Vitamin D is an essential compound for the well-being of the bones. Without vitamin D, calcium absorption is not very effective, which can lead to various bone disorders. When a doctor prescribes a vitamin D profile test, it is because they suspect that the person is showing symptoms related to bone disorders. With the panel test result, the prognosis becomes easy.
Bones provide structural support to a person. Healthy and strong bones help kids grow into strong individuals able to go through the stress offered by life. Unlike other vitamins that are to be taken as supplements or part of the diet, vitamin D can be synthesized within the body with the help of UV-B rays.
When a person suffers from abnormal vitamin D levels, it is because either the body is not receiving enough sunlight for vitamin D synthesis or there is an overdose of vitamin D. When the body suffers from vitamin D deficiency, it is known as hypovitaminosis D. When there is an overdose of vitamin D toxicity, it is known as hypervitaminosis D. The latter is a rare condition but does have serious complications.
Symptoms of hypovitaminosis D are:
Symptoms of hypervitaminosis D are:
The vitamin D test measures the levels of two subclasses of vitamin D in the body—vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Whether it is through food or through sunlight (in case of vitamin D3), the intake and synthesis of vitamin D occur. Vitamin D plays an important role in helping the bones absorb calcium and also strengthens the teeth. Studies have also shown that vitamin D helps provide protection against various diseases, like type I diabetes.
When the body gets too little or too much vitamin D, it can become susceptible to diseases. Often vitamin D profile tests are done to check for these specific diseases associated with abnormal vitamin D levels.
The testing for vitamin D profiling requires blood to be drawn from the veins. In the hands of expert phlebotomists, this process is fast and almost painless. Some might feel the slight prick of the insertion of the needle and some might feel an irritation around the area where the needle puncture was made. These are minor inconveniences and pose no serious risks or side effects.
Sometimes, the person can feel nauseous or light-headed after blood is drawn. They can also faint or see slight bruising around the area from where the blood was drawn. This can be due to weakness caused by lowering of the amount of blood. Rest often helps with recovery.
The vitamin D profile test includes the following:
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While sunlight remains the best source for getting vitamin D, especially vitamin D3, ingesting foods like cod liver oil, milk, egg yolk, seafood, and beef liver are great ways to get vitamin D into the body.
Yes, seasons can affect the amount of vitamin D intake. Variations occur due to the sunlight strength. Region and skin color also affect the level of vitamin D to be found in the blood.
Vitamin D toxicity is usually due to a build-up of the said vitamin in the body. While an overdose of vitamin tablets can lead to this condition, sometimes other medications like thiazide diuretics or digoxin can also lead to an elevated level. Treatment requires cutting off or lowering the dosages. This has to be done only after consultation with doctors.
When the person suffers from vitamin D deficiency, it can indicate:
When the person suffers from vitamin D toxicity, it can indicate:
When vitamin D metabolites enter the body, they are converted to 25 hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D in the liver. This level of transformed vitamin D to serum 25(OH)D helps the body to absorb and utilize the vitamin D complex.
When a person has no liver conditions and gets enough vitamin D through sunlight and diet, he/she will have a normal level of vitamin D. The levels are measured in nanograms per milliliter or ng/mL. The levels, along with indications, are:
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