Everything You Need to Know about Fasting for a Blood Test

Some blood tests require fasting prior to a visit, but many patients don’t know the reasoning behind it, the ramifications of skipping it or the most effective way to do it. Fasting for a blood test is ordered by your doctor and typically lasts about 9-12 hours (depending on the test) with nothing but water in your system. To make the process as easy as possible for current and potential patients, we answered the below fasting FAQ’s for your next blood test.

Why do you have to fast?

Nutrients from food and drinks often remain in your bloodstream for extended periods of time. For certain tests, these nutrients can skew your results significantly.

Which tests require fasting?

The most common tests that require you to stop eating and drinking beforehand include:

  • Glucose – used to test blood sugar levels for diabetes
  • Lipid Profile – used to test cholesterol
  • Iron Blood Test – used to test for anemia

What happens if you don’t fast?

Failing to follow your doctor’s directions by not fasting or fasting for a shorter amount of time than instructed could mean inaccurate results, which will most likely lead to more testing. Some tests also require no smoking or drinking alcohol beforehand, so it’s important to pay close attention to the details of your fasting requirements to ensure the most accurate results.

If you’re ordered to fast before a specimen is collected, there are solutions to make the process as smooth as possible. We offer flexible hours so you can fast through the night, get your test done early and move on with your day. You can even bring a snack with you to have immediately following your test. To learn more about fasting and what you can do to make it easier, give us a call at 877-427-0458.

Source: http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/1018.aspx?CategoryID=69

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