The importance of checking your vitamin levels and how to test at home
Understand your body and discover deficiencies you may have
Vitamins and minerals are essential micronutrients that support normal growth and development, boost the immune system, and help cells and organs function as they should.
Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals can lead to a number of health concerns, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need either through your diet or a combination of diet and supplements.
Discover how to check your vitamin levels at home, the symptoms of deficiency to look out for, and who’s most at risk of low nutrient levels.
Why is it important to check your vitamin levels?
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are relatively common but should be avoided as they can increase your risk of developing certain diseases and health conditions. If left untreated, deficiencies can become severe and may lead to serious health issues such as anaemia, osteoporosis and blindness.
Testing your nutrient levels on a regular basis can help you detect low levels so that you can make effective changes to your diet, and introduce supplements into your daily routine if necessary.
The vitamins and minerals your body needs to maintain normal function are:
- Vitamin A
- B vitamins
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
What are the symptoms of a vitamin or mineral deficiency?
The exact symptoms of a vitamin or mineral deficiency differ from nutrient to nutrient, but general symptoms to look out for that indicate you may have nutrient deficiency include:
- Low energy levels
- Poor wound healing
- Easy bruising
Who’s at risk of a nutrient deficiency?
Most people will get all the vitamins and minerals they need from their diet, but there are factors that can increase your risk of a deficiency.
You may be at higher risk of developing certain nutrient deficiencies if you:
- Are pregnant – most of a woman’s nutrient supply is sent to the developing baby during pregnancy so levels of some vitamins and minerals in the blood may be lower than normal
- Follow a vegan or vegetarian diet – meat is a rich source of B12 so you may not be getting enough of this important nutrient if you’re not replacing your intake with B12-fortified foods
- Have dark skin – people of African, African-Caribbean or South Asian background may not absorb enough vitamin D from sunlight
- Live in the UK during the autumn and winter months – due to a lack of sunshine you may not be able to get all the vitamin D you need from sunlight alone
- Have a medical condition that restricts proper nutrient absorption – such as liver failure, kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Are obese – poor nutrition and higher amounts of body fat can impact the levels of nutrients in the bloodstream
- Are elderly – older adults tend to eat a reduced diet due to a decline in physical activity while nutrient requirements remain more or less the same
Can you test your vitamin levels at home?
Because symptoms of deficiency are not always obvious, diagnostic blood testing is the only way to diagnose low vitamin and mineral levels.
Due to overwhelming numbers of patients and waitlists as long as your arm, having a routine blood test on the NHS to check your vitamin and mineral levels is an absolute no-go. This may have you wondering what alternatives there are.
In recent years at-home blood testing has become popular due to its convenience and affordability. But not only are traditional finger prick tests messy and tricky to do correctly, they’re also rather painful.
Qured’s personalised plans offer a solution to sore fingers and inaccurate testing. Our at-home test kits use advanced blood collection technology for a truly pain-free testing experience. The innovative device uses microneedles that are thinner than an eyelash to take blood from the upper arm that’s collected in an attached test tube for a completely pain- and mess-free testing experience.
And to make sure you collect your sample correctly, one of our health advisors will guide you through every step of the process via a secure in-app video call.
As part of our Health Foundations screening, our Vital Vitamins test measures your levels of:
- Vitamin D
- Ferritin (Iron)
- Folate (B9)
- Vitamin B12
What should you do if you have a deficiency?
If you discover you have a deficiency, it’s important to talk to a healthcare professional about the safest and most effective ways to achieve normal vitamin and mineral levels.
If you take Qured’s Vital Vitamins test, a clinician will talk you through all of your results, providing expert guidance on how to manage any deficiencies that are brought to light.
Common advice for rectifying nutrient deficiency includes dietary changes and vitamin and mineral supplementation. If a medical condition is the suspected cause of your deficiency, your clinician may recommend additional testing so that you can identify the root problem and seek the correct treatment.
Take control of your health, at home
We believe that prevention is better than cure. Qured’s smart healthcare platform brings together personalised testing plans, cutting-edge technology and ongoing clinical support to help you lead a longer, healthier life.
In addition to Vital Vitamins, we offer a number of tests including Cardiovascular Check, Early Cancer Screening and Pre-emptive Fertility Testing to help you understand more about your health so you can take control of it in order to prevent illness and stay well.
Browse our full range of tests and discover the science behind our personalised plans.