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Why and when you should get tested for Vitamin D?

Vitamin D plays a huge role in helping your body absorb calcium and phosphorus from your daily diet. Hence, Vitamin D is an essential component to ensure proper development and functioning of your bones and teeth. Vitamin D is found in two forms, namely, vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Vitamin D2 is dominantly found in plant-based foods and Vitamin D3 is produced by your body itself when exposed to sunlight. Also, some animal-based foods contain Vitamin D3. Studies show that around 70-90% of the healthy Indian population is vitamin D deficient.

When should you go in for a Vitamin D Test?

  1. Problems in your bones-
    Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium, which plays an important role in maintaining your bone health. Therefore, if you are experiencing symptoms like pain in the bones or weak and fragile bones, you should go in for a Vitamin D Test.
  2. Presence of any disease that reduces the body’s ability to utilise vitamin D-
    Diseases of the liver, kidney, pancreas, thyroid, digestive system, and others may reduce your body’s ability to use Vitamin D.
  3. Elder Age-
    Elderly people need to get their vitamin D level tested, because with age they become more in the habit of staying indoors. So, their skin may fail to make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight as efficiently when young.
  4. Obesity
    If you are suffering from obesity, your body fat binds to available vitamin D and prevents it from getting into the blood, exposing your body to the risk of Vitamin-D deficiency.
  1. Limited exposure to sunlight-
    If you are housebound or have an occupation with limited sun exposure like, if working in corporates, hospitals, etc., you may be at a risk of Vitamin D deficiency.
  2. Weight-loss surgeries-
    Weight loss surgeries reduce the size of your stomach, making it difficult for your body to absorb a sufficient amount of vitamin D. So, if you have undergone a weight loss surgery, you should get tested for Vitamin D.
  3. Specific medications-
    If you are taking medicines like antifungal, antiviral, or anti-cholesterol drugs, it can affect your Vitamin D metabolism.
  4. Breastfeeding babies-
    Breastmilk is deficient in Vitamin D. Hence, breastfeeding babies are recommended to be given vitamin D supplements. If not, you get them tested for Vitamin D to test for deficiency.
  5. Dark skin-
    If you have dark skin, you have a large amount of pigment melanin in your skin which reduces your skin’s ability to produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.
  6. Symptoms-
    You should go in for a Vitamin D test if you are experiencing symptoms like frequent nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, and weakness, it may be due to excess vitamin D in your body.

If you need to get a Vitamin D test done as soon as possible, you can step into your nearest Diagnostic Centre in Howrah.

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