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Facts about Fasting before Your Lab Test

Can you drink water when you are fasting for a blood test? Find out what you need to know before your next fasting blood test.

A regular checkup is one of the most important things you can do for your health. During the checkup your doctor may order blood tests that require fasting, such as tests that measure blood sugar and cholesterol. You need to fast becauseFacts about Fasting before Your Lab Test eating and drinking anything other than plain water in the 10 to 12 hours before the test will cause spikes in your blood chemistry. When that happens, it is impossible for your doctor to get a true picture of how your body is functioning.

Here are a few tips to help you when you must fast.

• Do fast (no food or liquids other than water) for 10 to 12 hours.

• Do fast overnight and have your test in the morning.

• Do check with your doctor about taking your medication before the blood test.

• Don’t smoke, exercise or chew gum during your fast.

• Don’t fast longer than 10 to 12 hours, or your test results may not be accurate.

• Don’t stop drinking water. Being well-hydrated makes your veins easier to find.

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Review Date: March 20, 2012
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