Vitamin D Levels
Order rapid home testing to check your vitamin D levels and request supplements to boost your levels if you need them.
Check your vitamin D levels from the comfort of your home
Get results and advice from our doctors within 72 hours
Free delivery as standard
Using a home test works in the following steps:
- Place an order and get your kit delivered to your door (delivery is free)
- Collect your sample by following the instructions in the test kit
- Send your samples to our UK-based, accredited partner laboratory (postage is free)
- Once your results are available (in 2 to 3 days), our doctors will review your results
- One of our doctors will contact you, via a secure and confidential message in your patient account, to let you know your results and give you advice and support on what to do next
In some cases, the doctor may need to ask for more information. They may contact you by phone, so make sure your telephone number is up to date in your online account.
Available Tests and Treatments
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How it Works
About Vitamin D Levels
What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D is one of many vitamins that is essential for good health. Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium. Having enough calcium in the body keeps your bones, teeth and muscles healthy. Children who do not get enough vitamin D can develop rickets, a condition where the bones are too soft and start to deform. Adults who do not get enough Vitamin D can develop osteomalacia, which can cause bone pain and weakness.
Our body can create vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin. Our body can also absorb vitamin D from certain foods and supplements:
- oily fish (such as tuna, salmon and mackerel)
- fortified foods (such as some breakfast cereals)
- red meat or liver
- egg yolks
- vitamin D supplements
Some people can get enough Vitamin D from direct sunlight, especially in the summer months. But, many of us do not get enough sunlight to produce healthy amounts of Vitamin D. This is especially true during the winter months because there are less hours of sunlight. In this case, we need to make sure we are getting enough Vitamin D in our diets, which may need to include Vitamin D supplements.
What happens when your vitamin D is low?
Having low vitamin D can be associated with the following symptoms:
- muscle or bone pain
- mood changes
Do I have vitamin D deficiency?
The best way of diagnosing a Vitamin D deficiency is with a blood test. You can do this blood test at home use a home vitamin D test kit that you can order online from Superdrug Online Doctor. It’s a pin-prick blood test that means you only need to collect a few drops of blood and then send your sample off to our lab. Results should be available in your account, 2-3 days after your sample reaches the lab. A Superdrug doctor will also give advice on your results.
The result will put you in one of three categories:
- Sufficient. You have a level of 50 - 200 nmol/L. This is considered healthy for most people
- Insufficient. You have a level of 25 - 49 nmol/L. You are at risk of developing conditions associated with a low vitamin D
- Deficient. You have a level below 25 nmol/L. You may start experiencing the symptoms associated with low vitamin D: bone or muscle pain, tiredness, weakness, and mood changes. Additionally, you are at risk of developing conditions associated with low vitamin D
Some people are at a higher risk of developing vitamin D deficiency. You are at higher risk if you:
- are not exposed to a lot of sunlight, for example if you stay indoors for long periods or cover your skin for religious or other reasons
- have darker skin as this naturally stops as much sunlight from reaching the skin
- are aged over 65 as your skin may not produce as much vitamin D when you are exposed to sunlight
- are pregnant or breastfeeding
- are under five years old
Some of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency can be very similar to those of other conditions. If you are unsure, make an appointment with your GP who will be able to discuss your concerns further.
How do I get more vitamin D?
If your doctor or pharmacist agrees, go out in the sun for 10-15 minutes per day without sunscreen to make sure that some sunlight reaches the skin. You may wish to still put on sunscreen on moles or other areas that are sensitive to the sun. Be aware that spending too much time in the sun without sunscreen can cause skin damage, which can lead to signs of ageing and skin cancer.
Include more foods that are rich in vitamin D in your diet. This may be difficult if you follow a strict vegan diet as a lot of vitamin D is found in animal-based foods.
If you have a low level of vitamin D in your blood, you may want to consider taking supplements. If you have an ‘insufficient’ level of vitamin D in your body, you can buy low dose vitamin D supplements. If you have been diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency, you can get prescription medication high dose Vitamin D supplements to boost your levels up quickly and then continue with the low dose supplements once you have increased your vitamin D levels.
What are the best treatments or supplements for low vitamin D?
We supply both treatments and supplements for low vitamin D:
- Colecalciferol 1,000 IU is a low dose supplement suitable for people with ‘insufficient’ levels of vitamin D or those with deficient levels who have already had a high dose booster treatment
- Colecalciferol 10,000 IU is high dose booster treatment suitable for people who have been diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency to help quickly improve Vitamin D levels
How do I order treatment online?
To use the Superdrug Online Doctor service, follow these steps:
- Fill in a short questionnaire about your symptoms and general health.
- A doctor will review your questionnaire to see whether vitamin D treatment is suitable and safe for you.
- If you are eligible, your treatment will be sent to your preferred address by post.
To order treatment, you must be over 18. Additionally, you must have had a blood test which confirms that you have low vitamin D levels. You can order a blood test through us here or via your usual GP.
You should not take vitamin D supplements if you:
- have had kidney stones in the past
- have reduced kidney function
- have any cancers
- have a condition called hyperparathyroidism
- have tuberculosis (TB)
- have been diagnosed with high calcium in the blood
- use a group of medicines called thiazide diuretics
Side effects of vitamin D treatment
It is unusual to get any side effects from Vitamin D treatments, but some potential side effects include:
- Tummy pain
- Too much calcium in the blood or the urine
- Feeling sick (nausea)
- A skin reaction
- BNF (2018). Colecalciferol. NICE. [online] Available from: https://bnf.nice.org.uk/drug/colecalciferol.html#sideEffects [accessed 14th November 2018].
- Ladhani, S. et al. Presentation of vitamin D deficiency. Archives of disease in childhood; 89(8).
- NHS (2017). Vitamin D. NHS. [online] Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-d/ [accessed 14th November 2018].
- West London Mental Health NHS Trust. Vitamin D. NHS. [online] Available from: https://www.wlmht.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Vitamin-D-leaflet-A5-8pp.pdf [accessed 16th November 2018].