The World Health Organization (WHO) states that a healthy diet is “essential” for good health and proper nutrition. Yet, busy schedules and confusion caused by fad diets make it challenging to know if you get the specific nutrients essential to a healthy diet. The nutrients that help maintain a healthy mind and body include micronutrients known as vitamins. Several of these, known as essential vitamins, must be maintained at adequate levels to sustain normal body functioning. Speedy Sticks mobile phlebotomists can now check your vitamin levels with a simple vitamin blood test known as a vitamin panel.
The Role Of Vitamins In Your Health
Vitamins are critical to every aspect of your physical, mental, and emotional health. Many diseases stem from a lack of one or more of these natural substances produced by plants or animals. You need vitamins to maintain:
What Causes Vitamin Deficiencies?
A diet consisting of a variety of foods typically provides enough vitamins to stay healthy and live an active lifestyle. However, deficiencies can occur for several reasons, including:
- Poor nutrient absorption due to certain medical conditions such as Crohn’s or Celiac Disease.
- Inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables.
- Inadequately planned vegetarian or vegan eating plan.
- Excessively drinking alcohol.
- Certain medications.
- Insufficient sun exposure.
- Chronic diarrhea.
What Symptoms Can Vitamin Deficiency Cause?
Most symptoms from a vitamin deficiency occur after several months of low vitamin levels. These symptoms can include:
What Is A Vitamin Panel?
A vitamin panel is a simple blood test that measures the level of several vitamins, including:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin A and Beta Carotene
- Vitamin E
- Vitamins B1 and B6
- Vitamin B12 and Folate
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
Reasons To Get A Vitamin Panel Blood Test
You may want a vitamin blood test for several reasons, including:
- Disease prevention. You can lower your risk of some medical conditions, such as heart disease and osteoporosis, by keeping your Vitamin D levels within a normal range.
- To rule out certain diseases. The diagnosis of some diseases, such as pernicious anemia, is aided by a vitamin panel.
- To evaluate your diet. A vitamin panel can help you choose the foods that give you an ample supply of vitamins. This is especially true for vegans and vegetarians who require Vitamin B12 supplements. It has also been shown that older adults are prone to B12 deficiency and should check their levels regularly.
Normal Vitamin Panel Test Results
Some of the common vitamins tested have the following normal ranges**:
- Vitamin D: A level of 20-50 ng/mL is generally considered normal. However, higher levels such as 30-60 are recommended by some experts.
- Vitamin B12: 165-1600 pg/mL
- Vitamin B9 (Folate): 2.7-17.0 ng/mL
- Vitamin A: 20-60 mcg/dL
- Vitamin B1: 2.5-7.5 mg/dL
- Vitamin B6: Pyridoxal 5-Phosphate, 5-50 mcg/L and Pyridoxic Acid 3-30 mcg/L
- Vitamin C: 0.4-2.0 mg/dL
- Vitamin E: Below age 18, 3.8-18.4 mg/L and above age 18, 5.5-17.0 mg/L
How To Prepare For The Test
We may ask you to fast (no food or drink other than water) for 12 hours before your appointment. You may also need to stop taking supplements for up to 72 hours prior to your appointment. Please inform us as early as possible of any medications or supplements you currently take.
What Else Do I Need To Know?
*This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant to replace consulting with a healthcare professional. Please consult with your primary care physician or healthcare provider before engaging in any services offered by Speedy Sticks.
**These are approximations, and experts disagree on some values. Consult your healthcare provider for recommendations suitable for you. It is also important to ensure the levels are given in the same measurements, such as mg/dL, etc.