The short answer is yes, you can easily check vitamin and mineral levels from home. And all it requires is a simple self-collected finger-prick blood sample.
Why should you check your vitamin and mineral levels?
The Second Nutrition Report (1) published by the CDC found less than 10% of the U.S. population had nutrition deficiencies. However, specific deficiencies in certain populations are a lot more common. For example, vitamin D deficiency affects only 3% of non-Hispanic white people, but 31% of non-Hispanic black people.
Many nutrient deficiencies do not cause any symptoms in the early stages, but this is when they should be corrected so no health complications occur. Taking a simple blood test can indicate what nutrients you may need to increase intake of, either through dietary changes or by taking additional supplements.
Consider taking a vitamin and mineral test if:
- You’re affected by unexplained fatigue or other general illness
- You’re often affected by illnesses that don’t seem to affect others as much
- You’re experiencing mood changes or your mental health is affected
- You’re planning a pregnancy or are already pregnant
- You suffer from a disorder that can affect your nutrient absorption (e.g., celiac disease, Crohn’s disease)
- You’re over age 50
- You have had previous nutrient deficiencies
- Your weight has changed unexpectantly
- Or you just want to improve your overall health!
How can I check my nutrition levels from home?
Previously, a doctor’s visit or laboratory appointment was required to collect a blood sample for nutritional testing. However, that is no longer the case, as we offer at-home test kits to make the whole process a lot simpler.
Simply order the test you require (see our comprehensive list here) and a test kit will be shipped out to you. The test kit contains all the samples and instructions that you need to collect your own blood sample. And don’t worry, only a tiny amount of blood is required and it is simply collected from a relatively painless finger-prick. No needles required!
After collecting your sample, return it to our laboratory for very accurate and fully automated laboratory analyses. As soon as testing is complete, your results are available through our secure online portal. We recommend discussing any abnormal results with your healthcare provider to determine what steps you should take to improve your nutritional health.
What vitamin and mineral tests are available through Genetrack Diagnostics?
We offer tests for several of the most common deficiencies:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
- Folate (vitamin B9)
- Iron (see note below*)
*We offer different analyses for a thorough understanding of your iron status: Iron, Ferritin, Transferrin, and TIBC.
Should I take a combination test?
A deficiency in one vitamin or mineral can increase the risk of other deficiencies; hence a combination test is often a wise choice. We offer the following combination tests:
- Vitamin B12 and Folate
- Vitamin B12, Folate, and Vitamin D
- Iron, Ferritin, Transferrin, TIBC
- Nutritional Deficiency Panel (Vitamin B12, Folate, Vitamin D, Ferritin)
For more information about the vitamins and minerals that we offer laboratory tests for, see our other articles here.
1. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Second National Report on Biochemical Indicators of Diet and Nutrition in the U.S. Population 2012. Atlanta (GA): National Center for Environmental Health; April 2012.