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Are you feeling unusually tired and frail? Is your appetite declining steadily without any apparent reason? It’s time to get a liver function test done! The liver is the largest organ in the body. It is responsible for important functions like energy storage, detoxification, and the production of biochemicals that help in digestion and metabolism. Liver can become overworked due to too much unhealthy eating or an underlying medical condition.
A Liver Function Test (LFT) can give you insight into your liver health and offer an early diagnosis of potential problems if any. Do you want to know more about an LFT and why it’s important? Read on to learn the 7 major benefits of getting a Liver Function Test!
What is the Liver Function Test?
The liver is a key organ in our body and is responsible for the vast majority of digestion and protection functions. As such, we must regularly check the liver to ensure everything is working properly. One way to do this is through liver function tests, which measure enzymes and proteins found in liver tissue. These tests can help us determine if the liver is working at optimal efficiency or if there are any existing problems we should be aware of. Liver function tests may not always be necessary, but they can be instrumental in helping to ensure that liver health remains strong.
What are the different types of tests included in LFT?
The liver plays a key role in the body’s metabolic functions, so it is essential to know about different liver function tests. Specifically, LFTs check for liver damage and diseases by measuring specific enzymes or proteins found in liver cells. These tests provide a broad overview of liver enzyme activity and can also help diagnose common liver ailments like hepatitis, cirrhosis, and fatty liver disease. The LFT includes test for alkaline phosphatase test, alanine aminotransferase test, aspartate aminotransferase test, gamma-glutamyl transferase test, prothrombin time test, albumin test and total bilirubin test. Taken together, these tests provide important insights into the liver’s health and a person’s general wellness.
How to prepare for a Liver Function Test?
Preparing for a liver function test is simple and relatively painless. The procedure typically involves drawing blood from a vein in the arm and sending it to a lab for analysis. Additionally, fasting 8-12 hours prior to the draw is recommended, as this helps ensure accurate results. Overall, it’s a simple process that can provide invaluable information about your liver health.
11 Benefits/ Reasons To Get LFT Test Done?
- LFT is a diagnostic tool used to check the health of your liver. It can be invaluable in catching early signs of liver dysfunction or damage before serious symptoms present themselves. Moreover, there are other advantages to getting an LFT test done on a regular basis. Doctors recommend that there are at least 10 reasons why you should get an LFT test at least once a year. These include:
- Checking for elevated levels of enzymes
- Assessing hepatitis and other viral infections
- Monitoring for potential side effects from medications
- Testing for waste product accumulation
- Evaluating cirrhosis and nodules
- Examining the performance of transplanted organs
- Tracking improvement or deterioration due to underlying conditions
- Predicting disease progression; assisting in diagnosis
- treatment monitoring and follow-up care
- Determining whether any therapeutic interventions have been successful.
A timely LFT can provide insightful information about your liver health status, making it easy to take preventive measures if needed.
What are the common conditions that cause abnormal LFTs?
Abnormal LFTs can indicate various conditions, such as liver cirrhosis, hepatitis, fatty liver disease, or even cancer. However, due to the broad range of ailments that affect the organ, it can be challenging to determine which condition has caused these symptoms. Common metabolic conditions like diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidemia may also be to blame. Other possibilities include drugs and medications with hepatotoxic effects, alcoholism, or autoimmune disorders like primary biliary cholangitis or sclerosing cholangitis. While abnormal LFTs often point to a possible medical issue affecting the liver, more tests are required to determine the cause accurately.
When should I avoid the LFT test?
There are some instances in which it may not be appropriate to take the test; for example, if a person has recently taken medication such as acetaminophen or consumed food that contains large amounts of alcohol. As these substances can increase certain levels of enzymes found in an LFT, they could show abnormal results that are not necessarily indicative of any underlying problems with the liver. Additionally, after physical activity or exercise, it’s best to wait two hours before taking an LFT so that results will more accurately reflect the health of the liver.
1. Is fasting required in the LFT test?
To get the most accurate results from a liver function test, your doctor may tell you not to eat and not to take certain medications before 8-12 hours of taking the test. Make sure that any fasting instructions are followed closely for accurate findings!
2. Does drinking affect the LFT levels?
From consuming coffee, smoking cigarettes, and drinking alcohol, each of these every day habits can influence your liver function tests. It’s important to carefully understand the effects these activities have on the levels of enzymes associated with LFT, and further research is necessary to fully comprehend the mechanism by which they may influence the expression of these enzymes.
3. What are 4 warning signs of a damaged liver?
The following are four warning signs of a damaged liver:
- Yellowish discoloration (jaundice) of eyes and skin
- Abdominal pain and swelling, especially in the upper right side.
- Swelling in the legs and ankles.
- Itchy skin.