Therefore It Is Important To Fast Before Blood Tests

In general, patients should fast for at least eight hours before blood tests. However, this will depend on the specific type of test. Today we will tell you why.
Therefore, it is important to fast before blood tests

Generally, patients should fast before blood tests for at least eight hours, and have their blood taken in the morning if possible. Blood tests are one of the most common types of medical tests, as they provide a lot of information about a person’s health.

In fact, they are considered a routine and basic procedure when it comes to any medical procedure. 

Blood tests can help analyze various parameters. Often, doctors ask for specific tests to confirm or rule out a suspected diagnosis. However, many values ​​are more a matter of routine. For example, there are blood sugar levels and blood counts.

In this article, we want to talk about why patients should fast before blood tests. In other words  why is it so important to refrain from eating and drinking for at least eight hours before this procedure.

We will answer this question and more.

What are blood tests for?

Blood samples consist of taking blood from a patient and analyzing the sample in a laboratory. They allow the physician to study many different aspects of the body to obtain information about the patient’s overall health. At the same time, the information can tell about the condition of a specific organ.

Generally, blood tests include a hemogram. This refers to the concentration of each of the types of cells that are in the blood. In other words, it is red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. In addition, this allows to observe the shape of these cells to ensure that they are normal.

Similarly, blood tests allow the analysis of several biochemical values. For example, it is the level of glucose or iron in a person’s blood. Within this group of values ​​we can also mention cholesterol, triglycerides, thyroid enzymes, urea, etc.

All of these parameters are essential for detecting certain diseases. For example, thyroid enzymes help detect a disease of the thyroid gland. At the same time, iron and other values ​​can help doctors determine the presence and degree of anemia.

In addition, blood tests can help in case of the likelihood of certain types of tumors. These tumors work by releasing certain substances that can be found in the blood.

Analysis of blood sample

Blood tests can help detect irregularities in the body. Doctors often use them to diagnose a disease.

Why is it important to fast before blood tests?

When the day comes where you need to have a blood test done, it is important to fast for at least eight hours before. In other words, you should not consume any food or liquid (except water) the night before. This is because  blood absorbs foods and beverages and this can change certain parameters.

However, the extent to which the patient needs to fast or not and for how long depends on the tests to be performed. For example,  if the doctor only asks for a hemogram, then it may not be necessary to fast. However, in the case of glucose levels, adults will need to fast for at least eight hours and children for at least three hours.

In case of analysis of thyroid function, fasting for four hours should be enough. When it comes to cholesterol levels, doctors may recommend fasting for up to 12 hours.

Another aspect to consider is medication. Certain drugs can change values ​​in the blood just like with foods. Doctors are generally aware of this and will be able to say whether one should take a break from the drugs or not.

Clock next to empty plate illustrates fasting before blood tests

Fasting before blood tests will depend on the specific sample to be taken. Not all types of blood tests require fasting first.

What else should one keep in mind?

Health professionals tend to give other recommendations to ensure that the blood tests go as well as possible. First of all  , smoking should be avoided before taking blood samples, in  addition to fasting. This is because tobacco can alter glucose levels.

You can drink water moderately  to quench your thirst. However, it is completely forbidden to drink alcoholic beverages before blood tests. One should also avoid exercising the day doing as it can change certain markers.

In any case  , you should always talk to a doctor and ask for specific instructions for your particular case. As we already mentioned, some patients may need to take a break from medication while others do not. At the same time, the period that a patient must fast before blood tests may also vary. It is therefore best to talk in person with the doctor about it.

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