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Liver Function Test: Interpret The Results

Liver function tests are tests performed when a liver dysfunction is suspected. To know what does it consist of? What diseases can it reveal? What is the LFT test cost in Delhi, keep reading.

The designation "liver function tests" is somewhat misleading because most of these tests detect inflammation or damage to the liver; they do not actually explore the metabolic or secretory functions of liver bile. Such inflammation or lesions may be present even before the functions of the liver are affected. Liver function tests are blood tests that are a non-invasive way to check for liver disease (for example, hepatitis in a blood donation) and to measure the severity and progression of a disease of the liver and its response to treatment.


What is a hepatic blood test?

The hepatic blood test makes it possible to identify certain pathologies of the liver. Several elements are then assayed: hepatic enzymes (alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, gamma-glutamyl transferase, and alkaline phosphatase), bilirubin and albumin. The dosage of this protein makes it possible to evaluate the synthesis capacities of the liver.

  • Laboratory analyses are generally effective for:
  • Detect inflammation, lesions or dysfunction of the liver
  • Assess the severity of a liver injury
  • Monitor a person's progress in liver disease and response to treatment
  • Specify the diagnosis

When is a full liver test prescribed?

Liver function tests may be requested to confirm an abnormality in liver function and to determine its origin. For example in case of jaundice, dark urine, in the presence of nausea, diarrhea or unexplained vomiting, clear or discolored stools, weight loss or even fatigue, a liver test is indicated. It also makes it possible to monitor the development of liver damage once the diagnosis has been made.

What is a liver test?

To carry out a hepatic assessment, it is necessary to take a blood test. From this, a determination of enzymes produced by the liver or specific to this organ is carried out. Here are the main ones:

  • The transaminase (SGPT or ALT and SGOT or AST)
  • Gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase ( Gamma-GT or GGT)
  • The bilirubin
  • The alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
  • The prothrombin level

Disturbed liver balance: rate and causes

Although these indicators alone cannot confirm a particular pathology, certain dosages are however symptomatic of specific disorders.

The abnormally high bilirubin level may indicate cholestasis, pancreatitis, or pancreatic cancer. Hepatic failure is usually indicated by an abnormally low prothrombin level.

An increase in transaminases (ALAT and ASAT) shows the presence of cytolysis, corresponding to the destruction of liver cells during viral hepatitis, alcoholism, drug intoxication or even a vesicle problem biliary. Anyway, a precise interpretation of these examinations to say the least complex must be made and the results should be compared to other symptoms before drawing conclusions. Other blood tests as well as additional examinations - MRI, ultrasound of the liver and bile ducts - must be carried out.

Another type of liver function test is prothrombin time which was made for calculating the international normalized ratio. In a situation where this test seems abnormal, it signifies that there is an acute disorder in liver.

When Do I Need to Undergo a LFT ?

Liver testing for diseases is also carried out during pregnancy (ideally at the planning stage), before surgery and a course of treatment involving the administration of potent drugs.

When can an LFT test be required? It is recommended to regularly examine the most important organs and systems of the body for prophylactic purposes. But there are a number of symptoms that signal that verification is required as quickly as possible. Thus, the liver should be examined immediately if you notice the following signs of organ dysfunction:

Discomfort in the lower pair of ribs on the right is one of the first manifestations of liver problems. Barely noticeable nagging pains, tingling may accompany unusual sensations and a feeling of constriction or overcrowding in the area of the liver. Usually, they make themselves felt when laughing, talking loudly or shouting, sneezing, sharp sideways, lifting weights, as well as after eating fatty, smoked, fried or spicy foods. At first, a new feeling may not cause pain or tangible discomfort- in this case; they also say: “I found out where the liver is.” This is a reason to be wary, because even mild symptoms may indicate the initial stage of the serious hepatic disease.

The liver is enlarged. The change in the dimensions of the main gland is accurately recorded by ultrasound, but you can notice the changes yourself. This will indicate a bulging belly without an increase in overall fullness and with virtually no weight gain. The especially noticeable symptom in people with thin physique.

