Blood tests are a very effective means of diagnosis of various diseases and disorders. The results of a blood test are often accurate and reliable. Most blood tests demand a stipulated time of fasting, during which you are not allowed to eat or drink anything. However, blood tests that do not demand fasting may require you to omit certain foods from your diet altogether. Certain foods may influence the results of blood tests, thereby leading to a false diagnosis. The type of foods to avoid before a blood test depend upon the type of blood test that you are planning to undergo.
Foods to Avoid Before a Blood Test
Fasting for blood work usually begins 8 to 12 hours before the blood test. During this time, you are not supposed to eat or drink anything (though, some tests may allow drinking water). Given below are some foods that you should avoid for common blood tests.
Foods containing artificial sugar may adversely affect the blood test for detecting glucose levels in the body. This also happens to be the most commonly prescribed blood test, which you may have to take up routinely if you are a diabetic. Fasting before a blood test is a common norm when you are undergoing blood work for glucose. Besides that, you should avoid drinking canned fruit juices which are full of artificial sugar, preservatives etc. Also, stay away from syrups, soda as they have an unusual amount of sugar in them.
Carbohydrates get converted into sugar in the body. Consuming excess amount of carbohydrates may show a surge in your blood sugar levels. Sugary carbs such as sweetened cereals must be avoided at all costs prior to a blood taste. Even cereals such as oats or bran based must be avoided as they are rich in natural sugars, which can prove to be a problem.
One must avoid taking iron supplements in any form prior to a hemogram. This is a blood test to detect medical conditions such as anemia. As iron supplements get easily absorbed in the body, they may lead to an inaccurate reading, which further results in wrong diagnosis. Hence, it is recommended that you avoid taking iron supplements for 24 hours prior to a blood test.
If you are undertaking a blood test for lipid profile, then it is a must that you avoid fatty foods under all circumstances. Lipid profile is a comprehensive test which includes testing for LDL and HDL cholesterol along with triglycerides. Fatty foods take quite some time to digest in the body, hence may affect the test results in spite of 12 hour fasting period.
Alcohol may interfere with the test results of blood tests for triglycerides as well as gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) test, which is an important diagnostic tool for liver disease. One must refrain from consuming alcohol for at least 24 hours prior to the test.
Coffee may not cause any trouble by itself, but when mixed with sugar and cream, it has the potential to influence the results of a blood glucose test. Nonetheless, if you consume it before the fasting period of 12 hours begins, you should not have any problem with the test results.
More often than not, your health care practitioner will guide you regarding what you should eat prior to a test and how long you need to fast. In case, he does not recommend anything specific stick to a simple, routine diet, so that your test results are as accurate as possible.