What Can Affect a Blood Cholesterol Test?

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A blood cholesterol test is an important part of your health care regimen that gauges the amounts of cholesterol and triglycerides in your body. When you properly prepare for the test, you ensure you'll get the most accurate results.

  1. Beverages

    • You are allowed to drink as much water as you want leading up to the test, but you can't have any other beverages. This includes vitamin water, coffee, tea and soda.

    Food

    • A fasting lipid profile requires that you fast and don't eat any foods before the test. This means you should not eat any food items, crackers, fruit, cereal, at least nine to 12 hours before your blood will be drawn.

    Conditions

    • A recent illness can cause a disruption in your blood cholesterol results. Other conditions that can affect your results are pregnancy and arthritis.

    Drugs

    • Some street drugs and prescription medicines (such as birth control pills and steroids) can affect your cholesterol levels, so talk with your doctor to see if this applies to your current medications. If so, discontinue taking this medicine the day of your test or a few days prior.

    Contamination

    • While it's quite rare that your sample could become contaminated in the lab, it is possible. If you feel that the test results you received seem to apply to a different person (for example, you are a vegan but your total cholesterol level is above 210), discuss the results with your doctor to see if another sample is needed.

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