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What is a fasting blood test?

A fasting blood test is a laboratory examination of a sample of your blood taken from a vein (usually in your arm) after you have not eaten anything for at least eight hours and sometimes as long as 12 hours. Your doctor may also suggest that you don't drink anything other than water during this fasting time and may also advise you not to take any medications during your fasting period. Two common reasons for having a fasting blood test are to check the level of sugar (glucose) in your blood and to check the levels of cholesterol in your blood. In both cases the accuracy of your results may be affected by the food you eat. Fasting before your blood test can help to ensure accurate results.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.