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With a reasonably big change in diet, I am wanting to get a blood test to measure various vitamin and mineral levels incl Vitamin D
What is the best way to achive this? simply go to the GP requesting the blood test? Is there anyway to do this without involving the GP?

I did find self testing kits for Vit. D only:
http://www.zrtlab.com/vitamindcouncil/h ... 1&vmcchk=1

I am in NZ btw

I am in NZ too and have a great doctor who is happy, keen even, to listen to all my research and give her considered opinion, without being dogmatic about it. She has never refused any test I asked for - boy am I lucky. My partner, on the other hand, has a good doctor whom I respect greatly but she is not nearly as ready to embrace complementary medical findings... my partner has a more immediate serious condition, so perhaps this is understandable. We made the mistake of multi-dosing him with Vit D supplements to get his level up before testing it. The test was too expensive, she maintained, to check the level after supplementation. Maybe a fair call, I don't know...

You would normally just ask your regular GP to do the test, but you can see from my experience that it is hit and miss if they will do it for you without sufficient justification.

I have sent an email to the website that you gave in your post, asking some more questions about their methodology of testing - all things being equal it would be a great thing to be able to take control and self-test at home. It is so important to maintain the correct level of Vitamin D. Thanks for the link.
So the vitamin D testing was expensive? you mean other than the $50 or so to see the GP?
If you pursure the home testing kit, please let me (us) know via the forum how it goes

I found that link from the Vit D council (whoever they are) so I think its all legit

It's an expensive test for the doctors to order, not that we (patients) pay for it - the government (our taxes) pay for it. My partner's doctor didn't feel that his situation warrented such expense. Her reasoning was that, as he had already supplemented to bring his level up there was no need to test it. Our reasoning for the test was to ensure that he had reached the correct level...

A year later we were able to test him because a lokum was sitting in for her at the time of consultation and he approved the test. I am hopeful that had she not been on holiday and we had seen her, she would have approved it. She is a great doctor and we value her judgement, and it's a testament to how entrenched the dogma of Allopathic medicine is that she does not more readily embrace a more Complementary approach.
Oh and I received a reply from my query on home testing Vit D, but it raised another query so I need to continue the conversation with them. I will 'report' back soonest.
Some doctors here kick about the low prices for vitamin deficiency tests too. Here in the USA, a vitamin D tests costs about $70 USD. In contrast, a prescription for an MS drug costs about $25,000 per year. Those are the types of doctors I trade in for a more enlightened model.

I think a lot of doctors have been brainwashed. When malnutrition in common with those in MS (at least 60% of those with MS are malnourished), one would think the doctors would ensure their patients are eating right and getting enough nutrients. This is a low-cost and effective way to solve many problems. Ironically, however, many doctors will ignore the effects of malnutrition, even the fact that malnutrition leads to gray matter atrophy (shrinkage), and just prescribe the MS drugs. I think this is just irresponsible.

I have run across doctors who are not appropriately aware of preventive health issues and I just switch doctors when that happens. Life is too short to argue.
Hi again - it seems that using the Vitamin D Council (& ZRT lab) could be a very convenient and trusty way to self-check Vit D levels. I think I just may send off for a test and check out their service. I'll let you know how I get on.
Well, I went to the doctor - he was really good and agreed to all the tests I wanted and sugested some other things to look out for.
We agreed to review the B12 reading and he said he was happy to give me injection for this if needed. He is going to post me all the results so I can do my own research.
The cost for 1 x urine test and about 4 bloods was just the consult fee - NZ $50
Lisa PSJ wrote: Hi again - it seems that using the Vitamin D Council (& ZRT lab) could be a very convenient and trusty way to self-check Vit D levels. I think I just may send off for a test and check out their service. I'll let you know how I get on.

Hi Lisa

Hamish here from the Mana retreat recently. How did this test go, can you let me know, what happens once you receive the kit, do you need to send anything back to the US for the tests to be complete. A few people from the recent retreat are keen to know more.

Hi Hamish, no it's all very straightforward - expensive, but easy. You buy the test kits up front, and when they come there are very clear explanations as to how to take your blood samples. Very important you read all instructions before starting. On their website there is a video also on how to do the blood spot tests. Once all is complete you then send the samples using their enclosed envelope (you need to purchase stamps to the States) and address label.

Once you have sent the sample off, email the company and request to have an online ID setup, make sure you use the exact same name and address details as you did on the sample. Once you have an online ID it will be good for all future samples you do.

The turnaround is pretty quick, allowing for mail to get to the States, and remember that you will get the results in ng/ml and not nmol/l.
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