Vitamin D Deficiency and Tests in India
There have been many articles written in the Indian papers and magazines over the last few years that highlight the epidemic of vitamin D deficiency in India. Vitamin D is naturally produced by the human body on exposure to sunlight. India is a very sunny country and hence one would not expect vitamin D deficiency as a concern. However, the modern indoor lifestyle has led to this epidemic.
LabsAdvisor.com, a company working towards making health diagnostics industry transparent, has written this article to help people understand various aspects of this deficiency and how to get tested. The contents covered in this article include
- What are symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?
- What is the role of vitamin D in human body?
- What are the foods rich in Vitamin D?
- How much exposure is needed to sun for adequate vitamin D production by the body?
- Which test is prescribed for vitamin d levels?
- What is the normal range of vitamin d in the body?
- What is the cost of Vitamin D test in India?
- How can I book my vitamin D test?
- What is the remedy if I am vitamin D deficient?
You can read the below sections independently. If you will like LabsAdvisor.com to book your vitamin d test, please call us on 08882668822 or book online at labsadvisor.com by choosing your location and then making the booking. You can also fill the form given below for a call back. We provide home collection facility at over 200 cities in India.
What are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?
The following symptoms are generally associated if Vitamin D deficiency in the body:
- Pain in muscles
- Bone pain or joint pain
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Mood swings or depression
- Sweating in the head
For many people the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency may not be apparent. However, it is very important to ensure that your body has enough of this vitamin. A deficiency of vitamin D is associated with diseases like arthritis, some forms of cancer, auto immune disease, type 1 diabetes and depression.
If you have one or more of the following characteristics, it is recommended that you get tested
- Little exposure to sunlight: People who follow a sedentary lifestyle and are mostly indoors where you do not get enough sunshine, are more likely to be deficient that those who work outside and exercise regularly.
- Obesity: Fat or obese people are more likely to have vitamin d deficiency as compared to the general population.
- Vegan diet: Most of our body’s requirement of vitamin d should be produced by exposure to sunlight. However, there are certain foods that contain vitamin d. Animal origin foods such as egg yolks and beef contain some amount of vitamin d. Hence, people on vegan diet or vegetarian diet are more likely to have the deficiency.
- Diseases of digestive tract: Diseases like celiac or crohn’s reduce a person’s ability to absorb fat soluble vitamins. If you suffer from any digestive tract disease, you should get tested for vitamin d deficiency.
- People with darker skin: People with darker skin may need more sunshine than people with white skin to produce the same amount of vitamin d.
- Age: As with many other deficiencies, the probability of low vitamin d increases with age.
What is the role of vitamin d in human body?
Vitamin D is required for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in human body. If you each enough calcium and phosphorus (which are required for our bone health), but are deficiency in vitamin d, you may get brittle bones. Other important functions of vitamin d in the body are:
- Vitamin D has been found to reduce blood pressure in hypertensive patients.
- Proper doses of vitamin d are associated with the reduction in risk of heart attacks, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes and certain forms of cancers
- If you are trying to lose weight, this sunshine vitamin supplementation may help you do that.
- Vitamin D also helps to fight depression.
There are many studies now that have brought to attention the benefits of this vitamin. Some doctors recommend that vitamin d should be as part of daily nutritional supplementation. For more information check here.
What are the foods rich in Vitamin D?
The best natural way to get vitamin d is exposure to sunshine. There are some foods like fatty fish (salmon, tuna or mackerel) that are good sources of vitamin D. Additionally, vitamin D can be found in beef liver, cheese and egg yolks.
Those who are deficient in vitamin D will be recommended a dose of cholecalciferol (Vitmain D3) once every few weeks. Cholecalciferol is a form of vitamin d (vitamin d3) which is easily absorbed by the body. One should consult the doctor before starting on any vitamin d supplementation.
How much sunshine needed for adequate vitamin D?
The amount of sun rays exposure needed depends on various factors. The latitude of your place of residence impacts the amount of radiation coming to you. The time of day, cloudiness and colour of the skin are other parameters that impact absorption of sunrays to produce vitamin d. It also depends on how much body is exposed to sun e.g. a person in a swimsuit will absorb more sunshine than a person who is exposing only arms to the sun.
For India, around 20 minutes of exposure of arms and face during mid day for four times a week may be sufficient. A longer exposure during the early morning or early evening may be required. Dark skinned people will not more exposure that fair skinned individuals. It is best to decide this consultation with your doctor. Also, you may want to start with some exposure to sun and then adjust based on how your body responds.
Which test is prescribed for vitamin d levels?
To test the levels of vitamin D when deficiency is suspected, 25 hydroxyvitamin D test is ordered. This is also called vitamin D 25 OH test. If excess of vitamin d is suspected in the body, then 1,25 dihydroxy vitamin D test may be ordered.
What is the normal range of vitamin d in the body?
The range of vitamin D 25 OH is measured in ng/ml or nmol/liter. The following is the interpretation of the result:
- Deficiency of vitamin D: A level of less than 20 ng /ml or 50 nmol/L is considered deficiency
- Insufficient: A range between 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/L) to 29 ng/ml (74 nmol/L) is considered insufficient.
- Sufficient: 75 nmol/L to 250 nmol/L is considered a good number for maximum health benefits.
- Potential Toxicity: If the number is higher than 250 nmol/L, there is a chance that vitamin D can cause toxicity in the body.
What is the cost of Vitamin D test in India?
The cost of vitamin D 25 OH test starts from ₹500 including home collection and goes up to ₹1500 depending on the lab your choose. You can check the cost of vitamin d test and book online, here. Change the location to your city and area, and you will get the available labs.
How can I book my vitamin D test?
You can book your vitamin D test with LabsAdvisor by calling us on 08882668822. Not only will we get you the best quality labs for testing, we will also ensure that you get a discounted rate for your vitamin D testing. You can also drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill up the form at the beginning of this article to get a call back from us. Please visit this page, and change your location to book online.
What is the remedy if I am vitamin D deficient?
If your vitamin d levels are insufficient or deficient, your doctor may start you on vitamin D supplement. If the deficiency is caught early enough, there are no complications and the normal levels can be brought back soon. LabsAdvisor recommends that everyone over the age of 25 should include vitamin D test as part of their annual preventive health check-up. It can save your bones in time. You can consider this package.
Other Guides that you may find useful:
We write many articles to keep our readers updated on the health concerns that they may have. Listed below are some of the other guides, we have:
- Complete MRI Guide for Delhi / NCR
- Liver Function Disorder Symptoms and Testing Guide
- Thyroid Function Guide
- Complete Guide to Thyroid Dysfunction for India
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