What is a liver function test?
Blood tests are used to measure different enzymes, proteins, and other substances that are produced by the liver. These tests are to ensure the overall health of the liver. A single blood sample is tested for various substances and enzymes to verify if the liver is in good health.
Liver tests are generally to test the following substances
• Albumin is a protein made in the liver.
• ALP (alkaline phosphate) enzyme
• ALT (alanine transaminase) enzyme
• AST (aspartate aminotransferase)
• GGT (gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase) enzyme
• Bilirubin is a waste product disposed of through the liver.
• Lactate dehydrogenase is an important enzyme found in the body cells.
• Prothrombin is a protein required in the clotting of blood.
These blood tests are done to find the levels of these enzymes in the liver to make sure they are at a healthy level. Distorted levels of these enzymes can be a sign of liver diseases.
Why is it necessary to take a liver test?
The liver is the most important organ in the human body. It is important to get a liver test regularly to keep a check on your liver health. Following are the circumstances under which one should consider taking a liver test.
• Also if you lead a lifestyle that causes damage to your liver.
• If there is a family history of liver diseases.
• In case you consume alcohol regularly, or you react badly to alcohol.
• In case you are taking steroids or performance-enhancing medications.
• If you currently have or had an issue with gallstone.
When do I need a Liver test?
Apart from a regular health check-up, you should consider taking a liver test if you see the following symptoms.
• Jaundice- In this disease skin and eyes turns yellow.
• Nausea and vomiting
• Fatigue without reason
• Abdominal pain
• Dark colored stool
• Light-colored stool
• Bleeding in stool
• Hand tremors
• Tendency to bruise easily
What to expect in a Liver test?
A liver test starts with giving a sample of your blood. A blood sample is generally taken from your arm through a minuscule needle. Blood is collected in a vial or test tube and sent for testing.
It is a simple and fast process.
Now day’s at-home sampling service is also available. Either you can collect your sample on your own by following the instruction or get a sampler to do it for you. You can also receive the result without contact through email.
Dr. B. Lal Labs offer at home minimum contact sampling.
What do results say?
Here results depend on what your doctor is testing you for according to your symptoms.
Liver damage can indicate:
• Hepatitis A, B, C
• Liver Cancer