Liver function profile are basically blood tests that is used to help diagnose and monitor liver disease or damage such as hepatitis and cirrhosis. These tests will help to measure the levels of certain enzymes and proteins in your blood.
Liver function profile are blood tests to determine the health of your liver by measuring the levels of proteins, liver enzymes and bilirubin in your blood. The test will check and diagnose for liver disease or damage and to monitor how well treatment is working.
The liver is a large organ at the right side of the belly, its main function is to filter the blood that would flow to the body, detoxifying chemicals and metabolize drugs.
Liver function tests are used to screen liver infections, monitor the progression of a disease and measure the severity of a disease. The type of liver diseases includes:
- Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver
- Cirrhosis: Long-term damage to the liver due to permanent scarring
- Liver cancer: Hepatocellular carcinoma, a common type of liver cancer could always occur after cirrhosis
- Liver failure: Failure due to infection, genetic diseases or excessive alcohol
- Ascites: Due to cirrhosis, the liver may leak fluid (ascites) into the belly which makes it distended and heavy
- Gallstones: If a gallstone stuck on the bile duct draining the liver, hepatitis and bile duct infection (cholangitis) may happened
- Hemochromatosis: Allows iron to deposit in the liver which damages it
- Primary sclerosing cholangitis: A rare disease due to unknown cause which may result in inflammation and scarring in the bile duct in the liver
- Primary biliary cirrhosis: A rare disorder which slowly destroys the bile ducts in the liver which could lead to a permanent liver scarring
Liver function tests are most often used to:
- Help diagnose liver diseases, such as hepatitis
- Monitor treatment of liver disease. These tests can show how well the treatment is working.
- Check how badly a liver has been damaged or scarred by disease, such as cirrhosis
- Monitor side effects of certain medicines
How to Identify?
You may need liver function testing if you have symptoms of liver disease. These include:
- Jaundice, a condition that causes your skin and eyes to turn yellow
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Dark-colored urine
- Light-colored stool
Symptoms of a liver disorder include:
- fatigue or loss of energy
- weight loss
- jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)
- fluid collection in the abdomen, known as ascites
- discolored bodily discharge (dark urine or light stools)
- abdominal pain
- abnormal bruising or bleeding
What to Do?
A blood sample will be drawn by using a needle or a syringe from your vein. The blood sample letter will be tested for the protein, enzymes and substances. Several tests that will be conducted in the liver function profile includes:
- Alanine transaminase (ALT): ALT is an enzyme found in the liver that helps convert proteins into energy for the liver cells.
- Aspartate transaminase (AST): AST is an enzyme that helps metabolize amino acids.
- Alkaline phosphatase (ALP): ALP is an enzyme found in the liver and bone and is important for breaking down proteins.
- Albumin and total protein: Albumin is one of several proteins made in the liver.
- Bilirubin: Bilirubin is a substance produced during the normal breakdown of red blood cells.
- Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT): GGT is an enzyme in the blood.
- L-lactate dehydrogenase (LD): LD is an enzyme found in the liver.
- Prothrombin time (PT): PT is the time it takes your blood to clot.