Should vitamin D testing be done during an annual physical exam?

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Doctors don't routinely do vitamin D testing during annual physical exams. A blood test that measures a form of vitamin D known as 25-dihydroxyvitamin D may be ordered if your doctor suspects you have a vitamin D deficiency, if you have evidence of bone disease or bone weakness, or if you're about to start treatment for osteoporosis (the brittle-bone disease).

A vitamin D blood test may also be ordered if other tests have found that you have abnormal levels of calcium, phosphorus or parathyroid hormone. The National Osteoporosis Foundation also recommends that women at high risk for vitamin D deficiency be tested, including older women, those with dark skin (who may not be able to make enough vitamin D in their skin from sunlight), women who spend most of their time indoors and women with conditions that make them unable to absorb vitamin D well. Consult your doctor if you think you may need a test to check your blood levels of vitamin D.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.