Did you know that the liver, located below the lungs in the right upper abdomen, is the largest organ in your body? Reddish-brown in colour and 3 to 3.5 pounds in weight, the liver is shaped somewhat like a cone or a wedge. The small end of the liver is above the spleen and stomach, while the large end is located above small intestine.
The liver performs more than 500 crucial functions including removal of toxins from your bloodstream, controlling blood sugar levels, regulating blood clotting, and creating vital nutrients. In addition to this the liver also plays a host of other critical functions.
Some most important roles played by the liver –
- Producing albumin – protein that stops fluids in your blood from getting leaked into adjoining tissues – and carrying hormones, vitamins, and enzymes all through your body
- Producing bile, fluid playing a significant role in digesting and absorbing fats in small intestine
- Filtering blood and removing toxins, by-products, along with other harmful substances
- Regulating amino acids on which the production of proteins depends
- Blood clotting coagulants created using vitamin K can only be absorbed with bile produced by liver
- Resisting infections by eliminating bacteria from the blood
- Storing vitamins A, D, E, K, and B12 and minerals like iron and copper
- Removing surplus glucose from blood and storing it as glycogen to be converted back into glucose when needed
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It is only by living a healthy life that you can avoid liver diseases. Some recommendations that will help keep your liver function well are – avoiding illicit drugs, drinking alcohol moderately, exercising regularly, and eating a balanced diet. Moreover, you must also practice safe sex to avoid sexually transmitted diseases such as hepatitis C. Also get vaccines against hepatitis A and B, and diseases like malaria and yellow fever, which occur in the liver.
However, in case you are experiencing symptoms of liver disorders your doctor may suggest a liver function test. There are different types of liver function tests that successfully examine the development or treatment of liver related diseases. Besides, the tests also checks for the side effects of certain medications. With DocGenie, you can book high-quality tests, which assess the functionality of your liver.
What is a liver function test?
Liver function tests are blood tests that measure components like enzymes, proteins, and other substances produced by the liver. Doctors often recommend the tests to ensure the overall health of your liver. With a single blood sample, pathologists can test for various substances and enzymes to confirm if your liver is functioning well. Remember, damaged liver can indicate disorders like diabetes, Hepatitis A, B, C or liver cancer.
Liver tests comprises checking levels of the following components-
- Albumin, protein made in the liver
- ALP (alkaline phosphate) enzyme
- ALT (alanine transaminase) enzyme
- AST (aspartate aminotransferase)
- GGT (gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase) enzyme
- Bilirubin, waste product disposed of through the liver
- Lactate dehydrogenase, vital enzyme in body cells
- Prothrombin, protein required in blood clotting
As a part of the liver test, a sample of your blood will be collected by a lab technician. The technician will usually take the sample from your arm using a needle and deposit it in a vial or test tube. They will then send it to the lab for testing. Overall, it is a very simple and fast process and you will hardly experience any pain.
Good news is, now at-home sampling services are available, where the lab assistant will come to your home for collecting the blood sample. Moreover, you can also get the report online through email or WhatsApp. This is highly beneficial during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as it enables you to get the tests done without stepping out. At DocGenie we ensure authentic blood tests for identifying liver diseases and ensure early reports.
Why is it necessary to take a liver test?
Any abnormality in the levels of the tested components can be a sign of liver diseases. Since liver is one of the most important organs in your body, it is very essential for you to get a liver test done regularly. If any of the following factors are relevant to you, get a liver test done by all means –
- Leading a lifestyle that can damage the liver
- Family history of liver disorders
- Consuming alcohol regularly, reacting severely to alcohol
- Taking steroids
- Issues with gallstone
While regular health check-ups is highly recommended, in case you are experiencing the following symptoms, get a liver test done immediately –
- Abdominal pain
- Dark colored stool, light-colored stool or blood in stool
- Shaking hands
- Getting bruised easily
Based upon the results you will need to consult your general physician who will assess your condition and offer a treatment plan. You can also book an online doctor consultation with a top general physician on DocGenie.
DocGenie is an online telemedicine platform that provides you with quality healthcare from the comfort of your own space. On DocGenie, you can book an online consultation with highly-qualified doctors as well as book lab tests for home collection.