Know about the common Liver Tests
In the medical field, there are various types of tests that can be done for the same organ. Each test would screen for a specific substance and would provide unique results. Liver function tests and other types of liver tests are done to screen for underlying health conditions which are connected to the liver or to assess the damage done to the liver. All this information can be assessed by trained medical professionals by conducting a wide variety of tests that look for specific enzymes and substances and their values in our system.
Your test results could indicate a lot of factors that have a link to your liver. It’s not necessary for you to have a disease even if your LFT test results come out to be abnormal. Be sure to consult a medical professional and ask him to explain what the results of the test mean.
Why are liver functioning tests done?
- Liver functioning tests can accurately judge the state of your liver and determine if it’s healthy or not. A healthy liver would send back normal reports but on the other hand, a liver that is damaged or diseased would show abnormalities in the test reports.
- At times the liver of an individual gets infected, the reason for this infection could be a great many reasons. A liver functioning test is done to screen for these infections which at times could be a sign of hepatitis.
- Lft tests are also done to monitor an ongoing or preexisting disease. Through the test reports, doctors can tell if the disease has progressed or regressed. Furthermore, the medical professional can calculate if the medications are working in a patient or not based on these results.
- Another key feature of these tests is that they are incredibly detailed. One can tell the severity of the disease by looking at the report. Hence the doctor can tell what the optimum way would be to carry out the treatment process by understanding the severity of the patient’s condition.
- With heavy medications, there are often various side effects. These side effects often begin to take a toll on the liver and start to damage it. A liver functioning test is done at times to make sure that the liver is taking no or little damage from the medications that the individual is taking on a regular basis.
Some common liver functioning tests:
- Aspartate transaminase test (AST):
The enzyme aspartate transaminase can be found in many parts of our body such as the liver, pancreas, and the heart. Aspartate transaminase is a unique enzyme that serves a unique function in each organ. When the liver has faced damage, this enzyme is then released into the individual’s bloodstream. This LFT test screens for the enzymes which in turn tells us that damage to the liver has happened.
- Serum alkaline phosphatase test:
Alkaline phosphatase is another enzyme that can be found in our blood. This enzyme is present in various kinds of tissues all over our body but a very large part of it can be found in liver tissues. When this type of a LFT test is done it is to see if the liver is functioning properly. A medical professional can tell by looking at the reports of the test if there are abnormal conditions such as the presence of tumors in the liver.
- Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase test:
Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase is an enzyme that is produced by organs such as the liver and the pancreas. This enzyme is screened for in this liver functioning test. Going through the reports can tell a lot about the liver function and could even detect if the individual had ingested alcohol.
- Lactic dehydrogenase test:
Lactic dehydrogenase is a unique type of protein that is found in our body and is involved in the metabolic processes of our body. This test provides crucial information which could assist in diagnosing diseases related to the liver. Damage to the liver can also be detected through this liver functioning test.
Bilirubin is a common by-product that is produced when the breakdown of red blood cells takes place. After Bilirubin is formed it goes to the liver where it is processed and then excreted by the individual. High levels of Bilirubin can indicate diseases such as jaundice and could also point toward liver damage.
Risks and preparation:
The only risk involved in a liver functioning test is when your blood is being taken. Blood would be taken as the sample out of a vein in your arm or any other body organ through a needle. This process is very safe, and the only risk attached to it is light soreness in the area where the needle was injected. Your doctor will advise you to not eat or drink anything before the test and to not consume any chemicals or drugs which can alter the reports of the tests. This is the only preparation you need to do for a LFT test.
Liver functioning tests are very important in the field of medicine and these tests can provide an accurate diagnosis of health conditions in an individual. It’s important to discuss the results of your test with your doctor and never self-diagnose yourself. If there are abnormalities in your test results consult with a medical professional and choose a treatment plan for yourself.
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