Preparing for Your Test

Many medical diagnostic tests require some preparation before the test, in most cases, many hours prior to the test. Before any lab test, you and your physician should discuss the test details, and how to prepare your body for the test. To ensure the medical diagnostic test is accurate, you should always follow your physicians instructions.

When it is time for your test, our Reliance Diangnostics Lab technicians will administer the medical test, and will ensure you’ve made the necessary test preparations. Below is a guide of some common medical diagnostic tests. Please Note: The following is intended to be a guide, and should not replace the directions of your physician.

Making The Lab Testing Experience Easier

For certain tests, such as glocose (blood sugar) or cholesterol testing, you may need to fast (no eating) for at least 8 hours before the test. During this 8 hours, you must not eat or drink any food or liquids, except for water.

Drink Water
Drink lots of water prior to the blood test. Staying hydrated will keep your blood pressure from dropping, which will prevent dizziness or fainting during the test or afterwards.

To Fast, or Not To Fast
If your physician does not advise you to fast before the test, you should eat breakfast to maintain your blood sugar levels. Eating can help prevent dizziness or lightheadedness. Note, do not eat just before your test if you think the food might make you nauseous.

Taking Vitamins & Medication
If you are taking medication, continue taking it, unless your doctor advises you otherwise. If your physician does not mention it, it’s a good idea to ask just to be sure. If you are taking vitamins or mineral supplements, check with your doctor if you can continue taking them prior to the test. If you take Coumadin (warfarin), heparin or any another blood-thinning medication, tell the Reliance Diagnostics Lab technician before they draw your blood. We will closely monitor the puncture site after your blood has been drawn to ensure bleeding has stopped.

If you have any questions about the test procedure, before, during, or after, feel free to ask us, we are medical professionals that can answer your questions and give you peace of mind.

Bring A Snack
Having something handy to eat and drink after your test will help you to avoid any dizziness or lightheadedness. You can resume your normal diet after the medical test.

The bandage over the puncture site can be removed about an hour after the test. One easy way to remove it is to take a bath or a shower. If the puncture site starts bleeding again, simply apply some light pressure for a minute, and then put on a new bandage. If any bruising appears, don’t worry, simply put some ice on it for 15 – 20 minutes, the bruising will disappear after a few days.

24-hour Urine Sample

For a 24-hour urine sample, you will need to refrain from the following for 8 – 12 hours prior to the test:

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Exercise
  • Smoking

When it is time for your urine sample collection, discard your first morning urine and continue collecting each time you urinate for the next 24 hours. You must keep your urine collection container refrigerated during the entire 24 hour collection period, and up until it is submitted. Write your name, the date and time of your urine collection on the container before submission.

Blood Work

Prior to any blood test, you must fast. The day before your test, you must stop drinking and eating at or around midnight. You can drink liquids, such as water, black coffee or black tea, but do not use sugar, sweetener, milk, or cream. Continue taking any medication you’ve been prescribed, unless your doctor has advised you otherwise.

You do NOT need to fast for the following tests:

  • Alpha-2 macroglobulin
  • Calcitonin
  • Carotene
  • Cholesterol
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Collagen type 1C-Telopeptide
  • Glucose testing
  • Lactose
  • Lipid
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K