Does fasting for blood work well for a medical test?

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fasting for blood work

The drink and the food intake will affect the results of blood tests, so you probably know that the cholesterol and the glucose level in your blood changes with the intake of your food. That is the only reason fasting for blood work is required. You must have to avoid all the drinks and the food for almost 12 hours. Only clean water is permitted, however even the alcohol for nearly 24 hours is prohibited. Even the strenuous exercise also leads to inaccurate results. Most of the cases some patients do consume water for the medication purposes. You may consult your doctor for the regular dosage to get the accurate blood test.

Why fasting for blood work result?

Fasting means that you cannot consume any food or drinks for a limited period. The doctor advises drinking lot of water. Many people who already have gone through the cholesterol or sugar level test know the importance of fasting before the blood test. Every test does not require fasting. It is advisable to confirm your doctor before the test. The outcome of the test may vary or change on the intake of food before the test. Your cholesterol level, as well as the triglycerides, also changes. Before the sugar test, if you will use sugar in any of the food then most probably you will get an inaccurate reading.

The professional healthcare will surely provide specific instructions will you have to follow before taking a test. According to my experience, there are some tests in which you can eat or drink. You will not be instructed to go on a fast, but there are some tests in which you have to take some precautions to get the accurate results.

Rules of fasting for blood work test results

There are some reasons due to which you will not be allowed to take any calories from the diet before the blood test. To get the accurate results, you just cannot ignore the instructions, and you have to follow the guidelines correctly.

  • The doctor will advise you to drink water.
  • You cannot eat for at least 8 hours before the test. Fast for at least 12 hours if you are going to take lipid tests especially.
  • You are not even allowed to smoke, chew gum or perform any exercise. These all activities will affect the result. Performing any activity which stimulates the working of the digestive system is prohibited.
  • You also have to avoid drinking alcohol for more than 24 hours.
  • If you take medications, then you must consult your doctor. Such medicines which help to change your cholesterol level or blood level are prohibited few days before taking the test.
  • Be very precise with the time limit because if you will fast more than 12 hours, your report will undoubtedly result negative. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking water.

Fasting is necessary

Yes, fasting before specific tests are very necessary because some essential nutrients in the beverages and the food items affect the result of the test. The glucose particles are absorbed into the bloodstream and trigger the lipid levels like HDL, triglyceride, and cholesterol. If you fast for less than 12 hours, then there are odds of getting wrong results, and you have to take the result again. If you simply cannot control your hunger or diet then consult your doctor or discuss with a health professional.

Medical tests

fasting for blood work

Following are the medical tests which require fasting before taking them

Blood glucose test

You cannot drink or eat before taking this test. You have to fast minimum for 8 to 10 hours. The test helps to diagnose any diabetic problem which a person possesses by having a high level of glucose in the blood.

Cholesterol test

In this test, you simply cannot eat or drink for up to 12 hours. There are many types of a cholesterol test, and a person does not have to take all tests every time. However, the combination of all cholesterol tests is known as lipid profile which includes HDL, LDL, total cholesterol level in the body and triglycerides or other fatty substances. You are not allowed to drink for at least 24 hours

Iron test

Before taking an iron test, you simply cannot have any iron pill or any medication. The test is taken especially in the morning with empty stomach. The test helps to diagnose the level of iron in the blood cells.

Gama-Glutamyl transferase test

It contributes to diagnose any liver problem. You are not allowed to drink, smoke for at least 24 hours before taking the test.

Expectation while test

When I had to take a blood test, I fulfilled the requirement of fasting, but there are some other factors which are important to know. Take an example that you are going for the cholesterol test. This test is usually held in the morning, and you have to be on time. The lab assistant will cloak your arm with a plastic band before taking out the blood from your vein. He will assist you by cleaning the injection point with a chemical, and then the needle will be inserted. Then he will draw some blood from you in the needle which plays its part as a sample. Then the area where the needle has been inserted will be covered with a bandage and within a minute, the procedure will be complete.

After giving the sample, you simply cannot expect any extra or special care treatment. You will be all ok to go home, eat drink, jump or can also perform your daily life activities. If this is your first test then probably you will be bit worried but trust me there is nothing to worry. The procedure is straightforward and simple. After giving a blood sample, you can have fresh juice or a snack because you already were fasting from last 12 hours. The doctor will share the result of your blood later on if anything abnormal is found out then maybe doctor recommend for further checkups or tests.

Prepare yourself for test

It is not important to get ready for the test physically by fasting and drinking water. You must be mentally aware of it. When the blood is drawn from your body with the help of a needle, you can switch back to your routine and diet.

  • Drinking water keeps your blood pressure level normal and prevents you from any situation like dizziness or fainting. If you feel nauseous due to some reason, then do not eat right after the giving your blood sample.
  • If you take medication for thinning the blood, then do inform the lab assistant before taking out the sample because he will make sure that the bleeding must be stopped.
  • You do not have to be anxious because everything is normal.
  • Eat anything after some minutes of giving the blood sample.
  • The bandage which will be on puncture site must be removed after an hour. The bandage will loosen up after the shower. You may experience bruising. If you experience that bleeding does not stop then apply a little pressure by using a new bandage.
  • Use icing therapy on the puncture site if bleeding does not stop.

Eat after your fast

You probably be fasting before taking the test so after the test you have to fill yourself with all the essential nutrients you missed for at least 12 hours. It is recommended to take some snack or juice with you so you can have something after the test. After 5 minutes you can have your snack and can continue your daily routine whether it is an office work or any job or housework. It will be appropriate for you to schedule your test in the morning. It is the only way you do not have to stay hungry for a long time. You will be able to give your blood sample for consideration before breakfast.

Risks

You do not have to feel uneasy about the tests because there are not likely any risks associated with the fasting for blood works results or while taking a blood sample. However if you are weak enough then you may feel some symptoms. There is the low possibility of experiencing any permanent risks. Following are the temporary risks

  • You may feel dizziness or nauseous
  • You also have to experience multiple puncture sites; it is because if the lab assistant does not find the appropriate vein.
  • If you have been taking blood thinning medication, then you may experience excessive bleeding
  • Chances of fainting are very low, or you may feel lightheadedness
  • Chances of infection

Results

You may experience abnormal results of fasting for blood work which will be more than 14 hours or if you have eaten something before your test.

  • If your glucose level is in between the 100 to 125 mg/dl, then you have prediabetes
  • If the blood glucose is somehow higher than the 126 mg/dl, then you are a patient of diabetes

Both of these results show abnormality even after fasting, but somehow you take a random test then glucose level ranging from 140-199 indicates the prediabetes or higher than 200mg/dL indicates that you have diabetes. However it is advised to follow the complete instructions of a doctor so that you would get accurate test result and your physician will be able to suggest you proper treatment.

So this was all about fasting and its importance for blood work. Do share this post with your loved ones using facebook or twitter etc.

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