Fasting for a certain length of time before a blood test is one way of ensuring that your test results are not contaminated by the food you've eaten. The Mayo Clinic notes that fasting may not be necessary to get an accurate reading on a cholesterol test, but most doctors will still ask that you fast for at least 12 hours before your appointment.Know More
For certain other kinds of tests, such as a blood glucose test, fasting is necessary. This test is done to check for diabetes, and it requires that you abstain from any food intake for at least eight hours before the blood is drawn. There are alternatives to this test for diagnosing diabetes, but according to howstuffworks.com, the blood glucose test is easy, fast, and inexpensive.
Other types of blood tests do not require that you fast prior to the blood draw. The test for thyroid hormone in the blood, for example, almost never requires that you fast. But even here, there's an exception. About.com recommends fasting before a thyroid test if you are taking a time-released T3 medication such as Cytomel. In this case, your doctor might ask you to fast before your blood is drawn.Learn more about Diagnostics & Imaging
A Chem 14 blood test, also called a comprehensive metabolic panel, is a group of 14 tests used to check organ function and monitor certain health conditions. A Chem 14 measures blood levels of sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate and glucose. It also evaluates kidney and liver function.Full Answer >
Lab test results may be positive, negative or inconclusive and are interpreted based on the condition being tested for, claims WebMD. Patients should discuss all test results with their doctor.Full Answer >
Blood test results can take up to a few weeks to receive, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Patients should follow up with their doctor to discuss test results.Full Answer >
On blood test results, "RDW" stands for red cell distribution width, which shows the variation in the size of red blood cells, according to the Mayo Medical Laboratories. This measurement is often used to help diagnose specific types of anemia.Full Answer >