The Role of Nutritional Tests
Testing can help assess your nutritional status so that you can make intentional choices to remedy potential deficiencies in your diet. Tests may be part of a routine health screening or ordered when someone experiences signs and symptoms of malnutrition.
Who should get tested?
It may be difficult to tell if you have a nutritional deficiency without knowing exactly what symptoms to look for. Also, it doesn’t help that symptoms vary widely and some are even mild enough to be easily ignored. Some major signs of a deficiency include:
- Brittle hair and nails
- Mouth ulcers or cracks in the corners of your mouth
- Bleeding gums
- Poor night vision or white growths in your eyes
- Scaly patches on your skin or dandruff
- Hair loss
- Red or white bumps on your skin
- Restless leg syndrome
Even if you are not experiencing any of these symptoms, you may still have a nutritional deficiency. If you are concerned about your nutritional health, getting testing can help alleviate any anxieties you may have. Testing such as a vitamin blood test for vitamin deficiency or a vitamin and mineral deficiency test may help pinpoint the cause of a variety of health issues.
Types of Vitamin and Nutritional Tests
There are many different types of vitamin and nutritional testing available, though most require taking a blood sample. Here are some of the more common nutritional tests, which may also be casually referred to as a vitamin panel test or a vitamin blood test:
Vitamin D Tests
Vitamin B12 Test
Lactose Tolerance Tests
More Vitamin and Nutritional Tests
Getting Vitamin and Nutritional Testing
Vitamin and nutrition testing can be ordered by your doctor. Before prescribing a test, your doctor may verify your symptoms and go over other risk factors including your personal health history. While testing is generally performed in a hospital, doctor’s office, or other medical laboratory settings, many people choose to get tested at local testing centers just to keep track of their own health.
Costs of vitamin and nutritional testing
The price of testing can vary by location and test type. Labs, clinics, and at-home testing companies may accept insurance to cover or lower your cost of testing.
Lab testing fees are common, particularly when blood draws are included. However, costs vary from location to location and may even be covered by your insurance provider.
Types of sample collection
Vitamin and other nutritional tests typically require a blood sample. Some may even require you to fast or avoid certain types of foods prior to the blood draw.
Getting test results
You may receive the results of your vitamin or nutritional tests during a follow-up appointment with your doctor, over the phone, or through online medical charts. It’s important to discuss your test results with a health care professional who can help you manage your nutritional needs through either diet or vitamin supplements.
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