Should you fast before having a blood test?

We undergo several blood tests in a year. Since the blood reports are the most accurate way to determine the biological well being of a person, we should know a thing or two about the do’s and don’ts of blood tests.

“When you are preparing for any health check-up, your focus is mainly on silent diseases,” says Dr Shashikant Nigam, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Apollo Hospitals, Ahmedabad emphasizing on the growing incidences of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and other chronic illnesses.

Adding more information to this and segregating the nature of the tests, Dr Anubhav Pandey, Head, Clinical Labs, Department of Microbiology, Amrita Hospital, Faridabad says though fasting is essential for many blood tests, it solely depends on what kind of test you will have. “The prerequisite for every test is unique and it entirely depends on the type of blood tests being performed. For example, to test the fasting blood Glucose and liver function, the sample must be given in a fasting state,” he says.

In the same line Dr. Dilip Gude, Senior Consultant Physician, Yashoda hospitals Hyderabad says, “A few tests like Fasting blood sugar, Lipid profile, GGT(Gamma glutamyl Transferase),iron profile etc and upper gastro endoscopy need to be done in a fasting state. Although not mandatory some other tests like LFT(Liver function test], serum electrolytes, serum creatinine, vitamin B12 are recommended to be done fasting.”