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Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients that provide support for many crucial functions throughout the body. If a person has concerns over their vitamin and mineral levels, they can use an at-home test to check for deficiencies.
This article looks at vitamin deficiency, some at-home vitamin deficiency tests to consider, and when a person might benefit from talking with a doctor or qualified healthcare professional.
Although the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 indicate that a person should meet their vitamin and mineral needs through their diet, sometimes they may need a multivitamin to supplement their intake.
When nutritional deficiencies occur, the body may produce signs and symptoms, some of which can go unnoticed. Though an at-home test should not act as a substitute for a doctor or nutritionist’s advice, they may indicate missing nutrients in a person’s diet.
Signs of a vitamin deficiency can vary from person to person. They can also vary depending on the vitamin or mineral in which a person is deficient.
Vitamin C deficiency
If a person’s vitamin C intake falls below
- gum inflammation
- weakened connective tissues
- joint pain
- poor wound healing
- areas of skin discoloration
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help prevent a vitamin C deficiency.
Iron deficiency may not cause any
Heavy menstruation and pregnancy can put a person at a
Higher risk groups
- undernourished people
- older adults
- people who are pregnant
- young children
A person interested in seeing if they may have a vitamin deficiency can purchase a home-testing kit to check for possible deficiencies.
At-home tests offer convenience, confidential results, and ease of use. However, as with most at-home tests, the main drawback is that a person will still usually need to contact their doctor if their test results show a deficiency. They may also need to visit their doctor if they have symptoms, but the test comes back negative.
An at-home test can sometimes be expensive, depending on the brand. An individual may sometimes find it more cost-effective to go directly through a lab, which sometimes bills their insurance provider directly.
The following are some of the best at-home tests from which a person may choose.
Please note that no one at Medical News Today, including the writer, has tested these products. All information is research-based.
The LetsGetChecked micronutrient test is a finger prick test that a person can administer at home.
The test can check for deficiencies in several vitamins and minerals, including:
When a person gets their test kit, they should register it online and then follow instructions on collecting a sample and returning it for testing. Once the lab receives the test, they will provide results within a few days.
Individuals can order this test for around $200 from the LetsGetChecked website.
Everlywell offers a test that looks for vitamin D levels and a measure of c-reactive protein (CRP), called hs-CRP. The liver makes CRP when there is inflammation in the body.
This finger prick test allows a person to easily collect their sample and send it off to a lab for testing. Independent, board-certified doctors will review the results and explain them in easy-to-understand terms. The company then sends the results to a person’s online account, which they access via a secure login.
The test costs around $100, but if a person becomes an Everlywell member, the price lowers to around $25.
LetsGetChecked offers a less extensive test for vitamin deficiencies with their Essential Vitamin Test. The test checks the blood for deficiencies of three vitamins, including:
- vitamin D
- vitamin B12
- vitamin E
Once a person receives the test, they should register it on the LetsGetChecked website and follow all instructions. The home test involves a finger-prick blood sample collection that an individual will send to a lab the same day. Once received, the company’s team of doctors will review the test, and the lab will send results to the person within a few days.
Individuals can order the test from the LetsGetChecked website for around $110.
Like medications, vitamins can sometimes cause adverse reactions. Iron toxicity is one of the more common toxicities that occur from minerals. It can happen due to accidental or intentional overdose and is one of the
In other cases, a person may have an allergy to an active or inactive ingredient that a vitamin or mineral supplement contains. Always read the ingredients listed on the box or in the information insert to ensure the supplement does not contain any ingredients that may cause an allergic or another undesirable reaction.
Regardless of the results of an at-home vitamin deficiency test, a person should consult their doctor. If their results are positive, the doctor will likely double-check them, run other appropriate tests, and help diagnose any underlying cause of the deficiency before setting out a treatment plan.
If an individual’s results are negative, but they are still experiencing symptoms, a doctor may carry out further tests to diagnose any underlying conditions.
A person should not attempt to treat a vitamin or mineral deficiency without first discussing it with a doctor.
At-home vitamin deficiency tests can determine whether a person has a vitamin deficiency. The tests may also identify which vitamin and minerals a person lacks.
At-home tests are generally convenient and private, but they can be expensive.
Regardless of the test result, but especially if positive, a person should follow up an at-home test with a doctor’s consultation. The doctor can check for possible underlying conditions, carry out further tests if needed, and offer appropriate treatment.