At-Home Vitamin D Test
- Also Known As:
- Home 25-Hydroxycholecalciferol Test
- 25(OH)D Home Test
- 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Test
Test Quick Guide
Vitamin D is a substance that is necessary for maintaining your health, especially healthy bones. It helps your body absorb minerals from your diet and maintain appropriate levels of calcium, phosphate, magnesium, and parathyroid hormone in your blood.
Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D can be made in the human body. Exposure to direct sunlight causes the skin to produce vitamin D. Vitamin D can also be taken in supplement form and obtained through the diet in foods like liver and mushrooms. Fortified foods, like vitamin-enriched dairy products, also contain vitamin D.
At-home vitamin D tests measure the level of vitamin D in your blood. Vitamin D blood tests can detect whether your level of vitamin D is too low, within the ideal range, or too high.
While at-home vitamin D testing can provide helpful information, it is not a replacement for working with a doctor to maintain healthy vitamin D levels.
About the Test
Purpose of the test
Vitamin D testing shows whether your vitamin D levels are within a healthy range. Levels of vitamin D that are too low or too high can lead to serious health issues.
Lower than ideal vitamin D levels are common, especially among the elderly, individuals with limited sun exposure, people who are obese, those with darker skin pigmentation, people with kidney or liver diseases, and those who have problems absorbing nutrients because of digestive disorders.
Although rare, vitamin D levels can also be too high, which is called vitamin D toxicity. This can occur from ingesting too many vitamin D supplements or having certain health conditions.
There are several options for testing your blood levels of vitamin D. The following sections provide further information about both at-home and physician-ordered vitamin D tests.
Purpose of an at-home vitamin D test
At-home vitamin D tests enable you to collect a blood sample at home for testing and then mail it to a laboratory for analysis. Test results provide information about whether your vitamin D levels are too low, too high, or in the ideal range determined by the laboratory that analyzes your sample.
There are no expert guidelines for the use of at-home vitamin D tests, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about whether at-home testing is right for you.
Purpose of a physician-ordered vitamin D test
Doctors may order a vitamin D test to detect a vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency. An insufficiency is when vitamin D levels are mildly below the ideal range, and a deficiency involves a more significant reduction in vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D tests can be used for screening, diagnosis, and monitoring:
- Screening: Sometimes doctors order vitamin D tests to screen people who are at a higher than normal risk of an insufficiency or deficiency. Screening can help doctors detect low vitamin D levels before health problems arise.
- Diagnosis: Health care providers may order vitamin D tests when an individual shows symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency. These symptoms can include weakening of the bones, bone pain, bone deformities, and muscle weakness or cramps.
- Monitoring: In patients who have been previously diagnosed with low or high vitamin D levels, health care providers may order vitamin D testing to monitor their response to treatment. This ensures that treatment is appropriate and that vitamin D levels have moved into the ideal range.
More information about the uses of vitamin D testing and when it may be recommended is available in our guide to vitamin D tests.
What does the test measure?
At-home vitamin D tests measure your blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, which is also called 25(OH)D. 25-hydroxyvitamin D is the most plentiful form of vitamin D that circulates in your blood. This measurement is considered the most accurate way to see how much vitamin D is in your body.
Less common types of vitamin D tests are only available through a health care professional. Talk to your doctor for more information about the most appropriate type of vitamin D test for you.
When should I get an at-home vitamin D test?
There are no guidelines for situations in which it’s appropriate to take an at-home vitamin D test. At-home vitamin D testing may be helpful for individuals who are curious about their vitamin D levels, especially if they have risk factors for vitamin D deficiency, and for people who prefer testing from their home.
Some experts recommend against testing for vitamin D levels in patients without symptoms unless they are at an increased risk of a vitamin D deficiency. These experts warn that testing too broadly may result in unnecessary treatment.
If you have symptoms that may be due to a vitamin D deficiency, it’s a good idea to talk to your health care provider about getting tested. You and your health care provider can discuss the benefits of at-home versus physician-ordered testing.
Benefits and Downsides of At-Home Vitamin D Test
There are pros and cons to doing vitamin D testing at home versus in a medical setting.
Benefits of at-home vitamin D testing include:
- Convenience: Using an at-home test, you can take the test at a time that suits you and without having to leave your home.
- No prescription necessary: Doctors may not feel it is medically necessary to order vitamin D testing unless you have symptoms of deficiency. Taking an at-home test may satisfy your curiosity about your vitamin D levels when there isn’t a clear medical reason to test.
