Fasting Blood Test

Definition - What does Fasting Blood Test mean?

A fasting blood test is testing done on a blood draw after the patient has refrained from food or water consumption for several hours. The exact fasting time can vary based on the tests planned for the blood draw. Conditions such as diabetes are often looked for with a fasting blood test. A fasting blood test is often referred to as a fasting blood draw.

WorkplaceTesting explains Fasting Blood Test

A fasting blood test is used to diagnose a multitude of conditions by taking a sample of blood from a person being tested. In general, blood tests can identify certain health problem and determine how well your body is working and or if treatments are working (if a specific medical issue has been identified).

If a fasting blood test is being performed in a work environment it is usually in response to a health screening by your employer. In employment situations, the fasting blood test may be focusing only on one particular element but can be used for a variety of different potential medical issues. Glucose (blood sugar) and triglycerides (which are part of a cholesterol, or lipid, panel) are the most common tests that require fasting before a blood draw. Blood draws for the purpose of testing kidney function, liver function, thyroid function, and standard blood counts do not require fasting. Current guidelines for cholesterol testing with regards to fasting are in flux currently and are likely to soon change to no fasting required.

In order to achieve accurate results the person being tested should not eat or drink anything except water for about eight to twelve hours prior to the fasting blood test. The exact time required varies by test. The person being tested should also refrain from smoking, coffee, juices, and even chewing gum (in some cases) before a fasting blood draw. Exercise can also affect results of some tests. Taking any prescription medication may or may not affect test results and should be discussed with the doctor before the fasting period.

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