A vitamin D test is used to:
- Determine if bone weakness, bone malformation, or abnormal metabolism of calcium (reflected by abnormal calcium, phosphorus, PTH) is occurring as a result of a deficiency or excess of vitamin D
- Help diagnose or monitor problems with parathyroid gland functioning since PTH is essential for vitamin D activation
- Screen people who are at high risk of deficiency, as recommended by the National Osteoporosis Foundation, the Institute of Medicine, and the Endocrine Society
- Help monitor the health status of individuals with diseases that interfere with fat absorption, such as cystic fibrosis and Crohn disease since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and is absorbed from the intestine like a fat
- Monitor people who have had gastric bypass surgery and may not be able to absorb enough vitamin D
- Help determine the effectiveness of treatment when vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, and/or magnesium supplementation is prescribed
Although there are differences among vitamin D methods, most laboratories utilize similar reference intervals. Because toxicity is rare, the focus has been on the lower limit and what cut-off for total 25-hydroxyvitamin D (D2 + D3) indicates deficiency.
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