- Easy to use: At-home test kits include simple instructions and pre-printed return packaging that makes the process of home testing easy.
- Transparent pricing: The cost of an at-home vitamin D test is clear, reducing the chances of unexpected lab or blood draw fees.
Drawbacks to at-home vitamin D testing include:
- Results that lack context: It can be hard to understand the significance of your test results without a health professional to guide you. For instance, some at-home tests may not distinguish between results indicating a less than ideal level of vitamin D versus a vitamin D deficiency.
- Not covered by insurance: Typically, people must pay out-of-pocket for at-home vitamin D tests.
- Need for follow-up testing: Abnormal vitamin D test results will likely need to be verified by testing in a medical setting.
- Not available everywhere: State regulations may restrict the use of at-home vitamin D tests in certain areas.
Types of At-Home Vitamin D Tests
There are several at-home vitamin D testing options to pick from. All of them require at-home specimen collection using a finger prick. Your sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis.
The best test for you depends on several factors such as what you’d like to spend, if you’re looking to test other substances along with vitamin D, whether you’d like to track your vitamin D levels over time, and if you’re looking to formulate a personalized wellness plan in conjunction with your test results.
In the following sections, you can find information about several at-home vitamin D tests that are currently available.
LetsGetChecked – Vitamin D Test
Price: $89 (Get 30% off with your exclusive Testing.com discount code. Use code TESTING30 at checkout.)
Tests for: Vitamin D
Results timeline: Within 2 to 5 days
Our choice for the best overall at-home vitamin D test is the Vitamin D Test from LetsGetChecked. This test combines a reasonable price and a quick turnaround on results.
After you order the Vitamin D Test online, it will be delivered directly to your home in discreet packaging. The test kit contains all of the supplies necessary to collect, package, and send your sample to one of the company’s CLIA-certified, College of American Pathologists-accredited laboratories, recognized for their high standards in laboratory testing.
In addition to detailed instructions that are included in the test kit, LetsGetChecked offers a video on their website to walk you through the blood collection process that involves a simple finger prick blood sample. Further support is available by phone from a nursing team that is available day or night.
Once your blood sample reaches the lab, test results become available within 2-5 days. You can view and download your results through your secure online account, making it easy to find and share them with your doctor.
If you are interested in a more comprehensive vitamin test, you may want to consider the Essential Vitamin Test from LetsGetChecked. Available for $109, this test measures vitamin D as well as vitamin B12 and vitamin E.
Best for Vitamin D & C-reactive protein
Everlywell – Vitamin D and Inflammation Test
Tests for: Vitamin D, C-reactive protein
Results timeline: Within a few days
Everlywell’s Vitamin D and Inflammation Test is our selection for the best vitamin D test that includes a measurement of C-reactive protein, a protein that has been associated with inflammation.
The Vitamin D and Inflammation Test includes all of the materials needed to collect a small sample of blood from a simple fingerstick.
Once your test kit arrives, review all of the included instructions on how to collect, prepare, and package your test sample for shipping.
Return your test sample to Everlywell using the prepaid shipping label. You’ll be notified when your results are available, which is generally within a few days. In your online account, you’ll find digital and printable results that describe whether the level of vitamin D and C-reactive protein in your blood is low, normal, or high compared to established reference ranges.
It’s common to have questions about your test results and what they mean for your health. Fortunately, Everlywell includes access to a group webinar with your order. The webinar, which is run by a health professional, provides the opportunity to address your questions and concerns. Everlywell’s website also offers dietary and lifestyle recommendations to improve your vitamin D levels and provide topics to be discussed with your health care provider.
Clearest Test Results
imaware – Vitamin D Monitoring Test
Tests for: Vitamin D
Results timeline: WIthin 7 business days
The Vitamin D Monitoring Test from imaware is our pick for clearest at-home vitamin D test results. Along with your level of vitamin D, your test results include information about how to discuss a treatment plan with your health care professional and track your vitamin D levels over time.
Order your Vitamin D Monitoring Test online, and one of imaware’s team of physicians will provide a test order, which is available in every state at no extra charge. After your test kit arrives, start by registering it on the imaware website to link your test kit with your secure online account.
To collect your blood sample, wash your hands and prepare your fingertip according to instructions in the test kit. Prick your finger with the lancet and place a few drops of blood in the collection device. Repackage the collection device and use the prepaid shipping label to mail your sample on the same day it was collected to a CLIA-certified, College of American Pathologists-accredited laboratory.
