Blood analysis can help detect basic diseases and health conditions, and a regular blood test is a simple and effective way to follow the general health status. It is a basic test prescribed for a number of health complications ranging from diabetes to measuring the level of nutrients in the body, and some blood tests may require Fasting for a specific period of time to get the correct and accurate reading. In the series “Reassure yourself”, we learn how long you should fast before having a blood test, according to the “Times of India” website.
What is the importance of fasting before a blood test?
Fasting is abstaining from eating and drinking anything (including water) for a specified period before the blood is analyzed, because when you eat food, the glucose that the body produces from food enters the bloodstream and changes the level of blood components, and this can change the level of a substance in the blood such as Sugar, iron and cholesterol, which leads to inaccurate results.
How long does a person need to fast before the analysis?
First, not all types of blood tests require you to fast. Some can even be done on a full stomach, so if you are prescribed a blood test, ask your doctor if you need to fast and for how long.
If you fail to fast, you may have to take the test again.
The fasting period generally ranges from 8 to 12 hours, depending on the test you want.
In any case, it is better to fast for 12 hours to get an accurate result.
Other actions to be taken before the blood test
And before the blood tests you also need to stop taking some medications, and this is highly recommended before testing for iron or vitamin B12 deficiency.
Besides fasting for 12 hours, you also need to avoid supplements 24 hours before the test because it may alter the results. Besides, smoking, taking caffeine and exercising before the blood test is also not recommended..
Common blood tests that you should fast before having them
It is always best to confirm with your doctors about the fasting period before having any blood test. Some common blood tests for which you may be asked to fast are:
Fasting blood glucose test
The gamma-glutamyl transferase test
Iron analysis in the blood
Triglyceride level test
High-density lipoprotein level test (HDL)
Low-density lipoprotein level test (LDL)
Basic Metabolic Panel
kidney function panel