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Thread: Medical experts? Question on fasting before blood test

  1. #1
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    Medical experts? Question on fasting before blood test

    Lady who works for me has to have a blood test at 8:00 AM in the morning. Pretty basic lab work, plus looking for any thyroid malfunctions. So they tell her she has to do the standard 12 hour fast/only water for tonight.

    Which really sucks, because she is hosting a pre-superbowl party tonight, and she really would like to be able to drink a little later than 8:00 PM tonight. She asked me if the blood test would really be any different or effected if she had a drink after 9:00 or 10:00 PM tonight, if she stopped at say 10 or 11:00 PM.

    I told sorry, I'm a Ph.D. and not an M.D. so I don't have a clue, although I would suspect it really wouldn't make a difference.

    Is there anyone here who is medically trained or experienced and knows the answer?

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    So I take it she doesnt really have any self control or what?

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    I'm not a doctor in real life but I play one on TV. No caloric intake for those 12 hours but she can come over to my place to have sex with me.

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    If she drinks alcohol, she's going to have "irregular" enzyme levels and her LFT's (Liver Function Tests) will be elevated and flagged. She should either reschedule her blood draw or stick to water, or it will be pointless.

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    It doesn't sound like the labwork excuse is really going to work. If you want her to be sober during the intervention, you have to make sure she's the last person to arrive and then begin immediately.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dungsroman
    If she drinks alcohol, she's going to have "irregular" enzyme levels and her LFT's (Liver Function Tests) will be elevated and flagged. She should either reschedule her blood draw or stick to water, or it will be pointless.
    Thanks - I passed that along to her. Her question back: is 10 hours on fast really going to be bad, 12 OK? My response - I don't know, but why not just have them reschedule? (my personal, ignorant suspicion is that they say 12 hours because that provides a buffer and 10 would probably be fine - but since I'm not a medical doc or technician, I'm not going to tell her that!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff lackey
    Thanks - I passed that along to her. Her question back: is 10 hours on fast really going to be bad, 12 OK? My response - I don't know, but why not just have them reschedule? (my personal, ignorant suspicion is that they say 12 hours because that provides a buffer and 10 would probably be fine - but since I'm not a medical doc or technician, I'm not going to tell her that!)
    Depends upon what she plans on doing in those extra 2 hours. Drink a few glasses of wine or perhaps one or two beers? Maybe. Drink any more than that, then no. She would do well to not drink alcohol 24 hours before the blood draw, really. Likewise, a full-ass meal, also not a good idea. It's all about whether you really want honest test results or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dungsroman
    Depends upon what she plans on doing in those extra 2 hours. Drink a few glasses of wine or perhaps one or two beers? Maybe. Drink any more than that, then no. She would do well to not drink alcohol 24 hours before the blood draw, really. Likewise, a full-ass meal, also not a good idea. It's all about whether you really want honest test results or not.
    I will ask an honest (but probably very stupid) question. What if you routinely drink fairly heavily? Wouldn't you get an abnormal test result, versus your body's ordinary state, if you stopped drinking?

    Yes, I realize this would apply to food as well, which we eat all the time, yet they still tell us to fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlyFrog
    I will ask an honest (but probably very stupid) question. What if you routinely drink fairly heavily? Wouldn't you get an abnormal test result, versus your body's ordinary state, if you stopped drinking?
    As a confirmed drunk, the answer is yes. It's not a stupid question. I was really surprised.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlyFrog
    I will ask an honest (but probably very stupid) question. What if you routinely drink fairly heavily? Wouldn't you get an abnormal test result, versus your body's ordinary state, if you stopped drinking?

    Yes, I realize this would apply to food as well, which we eat all the time, yet they still tell us to fast.
    If you drank hard and heavily enough, you would get abnormal LFTs because of the damage to your liver. If you drank before the test, your LFTs would look even worse as a result of it.

