Fast Facts on Fasting
“Do not eat 8-12 hours prior to the blood draw,” is the worst sentence to read on your instructions for your blood test. You ask the nurse if this is necessary and he or she informs you that it very much is. Don’t be in too much despair, the doctors aren’t trying to put you through some unusual kind of punishment. Here are three fast facts on fasting before your blood draw that will help justify that grumbling stomach.
Why do I have to fast?
Nutrients and ingredients in the foods and drinks you consume are absorbed into your bloodstream, which means it can impact factors measured by certain tests. Fasting is required to ensure the accuracy of these tests. Without accurate results, you can run the risk of being misdiagnosed and therefore becoming more sick or developing additional unwanted side effects.
Which blood tests require fasting?
Tests that normally require fasting are tests that would be affected if you were to eat anything prior. This includes testing for the amount of glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream (such as an A1c Panel) and lipid profiles, which check cholesterol and other blood fats to determine your risk for developing heart disease or having a stroke. Other tests include a basic or comprehensive metabolic panel, renal function panel, Vitamin B12 test, and an iron test. But, not all blood tests require fasting, such as a female hormone panel. Always ask whether or not your specific blood test requires fasting.
Don’t Give In.
Whatever you do try to avoid the cravings. Often times offices will arrange the appointment early in the morning so you don’t go through your day hungry. If you do slip up be sure to call ahead or notify your nurse when you arrive. Tell them exactly what, when and how much you ate or drank. They may want to reschedule the appointment, or depending on what you ate and when, it may not be required to reshedule.
Isn’t it reassuring to know that you’re fasting for a good reason? And what better reason than your health! Whatever your blood testing needs may be, here at Cover-Tek we offer a wide range of blood tests with no appointment necessary. Click here to learn more!