Vitamin D Test

Questions and Answers
Address: Clinical Biochemistry Department, SWBH NHS Trust, City Hospital Birmingham B18 7QH Tel: 0121 507 4278, Email: Note: Birmingham Picture Library receive the initial internet orders on behalf of  SWBH NHS Trust. All queries are handled by the laboratory directly with you.

Contacting Us

Question: How do I use my bank card at checkout. I do not want to use a PayPal account.  Answer: To pay by bank card use the link below the ‘or’ - the second time you click it your details reappear and you can complete your purchase.     Question: You have sent a result of Total Vitamin D = 12 nmol/L which is in the range of ‘Severe Deficiency’.  Is this very common and what should I do about it? Answer:  •	Firstly, please appreciate this is not that unusual. Many people in the United Kingdom have surprisingly low levels of Vitamin D. For example look at the results from our study in 2006 which showed low levels in our Birmingham population here…...  (Note that in 2006 results were expressed  in ug/L - you need to multiply these old numbers by x2.5 to get to nmol/L units used today in the UK). •	Regarding what to do. this level clearly needs supplementation. You should discuss this with your GP or a pharmacist and they can advise on the correct approach.  Question: I want to test my children aged 3 and 5 years. Is your test suitable? Answer: Our advice is not to use a home-test finger prick device in such young children. We suggest our kit should not be used in children under 6 years. The alternative is to ensure you are taking the NHS advice and giving young children the suggested supplements - see here:​  Question: How long does my pack take to come? Answer: As an NHS laboratory we use Royal Mail 1st class post to send out our test packs. The reply paid envelope also uses Royal Mail 1st class post if you are sending within  the UK. Overseas orders are sent by airmail and you are responsible for the return postage.  Question: Why do you not tell me on the report how much Vitamin D supplement to take? Answer: We aim to offer an excellent analytical service including advice on interpreting the level we find in your sample. Treatment options can be discussed with your pharmacist or Doctor who  you should show your results to.  Question: You published a paper showing that you have found some of your users with very high  levels of Vitamin D. Why? Answer:  Not long after commencing our service we started seeing levels of Vitamin D higher than we ever see in hospital samples. We have spent a lot of time investigating this and the reasons are explored in the  academic paper you have seen. A layman’s summary is that some people are buying high dosage vitamin D and over treating themselves. When we get such high levels we always make personal contact with the individuals and point them in the direction of a clinician.  Question: When will we be able to order online? Phoning you from New Zealand is nice but not convenient! Answer: Now! Since 2011 we have used a telephone order line. This had the advantage that we had personal contact with users. In April 2017 we put eCommerce ordering  in place - using a partner in Birmingham to take orders.  This has hugely reduced the issues of wrong addresses, is more secure and is the fastest way of getting test packs to you. We use PayPal  for payments but this includes being able to use a bank card if you do not want to use or do not have a PayPal account.  Question:  Please explain the units  - you use nmol/L and other labs use ng/mL? How do you convert units? Answer: The nmol/L unit  is the one that all UK laboratories have been instructed to move to if they are not already using it. To convert nmol/L to ng/mL divide by  a factor of 2.5.  e.g. Our result is 75 nmol/L would give 75/2.5 = 30 ng/mL.  Question: Do you do any other tests - for example serum calcium and iron studies to the public? Answer: The only test we currently offer is Vitamin D. We may develop other services in the future but this will depend on full consideration of ethical issues and the practicalities, as not everything is measurable on a blood spot sample.   Question: Thank you for my ultra-clear test results. Could I just check - your results state that greater than 50 nmol/l is normal. My understanding is that total 25-hydroxyvitamin D should be over 75 nmol/L.  Answer: Vit D deficiency historically is defined as a blood level below 25 nmol/L  and many NHS laboratories quote this range. We will only change our interval guidance when the NHS as a whole decides to do this - there are lots of different views out there!  Question: How many times can I send in a test to you? Answer: For personal use we do not recommend that you test yourself more than twice a year. Some people order multiple packs for use in their job as nutritionists,  dieticians and physiotherapists, or for research studies and this is fine.    Question: What turn round do you offer for this test? Answer: Our aim is 4-5 working days laboratory time before we email you the result.  Question: Are these packs suitable for a research project? Do you discount for bulk  purchase? Answer:   Yes, the test packs have been used for research in UK Universities since 2011 and also around the world including Australasia and the Far East.  Question: Can you send the test packs overseas? Answer:   Yes, order on-line and appropriate postage is added to send across the world.
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