Q:

Do you need to fast before a lipid panel?

A:

Quick Answer

Doctors generally require patients to fast for nine to 12 hours before a lipid panel, even though there is evidence that fasting makes little difference in the test results, according to Mayo Clinic. Drinking water is allowable.

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Full Answer

Lipids are fats and fatty substances found in the bloodstream. The test measures total cholesterol and triglycerides. The panel also separates the good and bad cholesterol, according to Kaiser Permanente. While lipids are essential to good health, lipid disorders, including high cholesterol, put the patient at risk for other diseases, such as coronary heart disease. If the panel indicates a problem, the patient's doctor often suggests lifestyle changes and medication to reduce the lipids.

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