Understanding Liver Function Tests

Liver is one of the smallest yet the most significant part of the body. It is often referred to as the chemical factory. It controls the amount of the essential chemicals of the blood and works hand in hand with the kidney so that drugs, toxic substances and other foreign matters can be filtered. Normally, it would adjust their chemical structure so that they would be water-soluble. Afterward, it would be emitted in bile. However, there are bad habits that cause the organ to malfunction. This is where liver function test come in handy. It is performed in order to determine what liver disease have stricken you or to measure how the organ respond to the medications.

 

The liver function test can be conducted by a doctor, a nurse or a hospital staff. They will take a certain amount of your blood from your arm to be used as a sample. It will be sent to the laboratory afterward for testing. There are certain parts of the examination; the aminotransferase like ALT and AST, alkaline phosphatase or ALP, Bilirubin, Albumin and Clotting studies. The results of the said tests have corresponding figures and values. It will be then compared to the normal values in order to determine if it’s abnormally higher or lower.

 

The figures will then give the doctor an idea how much percentage of your liver is harmed. Yet, there a number of factors why one would arrive on certain results. This includes having other disorders that directly have an influence on your liver. This is one of the main reasons why irregular liver function test results have been ordinary. Nevertheless, it would still be the best if you would allow your doctor to dig deeper on what might be the cause of the abnormal figures especially if you do not have liver problems.

 

Though liver function test are often used as basis if you indeed have a liver problem, it still is not that convincing. For example, an individual may not be diagnosed with Hepatitis C even if he is positive to it because the test might fail to precisely show the scope of fibrosis. Make no mistake; they are useful but they should not be used as the sole basis as their level of accuracy is not that high. There are other ways which you can use in order to verify if you have a liver disease.

 

It is also important to note that laboratories might have different normal values so it would not be a good idea to compare the results of your liver function test with the others that are conducted in other labs. The disparity is caused by how the outcomes are interpreted. Also, the normal values between men and women can differ. Expect its fluctuation as you age. In addition, the time of the day when the test is performed affects the range of normal values. Liver function test is not complicated and useful. However, it will be better not to rely on it alone.


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