SHOULD YOU EAT BEFORE A BLOOD TEST?

In this brief article, we will answer the questions: should you eat before a blood test, what are the effects of eating before a blood test, what is a blood test, and what is the importance of doing a blood test. We will also explore the uses of blood tests, and what are the different blood tests conducted.

Should you eat before a blood test?

In most blood tests it is okay to eat before the test. Some blood tests may require you to fast. These tests include iron deficiency tests for diagnosing anemia and blood glucose tests that are used to check for diabetes type 2 condition. 

Eating before blood glucose test

Consumption of food before blood glucose tests causes spikes in blood glucose. This is possible if the foods have a high glycaemic index. These spikes in turn affect the accuracy levels of the blood tests. High consumption of water before the tests alters the accuracy by diluting glucose levels in the blood. 

The wrong diagnosis observed may lead to non-comprehensive treatment. This kind of treatment may lead to the premature death of patients. It may be advisable to consult with your doctor to ensure the treatment is effective. 

What is a blood test?

This is an analysis of a blood sample, usually extracted from a vein using a sterile hypodermic needle. It is mainly done in the laboratory. It is mainly used to check glucose levels, cholesterol, the presence of drugs and substances, and any parasites/microbes in the blood. 

Blood tests have helped a lot in the diagnosis of diseases such as diabetes type 2, HIV/AIDS, anemia, high blood pressure, and malaria. Blood tests are also used to test and check the effectiveness of drugs that have been administered. 

Blood tests are also used in animals to check for zoonotic diseases such as anthrax and brucellosis. Veins are mainly chosen for blood extraction as the blood flow in veins has low pressure due to valves. 

Blood is processed mainly through biochemical tests, and bioassay tests. Bioassay tests are easy to conduct as they incorporate the antigen-antibody coagulation theory. Biochemical tests are used to give detailed results of the total composition of blood as compared to the standard levels. 

What is the importance of doing a blood test?

Blood tests are used in testing for certain diseases. Some diseases or conditions cause disturbances in the normal physiology of the body. These disturbances can only be spotted through blood tests. 

Such conditions include kidney/liver disease, diabetes type 2, hypertension and high blood pressure, anemia, low blood count, and HIV/AIDS. 

Blood tests are also efficient in the diagnosis of diseases and also monitoring the progress of medication in patients. Some drugs such as statins help in reducing LDL cholesterol. This is only noted through the biochemical tests of blood. 

Blood tests are essential in clarifying compatibility during blood transfusion and surgeries. It also helps in preventing the spread of zoonotic diseases such as pneumonia and AIDS, among patients. Some of these diseases are fatal and lead to death. 

What are the uses of blood tests?

  • Blood tests are essential in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. This is because they provide detailed biochemical components of blood. 
  • Blood tests are also used to determine the mode of treatment for certain diseases. For example, high blood pressure by determining the required drugs needed at the time. 
  • Blood tests help in controlling the spread of zoonotic diseases in hospitals. Thus blood tests are used in quality control practices in hospitals. 

What are the various blood tests?

We have several blood tests. They include biochemical tests, complete blood count tests, blood enzyme tests, lipid profile tests, and blood clotting tests. 

Complete blood count tests. 

These are tests conducted to determine the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelet levels, hemoglobin levels, hematocrit levels, and men’s corpuscular levels. Red blood cell count is used to detect the levels of oxygen in the blood, it is also used to check the level of iron in the blood, and is also used in the diagnosis of anemia and sickle cell disease. 

White blood cell count is used to diagnose autoimmune diseases. High levels indicate the presence of an autoimmune disease or cancer. Platelet count is used in diagnosing possible clot formation in blood vessels. 

All the other tests under this are used to check for anemia and the levels of RBC cells. 

Biochemical tests. 

They are used to measure the chemical composition of blood. They are used to check glucose levels, calcium levels, kidney and liver functions, and electrolyte levels. 

Bioassays or blood enzyme tests.

They are used to check for antibody and antigen action. It is signified by the formation of clots. It is also used in the observation of possible heart attacks by detection of troponin and creatine kinase. 

Lipid profile tests. 

They are used to observe the levels of cholesterol in the blood. It is widely used in testing athletes for the use of steroids. 

Blood clotting tests. 

They are used to check for any blood coagulation disorder.  

Conclusion. 

In this brief article, we have answered the questions: should you eat before a blood test, what are the effects of eating before a blood test, what is a blood test, and what is the importance of doing a blood test. We have also explored the uses of blood tests, and what are the different blood tests conducted.

Citations. 

https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/operations-tests-and-procedures/can-i-eat-and-drink-before-having-a-blood-test/#:~:text=You%20can%20eat%20and%20drink,to%20smoke%20before%20your%20test.

https://www.healthline.com/health/blood-tests

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/blood-tests/

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/blood-test

https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/what-you-need-to-know-about-blood-testing/

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