Are There At-Home Tests for Vitamin Deficiency?
Your body needs 13 essential vitamins found in food to maintain overall health. If you are deficient in any of them, you can suffer from symptoms such as fatigue, dry skin, depression, and more. Fortunately, there are at-home tests to check for vitamin deficiencies.
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Testing For Vitamin Deficiency
Doctors are able to diagnose vitamin deficiency through blood tests. These tests allow doctors to check the number and health of your red blood cells. Getting tested for vitamin deficiency consists of 4 easy steps:
- Schedule a blood test
- A trained professional will collect a blood sample from your arm
- The blood test is sent to a lab for processing
- Review your results
Doctors are able to identify advanced deficiency by reviewing your white blood cell and platelets count results from the blood test. They will also be able to see the amount of folate, vitamin C, and vitamin B-12 in your blood, as these deficiencies will trigger similar symptoms.
If your doctor identifies a vitamin deficiency, they may perform additional blood tests to determine the exact type of deficiency. Such tests include an antibodies test or a methylmalonic acid test.
At-Home Tests For Vitamin Deficiency
An easier option is to purchase at-home vitamin deficiency tests. Some popular at-home tests include Everlywell, LetsGetChecked Micronutrient Test, and LetsGetChecked Essential Vitamin Test.
For $99 you can obtain the Everlywell Vitamin D and Inflammation Test, which measures both the 25-OH D and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) levels in your body. The results will indicate how much vitamin D is in your blood and the amount of inflammation in your body.
The test will include everything necessary for a finger-prick blood sample, and it comes with a prepaid shipping so that you can return your sample. After the sample arrives back at the lab, physicians will review the results. On average, it will take five days to obtain the final results from your at-home test. The final results will come with a report so you can make diet adjustments, and you will also have an option to listen to a webinar led by a medical provider.
LetsGetChecked Micronutrient Test
This test costs about $200 and also includes a finger-prick test for at-home testing. After you receive your test kit, you have to register it online and follow the instructions listed in order to properly collect and return the sample for testing.
Once the lab receives and processes the test, results will typically be returned in a few days. This test can check for various deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, including copper, vitamin D, zinc, vitamin E, vitamin B-12, magnesium, and selenium.
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LetsGetChecked Essential Vitamin Test
This is a less comprehensive test that checks the blood for three vitamin deficiencies: vitamin D, vitamin B-12, and vitamin E. Similarly to the LetsGetChecked Micronutrient test, after you receive the finger prick test via mail, register it on the website and follow the instructions.
Once the results are mailed in, a team of doctors will go over the test and send lab results within a few days. These tests can be ordered on the LetsGetChecked website for about $110.
When To Be Concerned About Vitamin Deficiency
There are several signs that may indicate that you are suffering from a vitamin deficiency. Some more severe symptoms include:
- Severe hair loss
- Burning sensations in the feet or tongue
- Wounds heal slowly
- Pain in the bones
- Irregular heartbeat
If you are experiencing symptoms such as these, it may be time to have your vitamin levels checked.
Vitamin Deficiency Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Understanding when you are suffering from a vitamin deficiency and how to address the issue can be a lot to comprehend. To better understand vitamin deficiency, check out some of these commonly asked questions and answers below.
What are the signs of a vitamin deficiency?
Several indicators may show you are suffering from a vitamin deficiency. Common signs include:
- Brittle hair and nails
- Bleeding gums
- Mouth ulcers or cracks near the mouth
- Poor night vision
- Hair loss
- Scaly patches
- Restless leg syndrome
- Red or white bumps on the skin
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How do you treat a vitamin deficiency?
The treatment plan to correct a vitamin deficiency will vary from person to person. However, you typically will need to alter your diet to eat more foods rich in vitamins you are lacking. Your doctor may also recommend incorporating vitamin supplements into your daily routine. These may be taken as oral supplements or as injections.
How long does it take to fix a vitamin deficiency?
The length of time it will take to correct a vitamin deficiency will also vary from person to person. On average, it takes anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months to fully resolve most vitamin deficiencies.
Vitamin deficiencies can be detrimental to normal bodily functions. However, in order to address a deficiency, you will need a lab test. Vitamin deficiencies are typically performed via a blood test at doctors’ offices or finger-prick samples at home.
By signing up for Mira today, you receive access to low cost lab tests with your membership. For $25 per month, Mira offers affordable urgent care visits and up to 80% off prescriptions. Sign up for Mira today.
Madeline is a Senior at UCLA majoring in Human Biology & Society with a minor in Spanish. She's currently a Healthcare Research Analyst at Mira, writing content for the blog to help the public better understand certain medical issues, technologies, testings, and the importance of healthcare.