Liver diseases are a common problem and there are over 100 different types of liver diseases. In many cases, liver diseases do not produce symptoms right away but only do so once the disease has progressed. If your doctor suggests a liver function test, it is best to get it done as soon as possible as it is very possible that your ailment has escalated enough to show symptoms. There are several blood tests that you may have to undergo which will reflect the presence of a viral infection or decreased liver function. There are also several tests that check the levels of antibodies as this would indicate an immunological liver ailment.
Test for Liver Diseases
Most of the liver tests available can be divided into 3 categories: those that reflect enzyme levels, those that reflect bilirubin levels, and those that reflect protein levels. Enzyme tests check the levels of enzyme in the blood. Enzymes are required by the cells for their regular functioning and when cells are injured the enzymes leak into the bloodstream. A high level of enzymes in the blood generally indicates liver disease. The ALP or the Alkaline phosphatase test is used to detect the presence of this enzyme in the blood. An increase in Alkaline phosphatase levels generally occurs when the bile ducts are blocked. Alanine aminotransferase test is a liver disease test used to detect hepatitis.
Bilirubin tests check the levels of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is produced from old or damaged cells and is yellow in color. This is generally used to confirm a jaundice diagnosis. There are two types of bilirubin tests: total bilirubin test and direct bilirubin test. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may ask for either one or both of these tests. Protein tests check the levels of Protein in the blood. Since the liver is responsible for making protein, any decrease in the protein levels in the blood indicates sluggish behavior on the part of the liver. This reduction in liver function is generally caused by liver damage and so your doctor may ask for it in order to assess the damage that your liver has already undergone. There are two main Protein tests that are, together, called the liver panel. Albumin tests measure the levels of this protein in the blood. This test indicates the level of liver function and will reflect the liver's ability to produce protein. Total Protein Test, as the name suggests, measures all the proteins in the blood as well as antibody levels.
Submitted by M T on January 6, 2010 at 08:43