Liver functions by digesting the food we eat, storing the energy and eliminating the toxins from the body. Liver function tests comprise of blood tests which determine to see whether how well is the liver functioning. These tests are suggested to help diagnose and keep a tab on liver damage or disease. The blood tests are done to measure the levels of some specific enzymes and proteins in the blood. Apart from measuring the normal functioning of the liver, the blood tests also determines the procedure of generating protein and clearing bilirubin which is supposed to be a blood waste product. Several other kind of liver function tests are done which measure enzymes that are released by the liver cells in response to disease or tissue damage. However, abnormal liver function tests results does not always indicate liver disease. Research done on liver function tests market it has been found that liver disease affects great number of individuals, i.e., according to WHO approximately 350 million people are chronically affected by hepatitis B. The tests are done to measure enzymes, proteins, and substances which include Total protein (TP), gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), albumin, Prothrombin time, bilirubin (yellow substance which is a vital part of bile.
A liver function test is suggested in below-mentioned cases:
- Screen for liver infections, like hepatitis C
- To measure the degree of scarring on the liver, i.e., cirrhosis
- To check for any side effects of some medications those are known to affect the liver
- In case the patient is undergoing the symptoms of liver disorder
- In case a woman is trying to conceive
- To monitor the progress of treatment in case of already existent liver disease
The liver processes and filtrates the blood when it circulates through the entire body. The functions such as preparing blood clotting proteins, detoxifying harmful substances, and metabolization of nutrients. Liver cells consist of enzymes which are the reason for conducting chemical reactions. Once the cells in the liver get ruptured or destroyed, the enzymes in the cells leak out in the blood. Two key liver enzymes are assessed by liver function tests in the blood such as, Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and Aspartate aminotransferase (AST).
Disclaimer: The information given in this write-up is purely for educating the reader. It is not meant to be a substitute for any advice from a medical expert.