Fasting blood tests

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Bitter irony that mum is not eating well at the moment and dropping weight once again .... doc would like her to have (amongst other tests) a follow-up cholesterol test ... which means fasting ...... from 9pm the evening prior to her blood test appointment ......

Two questions if any one can help ......

1) How important is cholesterol level in someone with dementia (let alone in mum's case multiple other health issues)?

2) If I don't stay with her from 'curfew time' and over night and 'police' her not eating and drinking (she'll forget not to!!!!) until after the test what effect is there on the test not being accurate?

I know no-one here is medically qualified to advise, but amongst all other (and some more pressing) concerns today with the GP this is one question I've been left bewildered by....... any experiences of 'managing' what should be a routine task ....

(Had a fasting test myself 12 months ago and recall how 'woozy' I felt having to get myself out to surgery without so much as a drop of water - let alone caffeine passing my lips in a morning)

Any tips on how to manage???

Thanks, Karen, x
 

Nell

Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
1,170
68
Australia
Dear Karen,
I am NOT medically qualified to comment on your post but I am wondering how much cholesterol could be a factor in all the health problems your poor Mum has??? Would knowing it was high be an answer to anything? If she's not eating, I doubt she'll start eating because she's told she has high cholesterol !!! :eek:

Could you phone and ask the doctor what she / he will do with the information once gained? Is it essential to know before there can be further planning for your Mum's health??

As I say, I'm not a medical person and I may be missing the point, but it sounds like a very trying and difficult undertaking for an uncertain reason - IMHO!! But please don't be influenced by me! Perhaps the information is vital . . . . .???:rolleyes:
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Dear Karen, having done a quick search, it would appear that it is the tryglycerides portion of the test that can be skewed if you eat or drink before it. It is possible to get an accurate total cholesterol reading without fasting. Has your mother had the most basic screening test before? Often that test will be done first and only if they see a problem will the more extensive fasting one be done. Re-reading your post though I see you say "follow up" so I assume that they have done one before and found some issues. I can't remember: is your mother's dementia AD, Vascular or mixed? Because I imagine it's more important for the vascular or mixed kind because the sort of deposits that can build up can cause strokes. Having said that though, my mother's cholesterol is high, she was put on statins, but got such severe muscle pain (a known side-effect) that she had to come off them.

I suppose that if an initial blood test shows problems they would be remiss in not following up, but I can't see that unless they're prepared to put her on appropriate meds, this will be able to be contorlled by the normal mantra of "diet and excercise". Also, her high cholesterol is not going to be causing her eating problems I don't think: this must be an incidental finding.

Incidentally, according to what I have read, and from my own experience, drinking small amounts of water during the fast is OK.

I don't know: I would be very much interested in what they proposed for a course of treatment should her levels be high, and if she would cooperate in such a course of treatments.

Jennifer

PS Tryglerides and glucose "may" be elevated if the person doesn't fast. Since she's not eating well anyway, I would be most coerned about the glucose portion of the test, if they do it, because a high glucose result might mean one thing if you've been fasting but something totally different if you haven't.
 
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Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Jennifer bless!! I'm going through a phase of can't cope with words of more than two syllables methinks!!!!! And just not coping with trying to think for myself other then her party planning (see other thread!!!!) :eek:

Mum's cholesterol levels were high at last bloods taken in March .... her BP is all over the place .... and has been for years (surprised her brain scans didn't show VaD as she has had known TIAs) (AZ +LBD is 'best diagnosis we have).

The weight loss is now triggering the 'C' word concerns again ......

Don't get me wrong ... I can cope with keeping her under a curfew for a night at least and making sure she 'fasts' ...... but you've hit on the question I was trying to articulate and couldn't ..... for what purpose? If I can't get her to eat anything remotely nutritious ... how do I control cholesterol levels longer-term anyway?

:confused: Karen, x
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
for what purpose
I agree Karen, what is the point, especially were it to turn out that foods she really likes were not good for cholesterol balance, and she then lost even the nice food.

They don't have much pleasure in their lives, after all.

Was the suggestion of the test a box ticking operation, I wonder?
 

noelphobic

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
3,452
Liverpool
Tender Face said:
(Had a fasting test myself 12 months ago and recall how 'woozy' I felt having to get myself out to surgery without so much as a drop of water - let alone caffeine passing my lips in a morning)
Thanks, Karen, x
You can have water before a fasting blood test Karen.
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
noelphobic said:
You can have water before a fasting blood test Karen.

They told me not to have any water before those tests.

Felt very faint in the crowded waiting-room
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Brucie said:
Was the suggestion of the test a box ticking operation, I wonder?
Now far be it from me to be cynical :rolleyes: :D ... but yes .... I do worry mum has gone through an awful lot of tests .... for her benefit? When an adverse result wouldn't prompt treatment anyway???? ... just allow a clearer picture of what she is 'fighting'??? Or to ensure I don't go screaming 'medical negligence' if and when .....?????:rolleyes: Trouble is, I'd feel neglectful too, if a medic has advised a course of action and I didn't follow it through?????

On balance, feel I must go with the GP's wishes and so will try to persevere with getting her through the test next week .... the cholesterol element seemingly the least important component ... (well, to me! :eek: ) and thanks to everyone's advice and links here realise it won't be the end of the world if she demands a cup of tea at 3am and the test has to be re-done if deemed absolutely necessary ....

Oh - and I thought fresh apple turnovers with lashings of cream might be good for her late breakfast once the test is done! ;) :)

Many thanks all .... love, Karen, x
 

noelphobic

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
3,452
Liverpool
Lila13 said:
They told me not to have any water before those tests.

Felt very faint in the crowded waiting-room
That's strange, because I have had lots of fasting blood tests and have always been told I can drink water. The leaflet Bruce posted a link to also says that you can drink water. I can't see how drinking water could affect your cholesterol level in any way, although I'm no scientist!

My son has regular cholesterol tests because he has diabetes. He always has them in the afternoon and they are never fasting tests. :confused:
 

Cate

Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
1,370
Newport, Gwent
Hi Kaz

I think Bruce has a point, is this just 'tick boxing'?

I would ask for a clear reason for this test, and for any other tests that the GP may have in mind to do. The reason that I suggest this is, if the GP is looking for something specific, there just maybe another route to go down, for example a scan, in other words, skip test A B C D and proceed to E.


Oh - and I thought fresh apple turnovers with lashings of cream might be good for her late breakfast once the test is done!

Great idea................ enjoy

Love

Cate xxxxx
 

DickG

Registered User
Feb 26, 2006
558
84
Stow-on-the-Wold
Hi Karen

I agree, what is the point?

In consutation with our GP I have refused certain test for Mary which would only increase her anxiety and taking her AZ into consideration her other problems are minor.

Love

Dick