The liver is one of the largest organs in your body and also one of the most important organs. The liver performs many functions such as bile production (helps in digestion), excretion, getting bilirubin, cholesterol, unwanted hormones, and drugs out of the system, metabolizing fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, activating certain enzymes, storing glycogen, vitamins, and minerals, and synthesizing plasma proteins such as albumin and clotting factors. It oxygenates blood that flows in from the hepatic artery. You need a liver test if you experience symptoms of liver disease or liver damage. A liver test is also required if you suffer from chronic conditions like hypertension, anaemia, gallbladder disease, diabetes or if you consume alcohol regularly. You can get a liver function test done to find out whether your liver has viral hepatitis or if it has been damaged by alcohol. There is also an albumin test that may be recommended by your doctor. There are a few other liver tests that can tell you the exact problem going on with your liver.
Humans can’t survive without a liver. From storing vitamins and minerals for the hour of the need to helping the blood clot to getting rid of toxins from the body, the liver is one of the main housekeepers of the body.
There are more than 100 types of liver diseases and the symptoms vary according to a particular disease. Your liver can be affected by hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. If you consume alcohol regularly,
excessively, it can cause serious damage to your liver. Your liver can also be damaged by medicines and painkillers. Some people get liver cancer. Some liver diseases are inherited. Some other major liver diseases include acute hepatic porphyria, cirrhosis, galactosemia, benign liver tumor, bile duct cancer, liver cancer, liver cysts, newborn jaundice, alcohol-related liver disease, and many more. An appropriate liver test can reveal to you what sort of ailment plagues your liver and you can start the right treatment.
Some of the primary symptoms of liver disease are
Dark urine color
Abdominal pain and swelling
Nausea and vomiting
Tendency to bruise easily
Loss of appetite
Pale stool color
One should immediately get a liver test done as soon as these symptoms manifest. One of the most prominent liver tests is the liver function test that can find whether your liver is ailed by viral hepatitis (A, B, C), alcoholic liver disease, cirrhosis, or side effects of a medicine.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the process of getting a liver test done?
Most of the liver tests involve submitting a serum test. You can book an appointment on our website after consulting your doctor. A phlebotomist will pay a visit at the appointed time. A phlebotomist is a specialist who collects blood for donation or for testing. He will draw blood from your arm in a very safe manner. After collecting the sample, he will submit the serum sample to the lab. You will get the results in a couple of days in your email as a PDF file. You can show the results to your doctor and an appropriate liver treatment can be started.
Why is it important to get a liver test done?
At a particular moment, 13% of your body’s blood is held by your liver for processing. Many factors can damage your liver. If you routinely consume alcohol or take drugs, it can have a lasting effect on the health of your liver. You can also get exposed to one of the hepatitis viruses. Liver performs over 500 vital functions. The liver processes nutrients from your food. It removes toxins from the body. It builds proteins. It makes bile. It breaks down fat and produces cholesterol (limited amount of cholesterol is needed by your body). It converts glucose into glycogen that is then used as energy by your body. It helps you fight infections. It filters the blood. The liver regulates amino acids. It also regulates blood clotting. It stores vitamins and minerals for the body. And these are just a few functions performed by your liver. You must get a timely liver test done if some of the liver disease symptoms show up.
Is damaged liver replaceable?
Yes, liver transplant is possible provided you can get the right donor. The liver is the only organ in your body that grows on its own. So, even if a small portion of the donor’s liver is transplanted, it can grow in a full liver. Getting a donor is often a problem because even among family members sometimes it is not possible to get the right donor. Your body may reject the new liver, and this may lead to another set of problems. Hence, you shouldn’t take your liver problems lightly. Get a live test done as soon as possible when some of the symptoms of liver disease begin to manifest.
Can I immediately know if I have a liver disease?
The liver is quite a resilient organ. It may go on functioning even when it is damaged. Therefore, getting a liver test done is important even when you feel that the symptoms may represent another problem. Even if it is another problem, it is always safer to get a liver test done to rule out the possibilities of a liver disease. Take for example hepatitis C; people can have no symptoms for years and then suddenly the infection leads to liver failure. You can prevent this by getting timely liver test done.
Can my lifestyle damage my liver?
In many ways, yes. There is alcohol-related liver disease that damages the liver if you consume alcohol excessively. Too much fatty and spicy food can also damage your liver. If you’re overweight and if you have a sedentary lifestyle, it can have an adverse effect on the well-being of your liver. Harmful drugs and supplements, especially taken without the supervision of a doctor, can permanently damage your liver. Many athletes take steroids to boost their performance, but this can irreparably harm the liver. Regular consumption of painkillers are known to deteriorate the liver. Diabetes and high cholesterol can also give rise to liver disease. After getting your liver test, you must switch to a healthier lifestyle to recover from a liver disease.