Fasting for Blood Work FAQs

blood test

So the doctor told you that you will need some blood tests and you have been instructed to fast before the test. It is true that fasting for blood work can make you hungry. But what are the other reasons why you need to fast before the blood test? Below are some common questions that people ask. We got this information from the Biochemistry Head of Department.

Blood tests that require fasting:

  • Pregnancy glucose tolerance test
  • Glucose tolerance test
  • Insulin
  • Fasting lipids
  • Fasting glucose

The doctor may also request other blood tests that require fasting. In case you are not sure on what to do, you should call your doctor or inquire to the laboratory.

So, why do you need to fast?

There are some changes that happen to your blood after you eat. The changes can occur in your glucose levels, iron, and lipids. Fasting for blood work usually takes 10 to 12 hours or typically overnight. Fasting actually lessen the variability in the levels of these substances along with other elements within your blood. This will guarantee that your results are not affected by your current morsel. This will also give you accurate interpretation of your results.

Can you drink water when fasting for blood work?

Sure you can. Drinking water is perfectly fine if you feel thirsty. On the other hand, you cannot drink other beverages or drinks like coffee or tea. They have to wait until you are finished with your blood test.

Can I take my medications?

If you are having a medication, then you can continue with that, especially if this is the usual thing you do from your previous blood tests. If you are not sure, then you should check with your doctor because there are some medications that affect blood test results. Therefore, your doctor should decide whether taking medication before the test is fine.

So what happens if I do not fast?

Well, you really have to fast. This is the time that you should do what you are told. It is necessary to follow instructions so that you can get accurate results. Do not waste your time, effort, and money!

Numerous blood tests were being used to diagnose a medical problem like diabetes. Therefore, inaccurate results can lead to wrong diagnosis or unnecessary tests. If you eat during your fasting period, it is important to tell the person performing the blood test so that he or she can make a note on your record.

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