Free Test for Vitamin D Deficiency
Author: Craig Stewart
Date Published: 27th May, 2022
Time to Read: 3-5 minutes
Vitamin D Deficiency in New Zealand
Having an insufficient blood level of vitamin D is a fairly common occurrence in New Zealand.
A 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey found more than 25% of the New Zealanders had insufficient blood levels of vitamin D based on New Zealand guidelines.
Your doctor may only request a vitamin D blood test if you are at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency.
In most cases a vitamin D test is not funded in New Zealand. Patients may choose to self refer and pay to have their vitamin D level tested at either a pathology clinic near them or order a quantitative at home vitamin D self-test kit.
Fortunately there is an effective and free way to screen for vitamin D deficiency in the comfort of your own home before paying for a blood test.
Vitamin D Deficiency Screening Test
The test will not offer a quantitative result but it will offer a reliable indication as to whether you may be suffering from vitamin D deficiency.
1. With your thumb, firmly press on your sternum (breastbone).
Is it tender or painful?
2. Now, press on the tibia (shin bone) of both your legs.
Are they sore or tender?
If the answer is "yes" to both of these tests then you have a 93% chance of being Vitamin D deficient.
The only way to tell if you have a sufficient blood level of vitamin D is to test your vitamin D level.
Testing for vitamin D is easy and now readily available in New Zealand in the form of vitamin D test kits. Simply order a test kit, follow the instructions and analyse your vitamin D level using either an Android or Apple smart phone.
If the self test returns an analytical result that is either deficient or insufficient, discuss the test result with your family doctor and follow up with a traditional laboratory test and then implement a considered supplementation program to increase your vitamin D level into the sufficient range.
How do you calculate the correct dose of vitamin D to increase your level into the optimal range without testing for a baseline level? The simple answer is, you can't.
Many factors influence how vitamin D is metabolized by the human body and so the dose required to increase and maintain healthy vitamin D levels may differ from person to person.
Whilst supplementation of vitamin D is generally safe, easy and well tolerated, it is always strongly recommended that you discuss any intended supplementation regimen with your primary care physician.