How to Prepare Yourself Prior to a Blood Cholesterol Test


Taking a blood sample remains the best way to check a person’s cholesterol level. This procedure requires certain preparation to secure accurate results. If you have to undergo a blood cholesterol test, understand that you will have to abstain from taking in food for a specified period of time. You should ask your doctor specifically how she wants you to prepare for the test, but certain things tend to remain the same no matter who you have for a doctor.

  • Get the exact information and proper instructions from your doctor or the laboratory technician at the facility that will take your blood sample so you can prepare yourself for the process. Usually you cannot drink or eat anything anywhere from six to eight hours before the test’s scheduled time. In some instances your doctor might advise you to fast for at least 12 hours beforehand.

  • Since this type of testing requires you not to consume any kind of food or drink for up to 12 hours prior, try to schedule your blood test early in the morning. You might want to start your fasting time at around 6 or 7 p.m. the previous evening. As soon as you wake up, proceed to the lab right away for your blood sample.
  • If the blood cholesterol test works as part of an insurance exam, you will receive notification in advance about the upcoming procedure. In that case, you will have ample time to prepare. Monitor your food intake in the meantime. You should refrain from eating certain kinds of food, including red meat, eggs and other high-fat and high-cholesterol foods. These might show up in your blood stream and cause inaccurate results.
  • If having a blood cholesterol test is a routine component of monitoring your cholesterol level, you should instead do the opposite; that is, you must not change your normal food intake or diet. This proves crucial for your doctor to determine cholesterol level based on your daily food intake.
  • Confirm with your doctor or lab personnel if you can drink water even if you have started your fasting. Some laboratories or clinics allow their patients to continue water intake during the fasting period because they do not consider water as part of the food abstinence provision no matter the time frame.
  • Make sure you verify with your doctor if you can still drink coffee during your fasting period. Most doctors do not allow their patience to have coffee during this preparation.
  • You must provide accurate information to lab personnel. If, for instance, you were required to have a 12-hour fasting time, but could not follow through, inform the person administering the test up front so you will not compromise your results..

Filed Under: Health & Personal Care

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About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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