Unpleasant taste in the mouth. Patients with chronic liver problems have a constant dry mouth and bitterness on the tongue, sometimes with a characteristic flavor that is defined as “copper.” At the same time, an astringent feeling is noted in the mouth; taste sensations are reduced. Habitual food can cause rejection, even nausea and the urge to vomit.

Weight loss on the background of the asthenic syndrome. This symptom is largely a consequence of the previous one. Food rejection, loss of taste, nausea lead to a decrease in diet, which leads to weight loss. At the same time, the patient complains of unreasonable irritability, as well as weakness, drowsiness, fatigue, because the body's energy requirements are not met, and the toxic effects of impaired nitrogenous (protein) metabolism greatly increase- with an increased concentration of ammonia in the blood, secondary (hepatic) hyperammonemia occurs.

Jaundice is a common complex of symptoms, which is expressed in the yellowness of the skin, mucous membranes and whites of the eyes, as well as in dark urine, itching, and peeling of the skin, in chills, bone, and joint pain, and is caused by problems with the liver.

What does a liver function test reveal?

  • The fact of the disease, its degree, the level of liver failure;
  • The presence and degree of histological (cellular) changes in the structure of the liver tissue, such as fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver;
  • Diagnosis of specific liver diseases - viral and autoimmune hepatitis, fatty hepatosis.

What are the Symptoms of Liver Diseases?

symptoms of liver disease

The liver is a large organ inside your body whose size is large and it weighs about 3 pounds. It is reddish brown in color and is located under your rib cage on the right of the abdomen. You can’t feel it as it is shielded by the rib cage.

Liver is a very significant organ in our body and is responsible for the following:

  • Filters the blood before passing it to the other body parts
  • Detoxifieschemicals
  • Metabolizes blood
  • Form protein necessary for blood clotting

Many diseases such as Hepatitis, Liver cancer, Ascites etc. are caused by liver malfunction. Some of the liver diseases are:

  • Hepatitis: It is caused by hepatitis viruses A,B and C. It could also be the result of heavy drinking, obesity or allergic reaction.
  • Cirrhosis: It is the permanent scarring of the liver and is caused if there is long term damage to the liver. In cirrhosis the liver refuses to function properly
  • Liver cancer: Most common type of liver cancer includes Hepatocellular and is generally occurs after the cirrhosis
  • Ascites: The liver secretes a fluid (Ascites) into the belly as a result of the cirrhosis and this fluid becomes heavy and distended.
  • Hemochromatosis: This damages the liver by allowing iron to deposit in the liver.

Liver failure is a serious condition and occurs slowly and over many years. However,  sometimes an uncommon condition called acute liver failure occurs in which the liver gets damaged rapidly.

Initial symptoms of the liver diseases are very difficult to detect because these symptoms can also be caused by several other conditions. Early symptoms of liver diseases are:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite

In latter cases the symptoms become more serious and require urgent care. These symptoms are:

  • Bleeding
  • Swelling in abdomen
  • Coma
  • Sleepiness
  • Jaundice

There are various imaging tests that are done to detect liver conditions. Some of them are:

  • Ultrasound:  ultrasound of the abdominal is done for various liver conditions like cancer, cirrhosis etc.
  • CT scan: Abdomen CT scan is done to get detailed images of the liver and other abdominal parts.
  • Liver biopsy: It is done generally after the other tests such as ultrasound or blood test.

Can liver failure be prevented?

Yes you can always protect your liver from various deadly diseases by following these tips:

  • To prevent Hepatitis A or B you can get a Hepatitis vaccine
  • Eat proper diet comprising of all vitamins and minerals
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Be hygienic. Since germs are generally spread by hands, make it a habit to thoroughly wash your hands after using bathroom.

Now as you are aware of all the causes, symptoms and prevention of liver diseases, take good care of your liver and if you can relate to any of the  symptoms stated in the list, consult your doctor today.

Get your liver tested and make sure that you have a healthy liver.

Healthy Liver For A Happy Life

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