Liver is crucial to the healthy functioning of human body. It is involved in three major vital functions of the body including storage, cleansing and synthesis. A healthy liver helps improve digestion, removes toxins and other impurities from the body, regulates blood clotting, removes bacteria from the blood and maintains the balance of hormones.
Maintaining a healthy liver is important for good health. Liver function tests (LFTs) which are a series of blood tests can help you determine the health of liver. They help in identifying inflammation or any other damage to the liver by detecting the levels of proteins or enzymes in your blood.
Alanine Transaminase (ALT) Test: This test is conducted to determine the levels of ALT in body. High levels of ALT in the body is a sign of liver damage .
Albumin Test: This test helps determine the functioning of the liver by measuring the levels of albumin in the body. Albumin is the main protein manufactured by the liver. Low levels of albumin indicates that your liver is not functioning properly.
Bilirubin test: Bilirubin is a waste product that is processed by the liver. With the bilirubin test the levels of bilirubin can be measured, which helps in defining the health of your liver. Presence of high levels of bilirubin in the body means your liver is not functioning properly.
There are two other LFTs including Aspartate Transaminase (AST) Test and Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) Test that are carried out in combination with other tests to measure the health of the liver.
Which Diseases Can be Determined with The Help of Liver Function Test?
You doctor may order for LFTs if you are experiencing symptoms including weightless, weakness, nausea, vomiting, jaundice , diarrhea, stomachache
and others. There are a number of diseases, which can be detected, with the help of LFTs. They include:
Alcoholic hepatitis (severe liver inflammation caused by excessive alcohol consumption)
Autoimmune hepatitis (liver inflammation caused by an autoimmune disorder)
Celiac disease (small intestine damage caused by gluten)
Cirrhosis (early stages of liver scarring)
Your doctor may ask you to avoid eating food or having any kind of medication before coming for the test. The phlebotomist (the person trained to draw blood for tests) will sterilize your arm to avoid adulteration of the test. Then he or she will wrap a device around your arm to make your veins visible. The blood is then drawn with the help of the needle. After taking the appropriate amount of blood the phlebotomist will place a bandage on the place from where blood was drawn.