Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any medical concerns we suggest you consult your GP.

Quick Self Check for Vitamin D deficiency

(13 Posts)
Bettertobehealthy Tue 12-May-15 13:43:56

I thought this might be useful, we are talking about it on the thread about a "hospital refused to do Vit D test".

here is a procedure , very simple

Quick self test for possible Vitamin D deficiency:

If you have had a low vitamin d level for a long time , it can affect your bones, if you lose calcium. The condition is called osteomalacia. The symptoms include painful bones. This condition is very often mis-diagnosed as fibromyalgia.

A quick check would be to press on your sternum ( breast bone ) with a moderate force. Does it feel tender/painful. As if you have injured that area a few days ago? Try the same thing again, on the front of your shin bone about 3 - 4 inches below your knee. Again with a moderate force , a few pounds, you should not feel pain. If you do feel pain in either of these checks then a vitamin d test is very advisable.

FYI. The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN ) in a recent report stated that 49% of people in Southampton are either deficient or insufficient in their Vitamin D levels. There is no reason to suppose that does not apply throughout the country.


Karmaone Tue 12-May-15 19:42:25

Thanks Better. I've tried this. I wouldn't call it pain as such, just some discomfort. Does this count?

Musicaltheatremum Tue 12-May-15 20:36:58

I would say discomfort is normal. I have this and no other symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. There is still a lot of research going on into this and at this time of year our levels are just starting to rise. Get plenty of sun and get a supplement if you feel like it.

Bettertobehealthy Tue 12-May-15 20:54:53

If your bones hurt, then get a test. You have absolutely nothing to lose, and everything to gain !

If you use only sunlight, then be aware that between November and March , you cannot make vitamin D in your skin. Sunlight is too weak, at our latitude. 50+.

In our summer, sunlight is only strong enough between the hours of 10 am and 3pm . Outside those hours , Just UVA is present , No UVB.

In the months of April and October, UVB is present only for one hour around solar noon, i.e about 1pm BST.

Our bodies evolved in daily sunshine , over millions of years. So a near daily dose of vitamin d , throughout the year is optimal for us. Waiting from November to March ,with not much at all, is not a good idea.


drycoughssuck Wed 13-May-15 18:24:13

According to this, which is the most credible article I can find on this sternum test, the pain when pressed needs to be 'throbbing'. Not merely tender or painful, but 'throbbing'.

That last article is citing this article about the pain association with Vitamin D deficiency, and they are talking about pain in all sorts of places, especially the back, but only among about half of people who have confirmed Vit D deficiency.

A simple test sounds very neat but it may be too simple, iyswim.

chocolatelife Wed 13-May-15 18:28:40

i am pretty sure 99% of us would be found to be Vitamin D deficient.

HellKitty Tue 19-May-15 07:58:57

I do have slight bone pain but nothing like your test would suggest and also no throbbing in sternum. However I am Vitamin D deficient - I tested at 12, 30 is said to be very low - so I don't think this test is entirely accurate!

Bettertobehealthy Sun 31-May-15 23:06:02


glad to hear your bones do not hurt ! that means they have not demineralised , it means that you are probably consuming enough calcium, such that the Vit d that you do have is enough to prompt your enterocytes ( gut cells ) to absorb at least 200mg of calcium per day from your food. Roughly your minimum daily requirement of absorbed calcium.

The self-check that I mentioned is not meant to be a definative diagnoses of vitamin d deficiency, it is an indication, if your bones hurt when they should not, then get a test. That is the sensible thing to do.

If you have not been deficient for years, or you consume plenty of calcium then that one aspect of vitamin d deficiency syndrome may not show up.

Perhaps I should have said " one of the consequences of vitamin d deficiency could be ( in some cases ) demineralised bones - if that occurs , then you may feel bone pain.... if you feel bone pain - get a definative blood test. Absence of bone pain does NOT mean absence of deficiency."


PurpleDaisies Sun 31-May-15 23:10:01

Where did you find this test op? I've never cone across is before. Pressing on the sternum is tender for the vast majority of people so I'm not convinced this is helpful. Have you got a link to some scientific evidence? I'm happy to be proved wrong.

Bettertobehealthy Sun 31-May-15 23:35:05


here is one of many refs : Pubmed


MoveAlongNow Sun 31-May-15 23:43:05

This is pinging my anxiety - can anyone please tell me if you are able to get/ produce vitamin D from semi skimmed milk, or does it need to be full fat? Sorry of stupid question. TIA

BreconBeBuggered Sun 31-May-15 23:52:48

You can obtain vitamin D to help you absorb calcium (from milk etc) from foods such as egg yolks, some margarines and oily fish. You can also buy supplements if you're worried about not getting enough vitamin D.

Calcium levels in semi-skimmed milk are no lower than in full fat.

Bettertobehealthy Sun 31-May-15 23:59:48

Purple -Here's another

Move -

In the UK, There is no vitamin d in milk, unless it has been specifically fortified, which it should say on the label.

The situation is different in the USA , where they do fortify milk.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now