency, they will order a vitamin blood test for the specific vitamin in question. The most accurate method to look for a deficiency is to have blood drawn and tested to look for the particular vitamin levels.
Once there are results, the doctor and patient can look closely at what's causing the deficiency and how to treat the underlying cause best or get more of that vitamin in the system.
Lab Tests to Screen, Diagnose, and Monitor Vitamin Deficiency
In addition to the vitamins the body needs, there are several minerals too. Here are some of the specific blood tests you could use to test for a vitamin deficiency:
- Folate, Serum
- Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxyvitamin D (D2, D3), LC/MS/MS (QuestAssureD™)
- Vitamin A (Retinol)
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), LC/MS/MS
- Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
- Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) and Folate Panel, Serum
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Plasma
- Vitamin B3 (Nicotinic acid)
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxal Phosphate )
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
- Vitamin D, 1,25-Dihydroxy, LC/MS/MS
- Vitamin E (Tocopherol)
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy, Total, Immunoassay
- Biotin (Vitamin B7)
- QUESTASSURED 25-HYDROXY; 1,25-DIHYDROXYVITAMIN D
Based on your symptoms and health, the doctor can best decide which specific blood tests to order.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vitamin Deficiency and Lab Testing
You might have some questions related to a potential vitamin deficiency. Let's take a look at some common questions.
How do I know how much of each vitamin I actually need? The USDA provides an online tool that helps you to calculate exactly what your body needs based on your gender, age, body type, and activity level.
What should I do if I am concerned I have a vitamin deficiency? It always makes sense to start the conversation with your primary care doctor. They can look at your overall health to evaluate the possibility of a vitamin deficiency and other related conditions. They can also recommend the necessary blood tests to check your levels of vitamins.
What happens if I have a vitamin deficiency? You and your doctor should evaluate what's causing the deficiency. Is it simply a matter of poor diet? Is there some other underlying health condition contributing to the problem? Once you understand what's causing the deficiency, you can address how to fix it.
Benefits of Vitamin Deficiency Lab Testing with Ulta Lab Tests
Ulta Lab Tests offers highly accurate and reliable tests so you can make informed decisions about your health. Here are a few great things to love about Ulta Lab Tests:
- You'll get secure and confidential results
- You don't need health insurance
- You don't need a physician's referral
- You'll get affordable pricing
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
Order your vitamin lab tests today from Ulta Lab Tests to check for a vitamin deficiency. Your results will be provided to you securely and confidentially online within 24 to 48 hours for most tests.
Blood Tests for Vitamin Deficiencies
Blood tests for vitamin deficiencies are an easy and quick way to find out what's happening with your body so you can go on to address the problem. When you use Ulta Lab Tests, you get the specific tests that help to narrow down exactly where the problem lies.
Take control of your health with Ulta Lab Tests today!