What is a Liver Function Test?
A liver function test is a blood test that examines the blood in a laboratory to assess the liver’s general health and for liver damage. The presence of specific chemicals in the blood can indicate whether or not the liver is functioning normally.
- What is the function of the liver?
Among the functions of the liver are: Filtration of blood from the digestive system Processing waste materials and storing energy Getting rid of toxins Making proteins that aid in blood clotting The process of producing glucose (blood sugar) Helps with digestion
- What does a liver function test look for?
A liver function test examines the amounts of enzymes and proteins in the blood. Alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase are enzymes found in the liver and other regions of the body (GGT). The presence of high levels of these enzymes may indicate liver or bile duct damage.
Albumin, globulin, and prothrombin are among the proteins produced by the liver. The presence of low levels of these proteins could indicate liver damage. A prothrombin time test determines how long blood takes to clot.
Platelet counts and glucose levels are also measured during a liver function test. (Platelets aid in the clotting of blood, which helps to halt bleeding.)
Bilirubin levels are also measured during the liver function test. Bilirubin is a fluid produced when red blood cells are broken down. Bilirubin can seep out of the liver if it is damaged. This can result in jaundice, which causes the skin or eyes to turn yellow. Urine might also become darker in colour due to high bilirubin levels.
- How does one get ready for a liver function test?
To avoid altering the test findings, your healthcare professional may advise you to refrain from eating, drinking, or taking certain drugs.
- OUTCOMES AND FOLLOW-UP
What are the usual ranges for liver function tests in the lab?
The laboratory that completes your test may use normal ranges that differ slightly. Check with your healthcare provider for the details.
- What are the typical lab ranges for liver function tests?
Normal ranges that differ somewhat may be used by the laboratory that completes your test. For further information, speak with your healthcare physician.
- What can cause abnormal liver function test results?
A liver function test might be abnormal for a variety of reasons, including:
- Diabetes mellitus
- Hepatitis B – A virus that causes liver disease.
- Hepatitis C – A virus that infects the liver.
- Medication side effects
- Hepatitis A – A type of acute hepatitis.
- Celiac illness is a type of celiac disease (an autoimmune disease in which the person must avoid foods that contain gluten)
- Cancer of the liver
- Other diseases and disorders
If you have any concerns about your liver function test results, speak with your doctor.