How do you prepare for a blood test?

Data: 2019-12-04

Some blood tests will require you to fast beforehand. In these cases, your doctor will instruct you not to eat or drink anything, except water, in the hours leading up to the test.
Fasting before certain blood tests is important to help make sure that your test results are accurate. The vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates, and proteins that make up all food and beverages can impact blood-level readings, clouding the results of your test.

Not all blood tests will require you to fast beforehand. Blood tests that you will likely need to fast for include:
• blood glucose test
• liver function test
• cholesterol test
• triglyceride level test
• high-density lipoprotein (HDL) level test
• low-density lipoprotein (LDL) level test
• basic metabolic panel
• renal function panel
• lipoprotein panel

If your doctor has prescribed a new blood test for you, or doesn’t mention whether or not you should fast or for how long, ask them if fasting is required. Some tests, such as a fecal occult blood test, don’t require fasting but do limit certain foods. Red meats, broccoli, and even some medications may cause a false positive test. Always follow your doctor’s advice when preparing for a test.

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