Hate Blood Draws? 5 Tips for Making Your Next One a Better Experience

credit: iStock photo

credit: iStock photo

Blood draws are a likely and necessary procedure in many healthcare scenarios. Some of those include:

  • Preventative care:  Preventative care: An annual physical, workplace wellness screening, or ordering a test to try and optimize your health or reach peak athletic performance
  • Disease management: Monitoring a chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hyperthyroidism, or metabolic syndrome
  • Working to improve a health risk: Regularly testing markers of risk such as blood sugar, cholesterol, vitamin D, magnesium, and hs-CRP (inflammation)

Whether you are comfortable with blood draws or part of the 20% of the general population that has fear associated with needles and injections, here are tips from Dr. Murdoc Khaleghi, Medical Director at WellnessFX, to help make your next blood draw a better experience.

5 Tips For Making Your Next Blood Draw a Better Experience

1. Drink lots of fluids before and after the test.

Water is instrumental in healthy organ function. Dehydration is bad for your health because your body needs to get rid of waste in the blood, and your kidneys can only filter from the blood volume when there’s enough water to replace it. Have you tried these 7 tricks to help you drink more water every day?

2. Warn the phlebotomist if you have a tendency to faint or pass out during blood draws.

While they are trained to find the best vein, it is ok to let them know where previous phlebotomists have been successful.  

Let them know if you have a tendency to faint or pass out during blood draws. Write it on an index card and put it in your back pocket if you’re worried about having to vocalize it in the moment.

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3. Be seated or lying down in a stable position so that you cannot fall.

The body can occasionally react to being physically or emotionally upset by dilating blood vessels throughout the body.  This causes blood to fill those vessels and not pump adequately to the brain, sometimes causing people getting their blood drawn to pass out.  

credit: reaction gifs

credit: reaction gifs

4. Close your eyes and relax during (or even before) the test through relaxing/breathing/visualization.

10 deep breaths can relieve immediate stress, says WellnessFX practitioner Janelle Deeds. Dr. Andrew Weill, a physician who focuses on integrative medicine, states that “practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.”

For Dr. Weill’s 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise:

  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  • Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.

This is one breath – now inhale again and repeat this cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

5. It’s over! 🎉  Make sure you grab something to eat and drink after the blood draw.

If you got your blood draw through WellnessFX, results will be available for viewing in 3-10 business days, viewable in your secure dashboard and accessible through desktop or mobile device.

Want to Try Blood Testing?

Want to try blood testing on your own? Before you do, ask these 7 questions.

The most accurate way to understand how exercise, nutrition and lifestyle affect your long-term health is through your biochemistry. That’s why WellnessFX was designed – to help you identify your health risks and nutritional deficiencies, while providing actionable ways to maximize your health. For more information, you can Learn the 7 Ways WellnessFX is Different Than Your Average Healthcare Experience, or check out this cool infographic about how much there is to discover in one drop of blood.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, improve your fitness performance, or just deciding to take control of your overall health, having the data puts you in the driver’s seat.

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.