If your doctor/physician has ordered a blood test, while you are preparing for it, here’s what you may need to know about getting a blood test done.

Fasting: If the doctor has asked for a fasting blood tests it means you don't eat or drink anything except water usually for 8 to 12 hours before getting the blood test done.

Tests typically requiring fasting include: Fasting blood glucose, Lipid profile, Kidney function tests, Vitamin B12, Iron studies, Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), etc.

Why fasting is important: Nutrients present in the food and drinks get into your bloodstream and may alter parameters measured by the tests, causing skewed results.

In case you make a mistake and eat or drink anything other than water, please inform the person taking your blood. Your doctor will want to know so he/she can interpret your tests correctly.

For the best results, she may ask you to reschedule, if necessary.

Once your blood is taken for the test, your fast is over, and you may eat or drink as necessary.

Drink Water

Drinking adequate water will not only make you feel better if you’re fasting, it will also make for a smoother blood draw. Blood is about 50 percent water, so the more water you drink, and the easier it is for the phlebotomist– to draw your blood–to locate your veins and remove blood.

Urine tests are frequently ordered along with blood tests, and the fuller your bladder, the easier it will be for you to provide a sample.

Sleep: Make sure you get enough sleep the night before the blood test.

Exercise: Avoid any physical activity and stress prior to your blood test. It is recommended that you calm down and relax for 10-15 minutes prior to blood withdrawal.

Testing Enzyme and hormone levels: Since enzymes and hormones level tend to vary depending on the time of day, these tests should be performed before 10 a.m. unless your doctor indicates otherwise.

In the case of women’s hormones, since they are known to fluctuate and vary depending on the phase of the cycle, blood samples should be given as per the guidelines provided by the physician

Taking medications: Take your medications as prescribed, unless your doctor has asked you not to take medication before the test. If you are taking any blood-thinning medication, such as heparin or Coumadin (warfarin), tell the phlebotomist about these medications before your blood is drawn.

After your blood is drawn, the phlebotomist will closely observe the puncture site to see that bleeding has stopped before you leave the collection location.

Similarly, if you are on any diabetic, hypertensive, cardiac, renal or antibacterial medication, or any biotin containing medication, please inform the details of the medication, along with dosage and time when the last medication was taken.

Relax: If you are anxious about what is going to take place, ask the person taking your blood to explain everything he or she is doing. Or think of something entirely different, or what you are going to do after your blood test.

After the blood test:

The bandage can be removed after an hour. An easy way to remove the bandage is to loosen it after a bath or shower. If the area does bleed later, apply slight pressure until the bleeding stops and apply a new bandage.

Rarely, Bruising may occur at the blood draw site. Do not worry if this happens. Apply some ice to the site and give it a few days to resolve.

When can you expect the results of your blood test:

Most of the blood test results will be ready and available before the end of the day, and you would get an SMS/E-mail notification as soon as your results are ready.

Your bill/invoice copy would specify the time when the report would be ready.

In case of any further queries, please feel free to contact our customer care executive at # 080-45553333

By Dr. Shamim Javed