A liver function test shows the strength of proteins, liver enzymes or bilirubin in the blood. This test is conducted to-
- Check for liver infections
- In case the person is already having a liver disorder and is on treatment then this test lets you know if the treatment is working
- Level of scarring in the liver(Cirrhosis)
- When you are having symptoms of a liver disorder.
The liver function test enables us to detect the kind of liver disorder and what is actually causing it. Some of the tests include:
- Alkaline Transaminase Test (ALT): Alkaline Transaminase is used by the body to metabolize proteins. A high result in the test is an indication of the liver damage.
- Aspartate Transaminase Test: our body comprises of an enzyme called Asparate Transaminase. An Asparate Transaminase test is conducted in combination with Alkaline transaminase Test to determine the cause of the liver damage. The high result is an indication that the liver or the muscles are damaged.
- Alkaline Phosphate Test (ALP): Bile ducts, bones, liver has an enzyme called Alkaline Phosphate. This test is also conducted in combination with other tests. A high result is a sign for liver damage, a block in the bile duct or an indication of a bone related disease.
- Albumin Test: Albumin is a protein produced in liver. An albumin test indicates the amount of protein it is producing. A low result is a sign of a liver malfunction.
- Bilirubin Test: The red blood cells release a waste product called bilirubin. It passes through liver and then gets excreted along with the stool. A high result in bilirubin indicates a liver damage.
SYMPTOMS OF LIVER DAMAGE:
- Weight loss
- Yellowing of eyes and skin
- Low in energy
- Swelling around the eyes, the legs and the belly
- Nausea and vomiting
INITIAL PREPARATION FOR LIVER FUNCTION TEST:
- Doctor may advice you to not take any medication or not to consume certain foods that may affect the tests.
- You may be asked to wear sleeveless shirt that is comfortable to roll it up your sleeves so that your analyst is able to withdraw a blood sample.
Your blood sample is later tested for any of the above liver function tests to analyse the condition of your liver. Based on the results you will be advised for a treatment.
THE RISKS OF A LIVER FUNCTION TEST:
Drawing of blood is a very simple and the most basic thing and one rarely faces any complication. In very rare cases of giving a blood sample one may experience-
- Excessive bleeding
- Bleeding under the skin
After a liver function test if you feel a little light headed you may rest a while and then get back to your normal activities of the day. After the results are out the doctor will review it and advise you accordingly or ask you to come for a follow up and may refer you to one of the best hospital for liver disease in Hyderabad.