Preparing for Fasting Blood Work with Diabetes

Some blood tests require people to fast and maybe stop medications for several hours before the blood draw. How a person with diabetes manages fasting for a test depends on their treatment plan, blood sugar stability and general health status.

Preparation Tips

The goal, whether the blood work is related to diabetes or another condition, is to prevent your blood sugar levels from becoming too high or too low.

  1. When scheduling the blood test, tell the scheduler that you have diabetes and would appreciate the morning’s first appointment.
  2. Once the test is scheduled and fasting protocol is explained, consulting with your doctor or other care team member is the best way to resolve any concerns.
  3. The day before the test, drink plenty of sugar-free and caffeine-free liquids before the fast 10 to 12 glasses of water would be ideal.
  4. Before and just after the blood test, do not expect your blood glucose level to be perfect or what it usually is. Remember, the goal is to keep the level from being too high or too low.
  5. If your blood sugar is too low the night before the test, eat or drink what you normally do to correct it. Call the clinic to see whether rescheduling is required.
  6. Before leaving home for the blood draw, test your glucose level. If it is less than 70, eat breakfast as you usually do and reschedule the blood test.
  7. Keep in mind that stress can elevate glucose levels. If your blood test is raising your anxiety, it may also raise your blood sugar.
  8. Bring your diabetes medicine and something for breakfast with you to the facility. After the blood draw, take your medication and eat before leaving the clinic.

Resume your usual diabetes regimen as soon as possible after the test. You may want to check your blood glucose levels more frequently than usual until it has stabilized.


Source: Group Health Cooperative
Photo: Pexels


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