What are some ways to ovecome my fear of needles?

There is nothing to be embarrassed about when it comes to having a phobia for needles. In fact, it affects up to 20% of the adult population to such an extent that it causes them to avoid much-needed medical care or health screening. The truth of the matter is that nobody likes having injections, but the hurt is a very important part of health care.

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Your brain has conditioned your body to fear needles and some of these sensations felt during blood taking may not even pain. Various individuals describe the sensation as creepy to being a disabling sense of impending doom. Identifying this and understand where your phobia derives from can help you overcome the phobia and help yourself receive adequate health care.

Step 1: Change your thinking about injections. You can list down what you hate about injections in one column and counter your hate with something beneficial about injections in another column. For example, if you feel that “Injections are painful,” change that to “Injections are painful but it helps me to find out what is wrong with my body.” Work through your imagination that leads you to imagine a massive pain deriving from the injection. Doing this will allow your anxiety to rise and calm down after. Over time, as much as the fear still exists, you will better be able to overcome it.

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Step 2: Learning relaxation and coping techniques. Take deep slow breaths while closing your eyes, holding on your breath for 4 seconds with each breath. This helps you to relax when you feel anxious during blood taking. Another way to cope with this is to request to lie down while keeping your legs elevated. The position ensures that you are in a relaxing position and it prevents you from feeling light headed during the procedure.

Step 3: Speak to a medical profession. You can take the effort to arrange an appointment where you can discuss your fear with a doctor or a nurse. As mentioned above, there is nothing embarrassing about having a phobia for needle. What is more important is to ensure you are getting the health care you require. By talking about it and even looking at the syringes without the injection will put you one more step closer to overcoming your fear.

For more information on health screening and blood taking, you may contact Integrated Wellness Pte Ltd at 6250 7623 or send an email to appointments@iwell.sg. Our friendly nurses and staff will be glad to assist you in your queries.

Why do you have to fast before blood taking?

It is the morning of your health screening that you have signed up for. You have been given a reminder to fast at least 8 hours prior to the blood taking. But your stomach is growling and without caffeine, you are feeling very cranky and irritable early in the morning. A thought comes to your mind: Perhaps consuming a slice of bread and a nice little cup of espresso will not cause much difference to the health screening results.

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Unfortunately, even if you take only a piece of biscuit or a sip of tea, it will still affect your results. In fact, you are also supposed to fast from smoking, stop taking your regular vitamins and even exercise 8 hours prior to the health screening. These can rev up your digestion and the results will not be accurate. However, if you have prescription medications, do take them regardless of the fasting, unless your doctor has cleared you to skip it. This is especially so for participants diagnosed with high blood pressure and/or diabetics. Be reminded to inform the health screening staff that you have taken these medications so that they are aware should there be any anomaly in the results.

Not all blood test requires fasting. Below is a list of tests that you will strictly need to fast:

  1. Blood glucose test
  2. Cholesterol test
  3. High density lipoprotein test (HDL)
  4. Low density lipoprotein test (LDL)
  5. Triglyceride level test
  6. Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT)

Drinking water, from the tap or the bottle is completely fine. However, carbonated water, or a squeeze of lemon is off-limits. Having water during fasting actually helps your veins to become plumper and more visible, allowing the phlebotomists to locate the point of entry for the needle easily.

What if you forget and slip up? Do inform the health screening staff so that the results can be interpreted accurately. For the blood tests that require fasting, it is recommended to reschedule it as the results will be skewed and there is no point in getting pricked by the needle.

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Not to worry, the moment you finish taking your blood, your fast is over. You may want to bring a snack or a drink to consume the moment you finish the health screening.

For more information on health screening and blood taking, you may contact Integrated Wellness Pte Ltd at 6250 7623 or send an email to appointments@iwell.sg. Our friendly nurses and staff will be glad to assist you in your queries.