What is Fasting?

Fasting is the act of not consuming any food or liquids, with the exception of Water, for a sustained period of time. In Pathology, Fasting is often required prior to having a blood test. This is because it reduces the likelihood of your blood test results being influenced by the food and liquid you have consumed. Depending on the blood test, certain foods and liquids can interfere with your chemical levels and give a misleading result. For example, if you have consumed Chocolate prior to having a blood test, your results are likely to indicate your glucose is abnormally high. This does not provide a true indication of your current chemical levels. Therefore, fasting helps ensure your blood test results are accurate.

What should I do if my blood test requires Fasting?

If your blood test requires fasting, the following steps should be taken:

  • You should not consume any food or liquids, except for water, for 8-16 hours. The ideal fasting time is 10-12 hours.
  • You should consume your normal evening meal the night before, however, you should finish eating by 7pm. For Children, eating must be finished by 10pm.
  • Aside from Water, you must avoid all other fluids. This includes, coffee, tea, fruit juice, soft drink and alcohol.
  • Chewing Gum and Mints must be avoided.
  • Attend your local Mater Pathology Collection Centre at opening time the following morning. Please consult opening times for your local centre, as they vary between each centre.
  • Keep a list of all the medication you are currently taking, as your collector will ask you for this prior to collection.

How do I know if my blood test requires Fasting?

Your Doctor should have informed you your blood test requires fasting. Additionally, this is usually displayed on your request form and is indicated by the Fasting box being checked. If you are unsure if your test requires fasting, please contact Mater Pathology by calling 07 3163 8500.

What is restricted during fasting?

During Fasting, all food must be avoided. This includes Chewing Gum and Mints. Only Water can be consumed.

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