KNOW YOUR VITAMIN D LEVELS

Aug 24, 2013Posted By: jaclynUnder: Ask the Pharmacist, Your Health

Our view of Vitamin D certainly has changed in the past few years.  No longer is it the vitamin with maximum doses of 400IU per day.  Instead dosing is from 400IU to daily amounts of 5000IU and more, with upper end doses still climbing higher as new information is uncovered about its physiologic role and therapeutic opportunities.   Many healthcare practitioners are using Vitamin D therapeutically with aggressive dosing as it is discovered that there is no harm in using these larger doses.   Where reaching specific target levels becomes the therapeutic goal, some form of diagnostic measurement of Vitamin D levels becomes more important.

Did you know you can test your own Vitamin D levels?

At Stafford Pharmacy we offer a D-Spot test from Rocky Mountain Analytical.

Why Test your Vitamin D?

  • Only about 1/3 of Canadians have vitamin D levels* above 75 nmol/L, the minimum considered optimal for health by Health Canada
  • Canadians do not receive enough sunlight to make vitamin D for four to five months of the year.
  • A 2010 study estimated that 37,000 deaths could be prevented every year if the Canadian average vitamin D level* was 105 nmol/L.

Already taking Vitamin D supplements?

  • Check your D-Spot to see if your levels are in the optimal range. This will let you know if you need to increase or decrease the amount of Vitamin D you are taking.

What happens if your vitamin D levels are low?

Vitamin D has been linked to many symptoms including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Muscle pain and fatigue
  • Osteoporosis
  • Poor Immune Response
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Cancers
  • Autoimmune diseases

How does the test work?

The test can be purchased from Stafford Pharmacy and then taken home with you to complete. This means no pesky trip to the lab to wait in line! Once you get home the test is simple and easy to complete on your own.  Your test Kit comes with all of the supplies you need including a pre-addressed and stamped envelope for sending your sample to the lab for testing.

The test requires you to prick your finger (just like a diabetic would to test their blood) with a lancing device and place one drop of blood on 6 circles on the test card. That is all it takes, 6 drops of blood! Then you let it dry and place it in the envelope and mail it off to Calgary.

Your test report will be sent to our Pharmacy in 1-2 weeks time and we will call you to receive your results!

Follow this link to see a sample report: http://rmalab.com/sites/default/files/tests/sample_reports/D-Spot%20Sample.pdf

How much does it cost?

The test kit is $75 + GST  (includes  a copy of the test results when completed)

Where can I find them in the store?

They are kept behind the pharmacy counter. Ask one of our pharmacy staff members to get your D-Spot today!

For more information and a complete patient handout follow this link http://rmalab.com/sites/default/files/tests/instructions/CI_DSpot_Mar18_2013_FINAL_0.pdf

References used:

1. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2010;54:172-74

2. Statistics Canada, Health Reports. Vol. 21, no.1, March 2010

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