A Short Guide To The Liver Function Test (LFT)

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A Short Guide To The Liver Function Test (LFT)

There’s a specific test conducted at pathology centers that determines the health and overall condition of a person’s liver. It’s called the Liver Function Test (LFT). Also called liver chemistries, this procedure examines the level of liver enzymes, proteins, and bilirubin present in the blood. Doctors may also have to rely on this test to monitor the progression of treatment of an existing disease. Based on liver chemistries, a higher or lower level of one or more of these enzymes or proteins may indicate a problem with the liver.

When to take the test

A doctor can recommend undergoing this test in the following situations.

1. Medical experts want to determine the level of damage caused by liver infections, such as hepatitis C and hepatitis B.

2. Doctors may want to examine the side effects of specific medications that tend to affect the liver. These include,

- Statins
- Tuberculosis medications
- Antiseizure medications
- Antibiotics

3. Conducting this test will be mandatory if you already have liver disease. It’ll allow you, as well as your doctor, to monitor the disease and how well the treatment method is working.

4. If you’re currently experiencing liver problems or someone in your family has liver disease.

5. If you have specific medical conditions, such as,

- High triglycerides
- High blood pressure
- Diabetes
- Anemia

6. If you’re a frequent drinker.

7. If you have gallbladder disease.

The types

The Liver Function Test Cost will depend on the type of test you need to undergo. All the tests measure certain proteins and enzymes in your blood. If the results are atypical, you may need a follow-up test to ascertain the cause of the characteristics. Even if your results display mild levels of elevation, you probably have liver disease.

1. ALT: ALT stands for Alanine transaminase, and it’s a substance used by the body to metabolize protein. Liver damage or inappropriate functioning can forcefully release ALT into the blood. As a result, your ALT levels will increase. If the value of ALT is higher than normal, it’s a sign that you need immediate treatment.

2. AST: Here’s another enzyme found in multiple parts of your body – AST or Aspartate aminotransferase. It’s present in your brain, heart, liver, pancreas, and muscles. If your liver sustains damage, AST will reach your bloodstream. Usually, doctors recommend measuring ALT and AST together to determine liver disorders. For instance, if the AST-ALT ratio is high, it may point to alcoholic liver disease.

3. ALP: Alkaline phosphatase or ALP is yet another enzyme found in the bile ducts, bones, and, of course, the liver. Doctors combine the ALP test with others to evaluate the bile duct system.

4. Albumin test: Albumin is the primary protein created by the liver, and it has several crucial bodily functions to perform. It nourishes the tissues and helps vitamins, hormones, and other substances commute throughout the body. Through this test, doctors try to determine the liver’s capability of producing this protein.

5. Bilirubin test: Bilirubin is a waste product that the body produces when it breaks down red blood cells. The liver processes it most of the time. Before excreting it through your stool, bilirubin passes through the liver. However, if it gets damaged, it won’t be able to process this waste product properly.

Final words

Depending on your condition and symptoms, your doctor may suggest getting your liver inspected via this test. You shouldn’t neglect it because the liver is one of the most crucial internal organs. Getting tested and appropriately treated should be your priority.