Susan Merenstein, Pharmacist/Owner
Many are unaware that vitamin D is not officially a vitamin – but actually a prohormone. In fact, we make most of our vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight.
Statistics show a third of Americans have insufficient levels of vitamin D, with a leading cause being lack of sun exposure. This is common in northern climates where people don’t spend as much time outdoors, but studies indicate that even people in sunnier regions are often deficient due to concerns about the ill effects of too much sun.
Dried blood spot is an important part of the minimally-invasive hormone testing. The simplicity of sample collection, stability of samples in storage and transport, and excellent correlation of blood spot assays with serum tests, have made it an ideal method for epidemiological and field research studies for a variety of health conditions in both children and adults.
Why the Concern About Low Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is important because it has a complex regulatory effect upon calcium in our bodies and in the mineralization of our bones. But that’s only skimming the surface of its function. Additional research shows vitamin D can play a protective role against certain cancers, development of diabetes and heart disease.
Vitamin D deficiencies are associated with hyperinsulinemia and increased belly fat, as well as contributing to psoriasis and acne. Additionally, sufficient levels of vitamin D, estrogen and testosterone are important for maintaining bone health in the menopause years.
Vitamin D deficiency (levels measured below 32 ng/ml) does not have obvious symptoms and can increase your risk for more serious diseases including flu, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and multiple sclerosis. In addition, an increased risk for strokes, diabetes (types 1 and 2), depression, and breast and colon cancer are closely linked to low Vitamin D levels.
Dried blood spots can be collected right in the patient’s home, preventing exposure for themselves and the public. That’s right – patients get to skip the waiting room and the visit to the laboratory facility, which they have to do for traditional blood draw tests. Our accurate and reliable dried blood spot testing serves as the ideal means for measuring analytes such as insulin, blood lipids, Vitamin D, thyroid hormones, sex hormones, and elements like lead and magnesium – all from the comfort of your patient’s home.