Results of the Vitamin D Monitoring Test are available through the company’s secure online portal within seven business days. Results are reviewed by one of imaware’s physicians to determine if further follow-up is required. Imaware also accepts FSA and HSA cards for easy payment.
Best for Personalized Results
Thorne – Vitamin D Test
Tests for: Vitamin D
Results timeline: Within 8 to 10 business days
We’ve chosen the Vitamin D Test from Thorne as the best at-home vitamin D test for personalized results due to its sleek design and inclusion of a personalized health plan with your test result. Thorne’s Onegevity Health Intelligence platform generates your personalized health plan, which includes diet, activity, and supplement recommendations that you can review with your doctor.
Before starting this test, activate your test kit using the activation code on the back of your test box. Read the instructional booklet to get an overview of when and how to collect your sample. In addition to the instructions, your test kit will include a return envelope and label, a plastic box, alcohol prep pads, a blood collection card, several pieces of gauze, and two lancets.
Within one hour of waking, wash and clean your hands before selecting your middle or ring finger to use for sample collection. Twist the cap off the lancet and press it against your fingertip until you hear a click. Wipe away the first blood drop with a piece of gauze and, as additional drops of blood form, touch them to the circles contained on the blood collection card—one drop per circle.
After filling at least six circles on the collection card, allow it to dry for half an hour. Once the collection card is dry, place it in the plastic box and package it in the return envelope for shipping. Test results and your comprehensive improvement plan are reviewed by a board-certified physician and are typically available on your online Thorne dashboard within 8-10 business days from when you return your kit.
If you’re interested in testing your vitamin D levels regularly, you may want to sign up for Thorne’s monthly, quarterly, or annual testing subscription service.
empowerDX – Vitamin D Test
Tests for: Vitamin D
Results timeline: Within 1 to 2 days
If you’re looking for the most affordable option for at-home vitamin D testing, we recommend the Vitamin D Test from empowerDX.
Place your order for the Vitamin D Test on the empowerDX website, and the company will deliver your test kit within five business days. In addition to all of the supplies needed to collect a small blood sample, empowerDX includes an overnight return label to make sure that your sample is analyzed as quickly as possible after collection.
Using the provided lancet, collect your blood sample and return it to one of empowerDX’s CLIA-certified clinical laboratories. The lab will use a test method called antibody-based chemiluminescence to check if your vitamin D level is within a healthy range for adults.
Within 48 hours after the laboratory receives your test sample, they will notify you via email that your result is ready. Use your secure online portal to view, download, or print your test results, which you can share with your health care provider. If there’s a problem with your test and it needs to be retaken, empowerDX will send you a new test for no extra charge.
Interpreting At-Home Vitamin D Test Results
After taking an at-home vitamin D test, your test report typically includes information about your level of vitamin D and the reference range used to interpret your result. The reference range shows the vitamin D levels that are considered ideal along with the levels that could indicate a health issue.
Reference ranges often vary by laboratory due to differences in testing methods. Additionally, there is some variation among expert opinions about what different levels of vitamin D mean about your health.
Test results may distinguish between vitamin D amounts that are only slightly outside of the ideal range, called an insufficiency, and those that may cause more serious problems, called a deficiency. Results may also indicate a sufficient level of vitamin D or an elevated level that indicates a risk of toxicity due to ingestion of large doses of vitamin D supplements.
It is important to speak with your health care provider about your at-home vitamin D test results. If your vitamin D level comes back as too high or too low, you may need to work with a health care professional to bring your level back into the normal range.
Are test results accurate?
There is little information available about the accuracy of at-home vitamin D testing.
Some at-home tests may not make a clear distinction between a vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency. If you’re planning to use an at-home vitamin D test, it’s important to talk with a doctor for support in understanding the meaning of your test results.
Do I need follow-up tests?
If your at-home vitamin D blood test returns an abnormal result, your health care provider may ask you to repeat the test in a laboratory.
Your health care provider may order additional tests depending on whether you are experiencing symptoms, the results of a physical examination, and your vitamin D level as determined by a certified laboratory.
Questions for your doctor after at-home vitamin D testing
The following questions may be helpful when reviewing your at-home vitamin D test results with your doctor:
- What does my at-home test result mean about my health?
- Should vitamin D testing be repeated in a medical setting?
- What kind of medical problems may be associated with my vitamin D level?
- Is treatment necessary to restore my vitamin D to a normal level?
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