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Blood Work FAQ: everything you’ve ever wondered about getting your blood tested.

A blood work lab technician hold test tubes filled with blood. The lab technician is wearing blue rubber gloves and a white lab coat.

Blood work provides a wealth of information about the inner workings of our bodies and can give us a clear picture of our current health. There are many different types of blood tests, and each have different procedures and benefits. If you’re not familiar with getting your blood tested, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions about blood work.

How long does a blood test take?

If you’re nervous about getting blood drawn, good news! The total appointment time for a blood test is usually only five to ten minutes, and the actual time it takes to draw blood is about 60 seconds.  Whether you prefer to make an appointment or walk-in for your blood test, Your Health Lab offers both options.

How often should I have a routine blood work?

Getting your blood tested once per year is a good schedule for people with no major or underlying health issues. If you are managing medical concerns, your doctor may suggest a different treatment plan or schedule for your blood work. This is because pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, heart-failure, or other circumstances require more monitoring. You may also decide to have blood work done more frequently if you want to stay on top of any potential warning signs for diseases. For example, if you have family history of a certain disease, and you’re worried of developing symptoms. Finally, some people choose to have blood work done more frequently if they want to use the information to adjust their lifestyle to optimize health.

Do I have to fast before a blood test?

Only certain blood tests require fasting before the test. These days, most tests do not require fasting, but your doctor will advise what you should do in advance to prepare. When you fast before a blood test, this means that you do not eat or drink anything except water for a certain amount of time before your blood draw. The reason for fasting is that certain foods, drinks, vitamins, supplements, and stimulants can skew your test results. To read more about fasting before a blood test, and to learn tips for how to effectively fast, click here.

How can I get over my fear of having blood work done?

Though getting blood drawn can be difficult and scary for some, luckily there are a lot of ways to manage stress around needles. Technicians who are trained to draw blood, phlebotomists, are there to guide you each step of the way. We also have an entire article dedicated to tips and tricks for calming your nerves during a blood test! Read all the ways you can have a stress-free blood draw here.

How and when do I get my blood test results?

At Your Health Lab, we make it easy and convenient to view your results online. Your results are first reported to your doctor, then are available for you two to six days later. At this point, you can log in to our patient portal to access your results directly. If you have any questions about your results or their availability, you can inquire with your doctor. View our online Patient Portal here.

Where can I get a blood test?

You blood work is done at a laboratory that your doctor refers you to. For faster results, you should request to have your test done at a lab that provides online results. It may also be of benefit to make sure your lab has in-network coverage to ensure your tests are covered by your insurance. For convenience, Your Health Lab has locations to get your blood tested all over Texas. This includes multiple locations in Victoria, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio. To find the lab closest to you, view our list here. We are continually adding new locations, so please check back regularly.

Should I pause taking medications before a blood test?

Some medications can interfere with the results of your blood test. At the same time, you should always speak to your doctor to get the best advice for your specific situation. You should never stop taking your medications without you doctor’s instructions. Aside from traditional medications, some vitamins and supplements can also affect blood work results. Unfortunately, since there are so many different blood tests, medications, and supplements, there is no easy reference or single rule for knowing what will be OK. Plan with your doctor before your test to ensure you get the best results while still taking care of your medical needs.

Can blood tests detect cancer?

At this point, blood tests gather information rather than diagnose cancer. There are a few rare exceptions. Generally, blood tests provide information to your doctor that can help them either rule out cancer or order different tests to get a clear diagnosis. Blood tests can also act as the first flag of any health concerns, including cancer. This is one of the reasons routine blood work is so important. If results from your test are unexpected, your doctor will follow up in a timely manner to order more tests and get you a clear diagnosis.

Why do I have to have blood tests when I’m pregnant?

In addition to other medical care while pregnant, blood tests are key for monitoring you and your baby’s health. Firstly, a blood test the most reliable way to confirm a positive pregnancy. As your pregnancy progresses, your doctor will test for ABO and Rh compatibility, which are important to know in managing a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Aside from standard maternal blood tests, your doctor may also request further testing based on your situation and health. For example, tests are available for those who are at risk of genetic disorders. Your doctor may suggest these if genetic disorders run in your family, or if they determine you may be at a higher risk. Discuss these additional tests with your doctor, who can help you determine what is right for you, your health, and the health of your baby.

Your Health Lab is here for all your blood work needs.

With fast turnaround, online results, and in-network coverage, Your Health Lab makes getting your blood work done convenient and easy. Contact us, or check in with your doctor about booking an appointment today.

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