What is a liver function test?
A liver function test is a specific category of blood test that is mainly performed for the purpose of detecting the presence of liver damage or liver diseases. There are certain kinds of proteins and enzymes that start to show up in the blood when liver damage takes place. A liver function test comes with a group of tests that can easily help an individual get the liver problems detected quickly with complete accuracy.
What is the importance of a liver function test?
The liver is considered as one of the most vital organs of a human body. As mentioned before, the liver function test assesses damages and diseases that may take place in the liver. Also, the liver function test is performed to ensure that the liver of a person is performing properly or not. Critical liver infections like hepatitis can be detected through a liver function test. Nowadays, the liver function test cost has become comparably reasonable.
Besides, liver function tests are also performed for the purpose of monitoring the growth of any particular liver disease and also to assess the side effects of medications on the liver. There are so many kinds of abnormalities that may be detected through a liver function test, some of those are mentioned below.
When to go for this test?
When a medical expert suspects that you have liver damage or diseases like hepatitis then you can be recommended to go for a liver function test. There are certain symptoms of liver diseases that may arrive at the earlier stages and the doctors may suggest you to go for a liver function test if these signs and symptoms start to get visible in your body. Take a glance at some of the major liver issue symptoms.
What are the symptoms of liver problems?
The symptoms of liver damages or diseases may include
- Light coloured poop
- Dark urine
- Belly swelling
- Lack of appetite
- Swelling in the legs
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
What can be detected through a liver function test?
- Fatty liver disease
- Viral hepatitis
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency
- Toxic hepatitis
- Primary biliary cholangitis
- Liver cancer
- Wilson’s disease
To be more specific, a liver function test can help you know
- If you are suffering from liver inflammation
- The category of the inflammation and specify if it’s alcoholic or non alcoholic
- If you have any kind of problems in your liver
- If you have any problem in the bile ducts
- If the bile flow in your body is impaired
- Existence and severity of impaired liver function
- Impacts of medications on your liver
There are certain risk factors that can increase your chances of developing liver diseases. Take a glance at some of those mentionable risk factors.
Risk factors for liver diseases
It is a well known fact that extreme consumption of alcohol can be extremely harmful for your liver. However, there are other health conditions like obesity and type 2 diabetes that can also cause harm to your liver. Some other mentionable risk factors for liver diseases may include
- Unprotected sex
- Use of drugs by sharing needles
- Body piercings
- Direct Exposure to other people’s body fluids or blood
- Hereditary Hemochromatosis
- Wilson’s disease
- High triglycerides and hypertension
How can you keep your liver healthy naturally
- Limit or stop alcohol consumption.
- Get involved in physical exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Drinking coffee can also be a bit beneficial for liver health
- Avoid the consumption of harmful substances and drugs
What are some important test parameters covered in a liver function test?
Some of the most mentionable test parameters included in a liver function test are
- Bilirubin: During the normal breakdown of the red blood cells, bilirubin is produced.
- Gamma Glutamyl Transferase (GGT): GGT is a specific type of enzyme and abnormal rise of this enzyme indicates the presence of bile duct damage or liver damage.
- Albumin: Albumin is a specific type of protein that is produced in the liver. Lower albumin levels may indicate the chances of liver disease or liver damage.
- Alkaline Phosphatase: This specific type of enzyme is found in the bone and liver of a human body. Extreme rise in Alkaline Phosphatase levels indicates potential liver damages or diseases like blocked bile duct.
A specific amount of blood will be drawn from your vein, on which the test will be performed. Your blood sample will be carried to the laboratory after the collection process is done. It does not take more than a few minutes.
Certain kinds of foods and medications may impact your test reports so it is necessary to have a consultation with your doctor about which foods and medications to avoid before appearing for this test. You may need to fast for 10-12 hours before appearing for a liver function test. You can now easily book a liver function test online.
What are the risks associated with a liver function test
There are no specific risks associated with a liver function test. Although the safety of needle is ensured before starting the blood collection process, certain silly complications may arrive after the blood collection process is done, such as
- Sore skin
- Pain at the part where the needle has been inserted
If the levels of enzymes are higher or lower than the normal level, then it indicates the chances of liver diseases or damage. However, it is still the wisest decision to have a brief consultation with a doctor about your test report soon after the result is generated. Knowingly, a liver function test price is not really too high these days.