Monitor your health with Corona Pathology.
Your liver has a variety of functions. These functions are to clean waste from your blood, store energy, create proteins, and break down food nutrients.
- A liver function test is a series of tests that check your proteins and the enzymes in your blood.
- All of the tests are looking for liver damage or disease.
When Will a Doctor Order a Liver Function Test?
A doctor will order this series of tests to diagnose certain liver diseases, such as hepatitis. The tests will also allow your doctor to tell how an already diagnosed disease is progressing and how treatment is working. A physician might order a liver function test for a patient in the following instances:
- Black urine or light stool
- A history of heavy drinking
- A family history of liver illnesses
- Enlarged and swollen abdomen
- Suspected liver infection
- Suspected liver scarring
- Lack of appetite
- Prescribed medication that could damage the liver
- Weakness or vomiting
Even if the results come back as irregular, it does not mean you have liver disease. Follow-up tests will be performed to diagnose particular diseases and disorders.
Various Liver Function Tests
A liver function test measures the amount of certain enzymes and proteins present in your blood. These tests also can indicate of a variety of illness, diseases, and disorders. Some of the tests include:
- Bilirubin Tests – Measures the amount of bilirubin in the body. High levels of bilirubin mean the liver is not functioning properly.
- Alanine Transaminase Tests – Evaluate the Alanine Transaminase (ALT) levels in the body. A high level of ALT can mean liver damage.
- Albumin Tests – Analyze how well the liver is making proteins. Low levels of proteins mean poor liver functioning.
- Alkaline Phosphatase Tests – Measures the amount of alkaline phosphatase in the blood. Increased levels of alkaline phosphatase can indicate bile duct disease or bone illness.
- Aspartate Aminotransferase Tests – Checks for the ratio of ALT to Aspartate Aminotransferase. If this ratio is abnormal, it could mean there is a problem with the liver or muscles.
- Prothrombin Time Tests – Determines the amount of time it takes the blood to clot. An irregular time could indicate bleeding disorders.
Before and After the Test
The liver function tests are all blood tests and require blood to be drawn. The test will only take a few minutes, and most of the time, regular activity can be resumed shortly after the test is done. You will not be able to eat or take regular medication for at least ten to twelve hours before the test is performed.