Do you know what is Liver Function Test? Why you need it?
Liver Function Test: Your liver does all types of work that is critical to your health. It will help break down food, wash your bloodstream, create proteins, and store energy. If things go wrong with it, you may have a number of symptoms, from a yellow colouring of your epidermis to slurred speech. That is when you might require a liver function evaluation.
There’s really not only 1 test. Your physician will choose from several tests that check levels of different proteins and enzymes on your blood. Enzymes are special sorts of proteins which help accelerate specific reactions inside the body.
Some of the tests search for enzymes which you would find in your bloodstream just when your liver is damaged or has a disorder. Others check to determine if that organ is functioning as anticipated.
When Would I Need One?
You might get this test to check whether you have a liver disorder, like hepatitis (an illness in which your liver swells and can result in serious issues). General symptoms of liver problems include:
Dark pee or light-coloured stool
No desire to consume
Swelling on your stomach
Throwing up or feeling as you could
Weakness or feeling quite exhausted
Yellowish eyes or skin (jaundice)
The evaluation may also help your doctor determine how awful an illness is getting or how well treatment is working.
Your physician may order a liver function check if you’re more inclined to get liver damage or disease. For example, if you’re:
A heavy drinker or alcoholic
In a family with a history of liver disease
Quite overweight, especially if you also have diabetes or high blood pressure
Taking medication that can harm your liver
Types of Tests
There are numerous liver function tests, with plenty of complex names. You may hear your Physician or nurse mention a few of the common ones, which include:
Alanine transaminase (ALT) test. ALT is an enzyme which helps break down proteins and can be found mainly in your liver. High levels in your blood could mean you’ve got liver damage.
Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) test. ALP is an enzyme you have in your liver, bile ducts, and bone. You may have high levels if you have liver damage or disease, a blocked bile duct, or bone disease.
Albumin and total protein test. Your liver makes two main proteins: albumin and globulin. Low amounts can mean harm or disorder.
Aspartate transaminase (AST) test. AST is just another enzyme found in your liver. High blood levels might be a sign of disease or damage.
Bilirubin test. Bilirubin is made when red blood cells break down. Typically, the liver cleans bilirubin from your body. If you have high levels in your bloodstream, a problem called jaundice, then you might have liver damage.
Gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) test. Elevated levels of the GGT enzyme could point into liver or bile duct damage.
L-lactate dehydrogenase (LD) test. LD is another enzyme that is high once you have liver damage, but other ailments may increase its level, also.
Prothrombin time (PT) test. This test measures how long it takes your blood to clot. If it takes quite a while, that might be an indication of liver damage. Medications that thin your blood, such as warfarin (Coumadin), may also cause a longer PT.
How Can I Get Ready for the Exam?
Since many foods and medications can affect liver function test results, your physician will likely ask you not to eat, drink, or take medication for 10 to 12 hours before the exam.
Make sure to inform your doctor about any medicines you’re taking, such as over-the-counter drugs and any herbal nutritional supplements.
What Happens During the Test?
The test is a simple blood draw. Your doctor uses a thin needle to take a small amount of blood, usually from your arm near your elbow. You will feel a pinch or sting when the needle moves in. You might get some soreness or a bruise in which the blood is taken, but that’s usually it.
Normally, these tests are completed more than once over a couple of days or months. Your physician is able to take a look at how amounts change to be certain of your illness and how far along it is.
If you receive your test in a clinic that has a laboratory on site, you can sometimes get results in a few hours. Otherwise, it might take a few days.
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What Do the Results Mean?
The results usually show the standard values along with your numbers. Bear in mind that what’s ordinary can vary with different labs. It also depends on whether you are male or female.
If your results are not normal, you will likely get more evaluations. The liver function test alone can’t tell you for sure that you have a particular illness. Your doctor can help you know what your results mean.