Why Fast Before A Cholesterol Test
You've been told your doctor is concerned about your cholesterol level, or a history of high cholesterol in your family. You are now scheduled for a cholesterol test, and have been told you need to fast. Fasting before a blood test? It sounds like bad advice, doesn't it? After all, the blood drives must provide food after your blood donation for a reason!
Fasting before any blood work is important. It is especially important before you get tested for certain things, like diabetes and cholesterol. The fast serves a very specific purpose: it gives the doctor a reading of your blood he can use to get the answers to his questions about your health.
Eating food means that your body has to process that food, which can take hours. As it processes the food, components of the food breakdown and travel through your blood. Because the cholesterol test checks the level of fat in your blood, any food consumed and the resulting fat it produces in your blood stream can throw the test off completely.
Fasting before you go in for blood work gives the doctor a true picture of how your blood looks before it has to do its job. If your fat (lipid) levels are high in a fasting state, then you are at risk for high cholesterol and all of the health problems it can cause: heart disease, stroke, heart attack, blocked arteries and more.
Don't be concerned about the fast before the test. You'll get to eat again as soon as the doctor is finished. In general a fast means that you don't eat food, but you can drink water. Generally you are only asked to fast overnight or for most of a day before the blood is drawn. Your doctor will give you complete instructions when he schedules the appointment.
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