    See, when you drink alcohol, your liver processes the alcohol using a series of enzymes. These enzymes are released during the metabolism of alcohol. Now, constant damage to your liver by excessive alcohol not only causes liver cell destruction which releases liver enzymes due to cell breakage, but your body will work to try to keep up with the alcohol indulgence by synthesizing/releasing higher than normal liver enzymes to try to deal with the issue. The LFT test is sort of nonspecific, in that it checks for a variety of liver enzymes to a certain threshold blood concentration, mostly to indicate liver cell damage. alcohol is perfect for transiently mimicking this effect - it's not the only thing, mind. Drugs both legal and illicit do too, but alcohol intake is much more common and very liver-specific.
    Last edited by Bill Dungsroman; 02-02-2007 at 02:09 PM.

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    Jesus, tell her to grow the fuck up and just not drink after 8. Is she that self centered and that much of a drunk that she can't stop drinking for one night and just drink water?

    I know you can't tell her that exactly, but come on. Where does she live a frat house?

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    Which really sucks, because she is hosting a pre-superbowl party tonight, and she really would like to be able to drink a little later than 8:00 PM tonight.
    Yes, obviously she's a lush living at a frat house. Sheesh.

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    Ok, maybe that was a little judgemental, but come on. Does she really want to screw up her blood tests by having that extra drink? Why not stick to water after 8? Doesn't seem worth it to me.

    I had a friend who is a pilot. His company told him that he was not supposed to drink for 12 hours before a flight. When that 12 hour mark came, he stopped cold. In fact he'd taper it down before then, but he would not touch a drink after that time. Of course he could have gone "Ok, one more beer", but that would defeat the spirit and letter of the rule.

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    I'm ordinarily in the same camp on these things that others are suggesting, but I think it's a little strong on this one. Come on. She's having probably a fairly routine test. The Super Bowl comes once a year. It may not be a big thing for you, but a lot of people really get up for it. She's not suggesting that she has to drink or she'll die, she's just wondering whether enjoying an event that is either of interest or is important to her will really do any harm to the tests. I don't see why that makes her some alcoholic whore or something.

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    What they are looking for in the blood test is 12 hours after normal behavior, not 12 hours after abnormal food and alcohol consumption. If she's going to splurge before 8PM and then stop then she might as well just reschedule the test. If she wants to do the test, then she should probably take it easy at the part even before 8PM.

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    Got all the feedback, thanks. Yeah, since we're in the Chicago area this Superbowl thing is pretty big and festive right now.

    I'm not gonna get all judgmental on her - she's not a lush, just having a bunch of friends over for a big Bears/Superbowl party tonight, and knowing her she'd probably have one gin and tonic per hour. She just asked me if it would mess up her results - she said cbc, cholesterol, and thyroid - if she had a drink after 8, if that 12 hours was just a "safety" margin to make sure everything was gone. She's a big girl, I told her what you guys said and then told her to just call her doctor and ask.

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff lackey
    Got all the feedback, thanks. Yeah, since we're in the Chicago area this Superbowl thing is pretty big and festive right now.

    I'm not gonna get all judgmental on her - she's not a lush, just having a bunch of friends over for a big Bears/Superbowl party tonight, and knowing her she'd probably have one gin and tonic per hour. She just asked me if it would mess up her results - she said cbc, cholesterol, and thyroid - if she had a drink after 8, if that 12 hours was just a "safety" margin to make sure everything was gone. She's a big girl, I told her what you guys said and then told her to just call her doctor and ask.

    Thanks
    One drink/hour ought to be fine, just not past 10PM at the very latest. If she's not getting LFTs done, then the worry is largely decreased - although her cholesterol might be affected by drinking, it's not likely that one G'n'T per hour will be enough to do it. CBC can sometimes be erratic but again, not likely with such low drinking. Thyroid is no sweat. However, still - no food!

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    The easiest thing would be to reschedule the test for next week. Is that like not an option?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElGuapo
    Ok, maybe that was a little judgemental, but come on. Does she really want to screw up her blood tests by having that extra drink? Why not stick to water after 8? Doesn't seem worth it to me.

    I had a friend who is a pilot. His company told him that he was not supposed to drink for 12 hours before a flight. When that 12 hour mark came, he stopped cold. In fact he'd taper it down before then, but he would not touch a drink after that time. Of course he could have gone "Ok, one more beer", but that would defeat the spirit and letter of the rule.
    We should fucking burn this tramp. HOW DARE SHE ENDANGER THE LIVES OF NO ONE WITH HER DRINKING!!!!111!!!

