A quick blood test is a simple thing, but the ramifications are significant.
It can help diagnose diseases, give insight into how well your organs function, and what treatments may or may not be effective.
Before you go for your blood test, you may be required to fast before blood is drawn. This is because the blood must be clear of nutrients like fats and sugars for the most accurate reading.
Glucose and lipid testing are the most common types of fasting blood tests, said Carole Andrews of Penn State Health in Hershey, Pa.
“The amount of fats and glucose [sugars] will increase in the blood if a person has recently eaten,” Andrews explained in a Penn State news release. “This will affect the results of these specific tests.”
If you’re wondering why they need so many samples, it’s to test different things. The vials are typically colour-coded based on the type of test. For example, a green-coloured vial is used for a chemistry profile, while a purple-coloured one measures blood count. The amount of blood is solely predicated on the number of tests your doctor’s ordered, so there’s no need for concern over multiple vials being drawn.
“Even if you had 10 tubes of blood taken, that’s less than 60 milliliters,” Andrews said. “It’s not going to make an impact because your body is designed to replace what is lost.” Most people have between 4,500 to 5,700 milliliters of blood.
Finally, if needles make you wary, relax. Being tense may only make the experience worse!
“Also, it is easier if the patient is relaxed and comes in with a good attitude,” Andrews said. “If they tense up too much, it can make the venipuncture difficult.”
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