The liver is the second largest organ in the human body. Classified as a gland, the liver itself carries out more than 500 important tasks in a human body. It processes our food, extracts the nutrients from the food and flushes out the toxins. Further, it builds protein, produces bile to help with digestion, maintains blood sugar levels, stores vitamins, etc. As our liver performs some of the most important functions in our body, hence it is very important to maintain a healthy liver. A healthy liver is vital for our overall wellbeing because when the liver is overburdened, our entire body suffers.
Liver function tests refer to a group of blood tests to diagnose and monitor any liver diseases or any liver damage. These tests are also helpful to measure the levels of certain enzymes and proteins (produced by the liver) in our blood. Basically, liver function tests tell us how well the liver is performing its regular functions. If the reports show any abnormality, it may indicate certain diseases associated with liver, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver cancer, etc. Some of the tests which are performed under the liver functiontests are –
Albumin Test – It is a type of protein, which is produced by our liver to perform different functions. If the reports of liver function tests show lower than normal levels of albumin, it may indicate chronic liver disease or liver damage.
Bilirubin Tests – Bilirubin is a waste product, which is produced during the breakdown of red blood cells. It passes through the liver and is removed from the body through the stool. If the measurement of bilirubin shows elevated levels in liver function tests, it may indicate jaundice or certain types of anaemia.
Gamma Glutamyl Transferase or GGT Test – GGT is an enzyme, which is primarily produced in our liver and pancreas. The levels of GGT is used to assess liver function. Higher than normal levels of GGT indicates liver damage or liver diseases.
Alkaline Phosphatase or ALP Test – ALP is an enzyme, which is mostly found in the bile ducts of the liver. This enzyme helps in breaking down proteins. If the reports show higher levels of ALP, it indicates a liver disease where bile is not being transported from the liver to the intestine due to blockage of the bile duct.
Protein Tests – Albumin and globulin are two important proteins produced by our liver. In liver function tests, the individual levels of both these proteins along with their ratio and total protein concentration are checked. Abnormal levels of these proteins are indicative of liver disorders. Higher levels of these proteins can be caused due to chronic inflammation of the liver. Low ratio of albumin/globulin can suggest liver cirrhosis and higher ratio can be the result of certain genetic problems.
Aspartate Amino Transferase or AST Test or SGOT – AST is an enzyme, which is present in cells throughout the body but mostly found in the heart and liver. In a healthy person, the level of AST in the blood is low. But when the liver is not functioning properly, it can release the AST into the blood, hence high levels of AST is found in the blood. This indicates hepatitis.
Alanine Transaminase or ALT Test or SGPT – ALT is an enzyme. An ALT test helps to measure the amount of ALT in the blood. High levels of ALT in the blood may indicate a liver problem such as jaundice, even before you start to notice signs of that disease.
Thyrocare Technologies Limited, a renowned chain of diagnostic laboratories in India, offers a great package of liver function tests. The package contains a set of blood tests, which is used to monitor any inflammation or damage to the liver. This liver function tests package includes11 important tests like ASP, ALP, ALT, GGT, SGOT, SGPT tests as well as albumin and bilirubin tests. They are available at a highly affordable rate.
Why get Tested for Liver Function Test
The liver is the second largest organ in the human body. More often than not we forget to take enough care of our liver to keep it healthy and active. According to studies, the more damaged and unhealthy the liver becomes, the more our body has to suffer. An unhealthy liver speeds up ageing and deteriorates our health conditions rapidly. The liver is also a part of our body’s immune system. According to researches, the liver helps with the creation and distribution of proteins and antibodies to protect our body from infections. Therefore, it is very important to maintain a healthy liver. If something goes wrong with our liver, it affects our immune system. Liver function tests work as an important tool to determine the health and overall condition of our liver.
Liver function tests’ report can be helpful to find out symptoms of any liver disease or infections, such as hepatitis. It also helps to monitor the current status of an already existing disease, such as viral hepatitis or alcoholic hepatitis and also helps to determine how the liver is responding to the treatments. Along with these, liver function tests can help to measure the severity of any disease such as cirrhosis. Also, these tests can help to monitor the possible side effects of certain medications that you are consuming. Any liver disorders, if not treated on time, can cause liver cancer or total liver failure. That’s why it is important to undergo liver function tests to check the liver is functioning as it should be.
When to get Tested for Liver Function Test
Some of the common symptoms of liver problems are swelling and pain in the abdomen area, swelling of legs and ankles, vomiting, itchy skin, yellowish skin and eyes, fatigue, loss of energy, weight loss, abnormal change of urine and stool colours, abnormal bruising etc. If you notice any of these symptoms in you, do not delay anymore and rush to your doctor to seek advice on undergoing liver function tests. Even if you do not notice any of these symptoms, you still need to book for liver functions test, if one or more people in the family have been diagnosed with liver disorders.
If you are someone who drinks heavily and are suffering from obesity, along with diabetes and high blood pressure, you must go for liver function tests. In case you have been diagnosed with anaemia or gallbladder disease, it is recommended for you to undergo liver function tests to check the condition and health of your liver. If you are taking any medications which might potentially harm your liver, go and check your liver condition immediately by undertaking liver function tests. If you have been already diagnosed with any liver disease and the treatment is going for the same, you should opt for liver function tests to find out whether or not the treatment is working.
Preparation for Liver Function Test
Any special preparations is not required for a Thyroid blood test. Fasting is not essential for thyroid test.
LFT or liver function tests act as a vital tool for your healthcare provider to assess your current liver condition. You might not experience any symptoms of liver disorders, yet your doctor might advise you to take liver function tests to find out if you are at risk of developing any liver disorder. These tests also help to check the condition of any existing liver disease and let the doctor assess how well the treatment is working. The liver is a vital organ in a human body and we simply cannot take a risk with an organ which is involved in performing more than 500 tasks in our body! So, don’t ignore your liver anymore and take an important step towards a healthy liver and healthy you by undergoing liver function tests right now.
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