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    A little judgemental? Dude you're being a total dick. The lady is just asking if it will really screw things up that bad to have a couple glasses of wine and she's a drunk living in a frat house?

    Quote Originally Posted by ElGuapo
    Ok, maybe that was a little judgemental, but come on. Does she really want to screw up her blood tests by having that extra drink? Why not stick to water after 8? Doesn't seem worth it to me.

    I had a friend who is a pilot. His company told him that he was not supposed to drink for 12 hours before a flight. When that 12 hour mark came, he stopped cold. In fact he'd taper it down before then, but he would not touch a drink after that time. Of course he could have gone "Ok, one more beer", but that would defeat the spirit and letter of the rule.

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    I'm not sure, but I think that it's called self control. Haven't you people ever gone out and been the designated driver? Can we not have a good time without drinking anymore? I like it as much as the next guy, but if there is something important to be gained in avoidance (like an accurate blodo test, or being on medication), I can certainly moderate myself. I just don't understand lack of self control. But it's not my life, so like I said, maybe I came down too harsh. We're in a society where no one can judge anyone else anymore and everything is relative, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElGuapo
    I'm not sure, but I think that it's called self control. Haven't you people ever gone out and been the designated driver? Can we not have a good time without drinking anymore? I like it as much as the next guy, but if there is something important to be gained in avoidance (like an accurate blodo test, or being on medication), I can certainly moderate myself. I just don't understand lack of self control. But it's not my life, so like I said, maybe I came down too harsh. We're in a society where no one can judge anyone else anymore and everything is relative, right?
    Where did all that come from?

    There's a difference between "I can't control myself so I must compulsively drink" and "if it's an option, I'd certainly enjoy a drink."

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    Yeah what Nick said. Someone's got a serious lack of perspective here.

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    There is a third option, which is "the doctor told me not to drink, is it ok if I still drink?"

    Theoretical person could do anything they wanted, and is harming no one but their own blood test, and who cares. My point was theoretical, I didn't want jeff lackey to print out my "Maybe she needs to control herself" post and bring it to her and make her break down in tears. If someone I knew asked me this same question I'd give them the same irreverent answer. "Do you really want to chance compromising your test? That seems weird." But its irrelevant to me what this person does in the long run.

    But dogpile some more, I can take it. Do you guys lobby for the alchohol industry?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElGuapo
    There is a third option, which is "the doctor told me not to drink, is it ok if I still drink?"
    Yes, and?

    It's not like the scenario was an alcoholic with serious liver problems looking for help rationalizing away a doctors earnest advice to quit drinking immediately. It was a routine blood test, and I'm sure the "don't drink, don't eat, blah blah blah" spiel was routine boilerplate instruction delivered in a routine fashion by some drone LPN. So it's hardly the sign of a society slipping into collapse to ask for a clarification (from someone she thought might be professionally qualified to comment).

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    I still dont see why the fourth option of getting it rescheduled wasn't there. If it wasn't because the test was that important then it makes the person seem even more retarded.

    Oh yeah and I agree with ElGuapo.

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    I'm leaning in El Guapo's direction on this as well. Nobody is suggesting the person in question has an alchohol problem but if you are taking a blood test and are given some instructions you should be able to either a) adjust your life to follow those instructions or b) arrange to take the test at a time when you can follow those instructions. Instead we have someone who seems to either not be taking the test very seriously or who is looking for someone to back them up on ignoring the instructions. If it is a simple matter of the person not understanding why those instructions are there, why didn't she simply call the doctor or nurse for clarification?

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    It is interesting how what I thought would be a pretty simple question turned into a fairly judgmental thread. Her blood test was pretty routine, she thought about rescheduling but figured she'd go ahead and get it done, and the gal at the desk told her "12 hour fast and water." She simply asked me how important the 12 hours was, and she assumed it wasn't some perfectly measured out time but was 12 hours to provide some level of buffer in case someone forgot and drank a coke or milk or a glass of wine. She was hosting a superbowl party, and just wondered if she needed to be super careful about when she finished her last drink. She drinks about 1 per hour at parties, she's hardly a lush.

    Anyway, I did tell her to simply call her doctor and ask, he told her for the test she was having 9 - 10 hours was plenty safe.

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