Liver function tests (LFTs) are a series of blood tests that assess the liver’s health and functioning. The liver is a vital organ that plays a crucial role in many bodily functions, including producing bile to aid digestion, filtering toxins from the blood, and metabolizing drugs and alcohol. LFTs measure the levels of enzymes, proteins, and other substances in the blood that are produced by the liver.
What Are the Different Types of Liver Function Tests?
There are several types of liver function tests that your doctor may perform, including the alanine transaminase (ALT) test, aspartate transaminase (AST) test, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) test, gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) test, bilirubin test, albumin test, and prothrombin time (PT) test. Each test measures a different aspect of liver function.
Why Are Liver Tests Important?
LFTs are an essential tool in assessing liver health and function. They can help detect liver damage or disease early on, allowing for timely intervention and treatment. Regular LFTs can also monitor the effectiveness of treatment for liver disease and evaluate the potential side effects of certain medications.
Who Should Get a Liver Function Test?
Liver function tests are typically recommended for individuals who have a higher risk of liver disease, including those who consume alcohol regularly, have a history of liver disease or infection, are overweight or obese, have diabetes or metabolic syndrome, take certain medications, or have been exposed to hepatitis viruses. However, LFTs can be useful for anyone who wants to ensure their liver is functioning properly and may be performed as part of a routine health checkup.
Am I at Risk for Liver Problems?
The timing of LFTs depends on individual risk factors and medical history. Generally, if you have a higher risk of liver disease, you should receive LFTs at least once a year. If you have a history of liver disease or are currently being treated for liver disease, your doctor may recommend more frequent testing. Your doctor may also recommend LFTs before and after surgery to evaluate liver function and assess the risk of complications.
Before the test, you may be instructed to fast for a certain period, usually overnight. You should also inform your doctor of any medications, supplements, or herbal remedies you are taking, as they may affect the test results. Liver function tests involve a simple blood draw and are typically not painful.
Contact Prestige ER for Liver Function Testing
Maintaining a healthy liver function is crucial for overall health and well-being. Liver function tests can help detect liver damage and disease early on and monitor the effectiveness of treatment for liver disease. If you are at a higher risk of liver disease or have symptoms that may indicate liver damage, you should speak to your doctor about receiving LFTs. Remember to always discuss any concerns or questions with your healthcare provider.