Most people suffer from liver functions after a certain point in time. When a person suffers from any liver function, the very first thing that a doctor does is brings a lot of restrictions on his diet. Generally, the purpose of a lover in a human body is to process the blood, break it down, balance it and then create nutrients for the development of the body. Another vital function of the liver is to metabolize different drugs and transform them into nontoxic substances that the body can easily digest.
When all these functions of the liver cease or do not occur smoothly, that is when the body reverts. You get to see various symptoms and run to the doctor for medical assistance. Now, you have to understand that the liver performs multiple functions. So, when there is a liver problem, you have to find out the problem first and then diagnose it accordingly. To understand the underlying problem behind the liver issue, you have to undergo some liver function tests.
Not many people are aware of these tests that one needs to do to understand the condition of an affected liver. This is the reason we have come up with this blog to help you with the right information about the tests for liver function. This blog will also contain the types of liver tests, the results of these tests and the procedures for the test. Therefore, it is time to get into the details of the blog.
What are liver function tests?
Also known as liver chemistries, the liver function test is a way to see and understand the current condition of the liver to diagnose accordingly. It is through these liver function tests that the medical practitioner can determine the health of your liver. In this test, the doctor measures the liver enzymes, the proteins of the liver, the liver enzymes as well as the bilirubin in your blood.
In case if already have an existing disease in the liver, the doctor will ask you to undergo a particular kind of liver function test. So, in a way, it can be rightly said that a liver function test also allows you to get an idea about the condition of an affected liver. It is through this test that the doctor understands the level of enzymes in your blood and then decides the type of medication that should be prescribed.
Not all liver diseases need a liver function test. There are some diseases for which you need to do a liver test. Even though they are not connected to the liver or have nothing to do with the liver, still the doctor asks you to undergo a liver function test for obvious reasons. Some of these diseases are hepatitis, side effects of any medication in the morning and the like.
Why do you need a liver function test?
Here are some reasons that directly show you the need for a liver function test. These reasons are as follows:
- To screen if you are suffering from any liver infection
- To monitor the possible side effects of a medicine
- To measure and understand the severity of a disease
- To assess how much the disease has progressed
- To determine whether a treatment is working and if yes, then the degree to which it is working
When do you need a liver function test?
These are the situations which demand a liver function test:
- Liver infections like hepatitis C and B
- When you are consuming certain medications like antibiotics, tuberculosis, antiseizure medications and the like.
- Fatty liver disease
- If you have a family history of poor liver
- High blood pressure
- High triglycerides
- Frequent drinking of alcohol
- Gallbladder disease
Types of liver function test
By now, you already have understood that the purpose of a liver function test is to measure the protein and enzymes in the liver. Also, the liver function test helps to check if all these components of a liver are within the margin. However, not all tests are fit for helping you with accurate results. Given below is the list of liver function tests:
Alanine transaminase (ALT) test
This test helps the body to metabolize the protein. When the liver is damaged and cannot function as it should, it releases ALT. When a high amount of ALT is released, it indicates a damaged liver.
Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) test
The AST is an enzyme present in various parts of the body. besides, the liver, AST can be found in the kidney, heart, brain, pancreas and muscles. When the ratio of AST: ALT is higher than the normal range, it indicates liver damage.
Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) test
Just like the AST, the ALP is another enzyme found in the bile ducts, the bones and the liver of a human body. With an ALP test, the doctor can evaluate the bile duct system.
The liver creates a vital protein known as albumin. Undergoing an albumin test confirms how well the liver is creating the albumin and if there is any shortage of it.
When the red blood cells in the body break down, it results in a waste product known as bilirubin. When you have a damaged liver, it cannot process and produce bilirubin correctly.
The procedure for liver function test
The very first and easiest way to know the condition of your liver is to collect blood samples. When it comes to blood tests for liver function, you have to head to a hospital or a clinic or a pathology. Before taking the blood, the professional will clean the area first to avoid any kind of infection. Next, they will tie an elastic band right above the spot to make your veins clearer. Finally, the healthcare professional will use the injection and suck out the necessary amount of blood from your body. The blood will then be transferred into a vial and sent for further testing in the laboratory.
Now that you have an idea about the liver function test, it is time to check on yourself and see if you need any. Visit a private clinic to know the cost of liver function tests. Once your doctor interprets your liver function test report, he will suggest you the medications that your body needs.