Mineral & Nutrient Deficiency Tests
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Why should you take a nutrient deficiency test? Ideally, a balanced diet provides us with all the nutrients that our bodies need. In reality, however, we may often lack certain nutrients, for example vitamins such as vitamin D and B12, minerals such as magnesium, zinc, iron or iodine, or the essential Omega 3 fatty acids.
Not everyone eats as healthy as they should every day, and often daily stress, bad habits, allergies or intolerances can get in the way. Certain diseases can also reduce our ability to absorb minerals and vitamins, or even lead to an excessive consumption of them. Athletes for example have an increased need for minerals like zinc and magnesium, as both are lost in sweat. Vegetarians and vegans on the other hand, tend to consume too little vitamin B12, as this is really only found in animal foods.
Vitamin D is a special case. In order to produce this vitamin, our body needs exposure to UVB radiation from the sun. Yet as we spend most of our time indoors or live at northern latitudes where winter sunlight exposure is diminished, deficiency is widespread amongst the population.
Recognizing Nutrient Deficiency
Only in rare cases is a nutrient deficiency apparent --for example, when an acute magnesium deficiency leads to the dreaded nocturnal leg cramps. But most of the time, symptoms like headache, fatigue, dry skin, and hair loss are not immediately attributed to a deficiency, and it is not until more serious health consequences arise that a nutrient deficiency may be suspected.
Vitamin B12 deficiency for example develops over the years as the body's stores of the vitamin are slowly depleted, eventually leading to anemia, nerve damage, and depression. As is typical for deficiencies, we do not typically notice any symptoms as our levels progressively drop.
For example, vitamin B12 deficiency develops over years while the stores of the vitamin are slowly depleted. We usually do not perceive this, but over time, the deficiency can lead to anaemia, nerve damage and depression. It is similar with many other deficiency symptoms.
Test for Nutrient Deficiency
The cerascreen® nutrient tests are simple test kits that you use to take a blood or urine sample (depending on the test) at home and mail it to our diagnostic laboratory. After analysis you will receive a detailed results report. This will tell you your level of the measured nutrient and whether or not it lies within the normal range. The report also includes recommendations to improve your diet with respect to the nutrient.
If the test results indicate a nutrient deficiency, you can implement dietary changes to correct it. In some cases, like that of an iodine deficiency, a simple change to occasionally using iodized salt may suffice. In other cases, like in iron deficiency, adding iron-rich foods like eggs, liver, legumes, and whole grains may require more effort. As a severe deficiency can also be a symptom of disease, you should consult your doctor if you suspect this may be the case for you.