Fasting Before A Blood Test


Some health issues require a blood test before they can be diagnosed. Some of these blood tests require that you fast before they are carried out. Fasting, in this case, means going for some hours before the test without food or liquid. You should know that not all blood test requires fasting. For the ones that do, you will be informed beforehand so you will be prepared.
Blood tests are serious health matters that should not be taken lightly. Do ensure you visit reputable clinic for your Harley street blood test in order to be handled with utmost care and by experienced medical practitioners.

Why Is It Important To Fast Before Some Blood Tests?

As mentioned earlier, not all blood tests require you to fast before they are carried out. The reason why some blood tests require fasting, hours before the test, is for accurate results to be produced. In the food we consume, there are various minerals and nutrients present in them like fats, protein, carbohydrates etc. These nutrients can affect blood reading during a blood test, hereby altering the overall result.

Blood Tests That Require Fasting

Some major blood tests that required fasting include the following

  • Low-density lipoprotein level test (LDL)
  • High-density lipoprotein level test (HDL)
  • Liver function test
  • Blood glucose test
  • Lipoprotein panel
  • Cholesterol test
  • Basic metabolic panel
  • Triglyceride level test
  • Renal function test

How Long Do I Need To Fast Before The Test?

The number of hours you need to fast before the test depends on the nature of the test to be carried out. Some tests will require that you fast for 8 hours before the test, while some will require a fast of about 12 hours. You can make this easier for you by asking your doctor to schedule your test as early in the day as possible.

Does Fasting Exclude Coffee?

Coffee is liquid, and even if it is taken black without cream or sugar, it can still affect the test, perhaps even more than food will. This is due to the presence of caffeine in the coffee, which can tamper with the blood level in the body.

Furthermore, coffee increases the rate at which you use the bathroom or urinate. This affects the water level in the body with regards to the test, by causing dehydration. Dehydration also causes the veins to be impossible to detect, making venipuncture difficult.

Can Alcohol Affect Your Fast Before A Test?

Some test require you to fast for 8 or 12 hours before the test; however, alcohol should be avoided for a minimum of 24 hours before a blood test. This stems from the fact that alcohol takes days before it completely leaves the bloodstream and body. Traces of alcohol in the system can affect tests such as liver or triglyceride tests. You can consult your doctor for any concerns about alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking before blood tests.

Can I Drink Water Before A Blood Test?

Water consumption is acceptable before a blood test. You should stay hydrated at least two days before the blood test. This will make your veins more visible and collection of blood samples easier. Unlike some surgeries that will require an empty stomach, there is no restriction of water to blood tests.

Other liquids like flavoured water, soda or tea should be avoided until the blood test has been completed.

Fasting Before A Blood Test In Children

Even in children, some blood tests require fasting before the test. Your paediatrician will inform you on how long your child is required to fast before the test. On your part however, ensure that your child is indeed fasting before the test. If there is a situation whereby the child gets a snack without your knowledge, reschedule the test to avoid inaccurate results.

You can keep your child from breaking the fast by distracting them with some exciting game or movie or TV show before the test, and ensure you have something for them to eat once the test is over.

Fasting Before A Blood Test During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, a lot of blood tests are required. These tests are used to monitor the health of the growing baby, and to check for any potential concerns concerning you and your baby. Some of these tests also require fasting. At Blood London, we provide special care to all expectant mothers in our care.

Fasting during pregnancy, in preparation for a blood test is nothing to worry about, as long as you are healthy and there are no risks involved in the pregnancy. You should however, take more water and probably remain indoors in cases of hot weather. Note that fasting may increase heartburn, however, do not hesitate to inform your doctor or obstetrician if you feel uncomfortable at any point.

What Happens If I Eat Before A Blood Test?

For a blood test that requires fasting, eating or having a light snack can affect its reading and result. The most appropriate thing to do would be to reschedule the test to avoid discrepancies in the result.

Blood London is your one-stop walk-in clinic for reliable and cheap private blood tests in London. Our methods are standard and up to date, and our professionals have been highly trained with ample experience. For your reliable blood tests in London, get in touch with us today.
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