Vitamin D, typically known as the sunshine vitamin, is essential for maintaining strong bones, boosting your immune system, and reducing depression. If you feel that you are at risk of experiencing soft or weak bones symptoms, a vitamin D test may help assess a treatment regimen. A vitamin D test will likely cost you between $15 and $263.
If you do not have health insurance but want access to these Vitamin D tests at a relatively affordable price, Mira may be the right option for you. Mira enables all individuals to access urgent care visits, lab testings, and up to 80% off prescriptions at just $45 per month.
How Much a Vitamin D Test Costs without Insurance
On average, a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test without health insurance costs anywhere from $15 to $263, with a national average of $132 for the 25-hydroxyvitamin D test. Vitamin D, 1,23-dihydroxy tests cost anywhere from $75 to $499 for those who do not have health insurance.
The costs of vitamin D tests vary based on location, facility, and the type of vitamin D test.
The Cost of a Vitamin D Test at Different Labs
|My Lab Box||$89|
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The Importance of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for the body. Below we explain the importance of being sufficient in Vitamin D.
What Vitamin D is
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be generated by the body when you are exposed to ultraviolet rays (the sun) and can also be obtained in supplements and foods you consume. Vitamin D has various functions, including helping keep blood calcium and phosphorus levels in check and calcium absorption. Lastly, vitamin D plays a key role in regulating your nervous, muscle, and immune systems.
How a Vitamin D Deficiency Affects the Body
Because vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, an element necessary to keep your muscles and bones strong, your body will not be able to maintain these functions if you do not have enough vitamin D. Because of this, a lack of vitamin D can lead to a loss of bone density, which has the potential to cause frequent fractures in bones, as well as osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become brittle and weak.
A more severe level of vitamin D deficiency can also promote other diseases. For example, a lack of vitamin D in children can also lead to rickets, a rare disease that can cause bones to become soft. Additionally, a vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteomalacia, a disease that triggers weak bones, muscle fatigue, and bone pain in adults.
Studies have also shown that there may be a connection between individuals with a vitamin D deficiency and higher levels of depression. Researchers say that this may indicate how vitamin D helps maintain healthy brain functions. These lower vitamin D levels in an individual experiencing depression can be due to a lack of time outdoors or difficulties with consuming certain foods.
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When to Get a Vitamin D Test
Your healthcare provider may suggest a vitamin D test if you have symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. These common symptoms include bone weakness, bone softness, and frequent fractures. Additionally, your provider may recommend a vitamin D test if you risk having a vitamin D deficiency. Risk factors include osteoporosis, not being able to absorb fat in your diet, having previous gastric bypass surgery, older age, obesity, lack of sunlight exposure, and having a dark complexion.
Some individuals may also want to seek out a vitamin D test during the winter months. Because vitamin D can be generated with sunlight, individuals who are not getting enough vitamin D in the winter may suffer from the seasonal affective disorder (SAD). By understanding that if their vitamin D levels are low, individuals will implement changes by installing a natural light lamp to help combat both SAD and vitamin D deficiency.
Recommended Vitamin D Intake by Age
|Infants< 1 year||400-1000|
|Children> 1 year||600-1000|
|Adults 19-70 years||1500-2000|
|Adults> 70 years||1500-2000*|
*Obese adults with BMI> 30 require 2-3 times more vitamin D to satisfy their requirement
What a Vitamin D Test Provides
A vitamin D test will ultimately be a good indicator of whether or not you have a vitamin D deficiency. From here, you and your healthcare provider can concoct a treatment plan to improve these levels— whether that be through taking supplements, making dietary changes, or getting outdoors more often. Take a look at this graphic below, which details the average amount of vitamin D levels individuals should be consuming.
Vitamin D Tests Available
There are two different forms of vitamin D tests available: 25-hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D. 25-hydroxyvitamin D is an inactive precursor to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, and it is the most common vitamin D test. This is because it is the major form found in the blood, has a long half-life, and is found in a higher concentration than 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D. Its counterpart, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, is an active hormone that is converted from vitamin D2 and D3 by the liver and kidney.
A 25-hydroxyvitamin D test should be used when an individual has vitamin D deficiency symptoms, such as rickets, bone softness, or fractures. Thus, this test is valuable in identifying a deficiency in vitamin D within an individual. On the other hand, a 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D test should be ordered when an individual has kidney disease or shows signs of enzyme abnormalities that make 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D. This test is used more rarely. Take a look at the graphic below for a deeper understanding of how 25-hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D operate together.
Vitamin D Tests Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
To better understand vitamin D tests and how you can properly maintain your vitamin D levels, check out some of these commonly asked questions below:
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How can I get more vitamin D?
You can obtain vitamin D from some foods that have naturally occurring vitamin D, such as salmon, beef liver, mushrooms, and cheese. Other fortified foods with vitamin D are milk, orange juice, yogurts, and breakfast cereals. Vitamin D is also found in various multivitamins, and there are several different forms of specific vitamin D supplements.
Where should I get a vitamin D test?
When deciding where to get a vitamin D test, it will depend on whether or not your doctor referred you to a specific facility, location, and how much you would be willing to spend for the test. Various testing locations include Quest diagnostics and other health testing locations.
How does a vitamin D test work?
To test for vitamin D, you will need to fast for four to eight hours beforehand. Then at the testing center, a healthcare professional will take a sample of blood from your arm by inserting a small needle into a vein in the arm. This should only take about five minutes, and blood tests pose very few risks. From here, you will view your results and see whether or not you are vitamin D deficient.
Can I have too much vitamin D?
Although rare, too much vitamin D (commonly referred to as vitamin D toxicity) can present some harm to the body. Signs of vitamin D toxicity are nausea, confusion, constipation, weakness, and weight loss. Additionally, severe overloading of vitamin D can damage the kidneys. Typically, these symptoms and vitamin D toxicity in general only occur when an individual has excessive use of vitamin D supplements.
Vitamin D plays a big role in maintaining one’s health, as it dictates the strength of our bones, muscles and helps reduce the likelihood of depression. If you are at risk of having a vitamin D deficiency, such as through having osteoporosis, it may be beneficial to seek a vitamin D test so that you and your healthcare provider can devise effective treatment plans.
While vitamin D tests can be expensive without health insurance, Mira members can access vitamin D tests for just $35. Sign up today for just $45 per month and get discounted prescriptions, low-cost lab testing, and affordable urgent care visits.
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.