Mar 21, 2022
The liver is the second largest organ in the body and plays an important role in maintaining overall health. While its primary function is to remove toxins from the body, it also processes nutrients from food, produces bile, and stores, utilises, and supplies energy. With the pivotal role played by the liver in the human body, maintaining its health should be a priority for everyone.
Liver function tests (LFTs) are blood tests that are performed to measure the levels of substances like enzymes and proteins that are produced by the liver,to check the overall health and functioning of the organ. Apart from regular LFTs for tracking liver health, showing symptoms of liver disease are another situation when a liver function test can beused for diagnosis of the issue.
There are several uses of an LFT test, including for diagnosis in case a person is experiencing symptoms that a liver disease causes, for checking the progression of liver disease, to monitor how the treatment of a liver issue is progressing, to check the level of damage or scarring of the liver caused by diseases like cirrhosis, or to monitor side effects caused by certain medication.
One of the primary uses of a Liver Function Test (LFT) is to detect a disease or condition of the liver. It is generally prescribed if a person starts showing symptoms of liver disease. Some of the common symptoms that the liver disease may cause include:
People with high-risk factors may also be asked to get an LFT performed on a regular basis to keep a check on their liver. Risk factors for liver diseases include:
If one is worried about medical conditions affecting the liver, showing abnormal symptoms, consumes alcohol regularly, is on performance-enhancing drugs, is undergoing treatment for a liver-related issue, or has high risk factors for liver diseases, they should opt for a liver function test for the purpose of diagnosis and monitoring.
What is the Best Time for a Liver Function Test (LFT): The best time to get a liver function test performed is in the morning hours, as an overnight fast is generally required before the test.
A liver function test includes several types of tests that check for inflammation, injury, damage, and functioning of the liver. These tests can broadly be categorized as function tests and liver enzyme tests.
Liver Enzyme Tests
Abnormal levels of proteins and enzymes that are tracked under a liver function test may not always be indicative of liver disease or condition. There are several conditions, from dehydration to having recently passed a bile duct stone, which can affect the levels of the various enzymes and proteins in the blood. Proper interpretation of a liver function test result requires factoring in all risk factors, the patient’s overall health, and other aspects. That is why it is necessary to consult one’s doctor with the LFT results, so they can offer a proper diagnosis, prescribe further testing (if required), and chart out a treatment plan.
Early diagnosis plays a crucial role in the successful treatment of liver diseases and conditions.That is why it is important to never ignore any symptoms of abnormal liver function and opt for a liver function test at the earliest.
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