Your health care provider will usually advise you if you are required to fast prior to being tested. If you have not been advised by your doctor, then fasting prior to your testing is not generally required.
What is Fasting?
Fasting is when you consume no food or drinks, with the exception of water, for a set period of time.
Fasting is necessary for certain tests because the nutrients in recently consumed foods and beverages can impact your test results. If you don't fast or fast for a shorter period, then your test results may be inaccurate.
What Tests Require Fasting?
Tests to determine glucose levels usually require fasting. Tests to determine lipids levels (cholesterol etc) may sometimes require fasting. However there are other tests that may require fasting. Your health care provider will advise you at the time of his or her ordering the pathology test if fasting is required.
How Should I Fast For My Pathology Test?
- Diabetics should not fast without prior medical advice.
- Fasting means that you abstain from all food and fluids other than water for a period of 12 hours prior to your test, however a window of 8 - 14 hours is acceptable.
- Fasting means taking nothing but water. No juice, no fruit, no teas or coffees, nothing but water for 8-14 hours prior to your test.
- Alcohol should not be consumed for 72 hours (3 days) prior to the test.
- You should avoid smoking during the fasting period.
- You should not fast for more than 14 hours prior to your testing.
- Continue to take any medication unless advised otherwise by your doctor.
These instructions should be adhered to unless advised otherwise by your doctor.