Two million people die of liver (Liver Function Test) infections yearly, and 3 of these predominating liver infections responsible for their deaths include liver cirrhosis, liver carcinoma, and viral hepatitis. These liver problems can be treated if diagnosed at an early stage. The liver problems worsen over time; hence ignoring them is a bad option.

What is the Liver Function Test?

A liver function test, abbreviated as LFT, is a medical diagnostic test in which a patient’s blood is tested for the level of liver enzymes and proteins. When there is damage to the liver, or it is infected, it causes an abnormal release of enzymes in the blood. This abnormal enzyme concentration can be detected through liver function tests.

Role of Liver in the human body

  • Produce bile
  • metabolise drugs
  • eliminate toxic substances
  • activate enzymes
  • produce albumin and clotting factors

Types of Liver diseases

  • Liver infections
  • Liver cancers
  • Genetic cause
  • Autoimmune disorders

Symptoms of liver diseases

  • Pale or yellowish eye whites and skin color
  • Stomach pain
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Stool and urine color changes
  • Itching
  • Nausea that persists
  • Frequent vomitings

Cause of liver diseases

  • Excess alcohol
  • High-fat diet
  • Liver infection
  • Autoimmunity-associated Liver diseases 
  • Genetic liver problems
  • Cancerous or tumor growth in liver

Risks of liver diseases

  • Obesity
  • Excessive alcohol
  • Diabetes (type 2)
  • Sexually transmitted 
  • Genetically transmitted
  • Toxic chemical exposure
  • Contaminated needles
  • Body piercings and tattoos

Diagnosis of liver diseases

  • Physical examination
  • Liver function test
  • MRI
  • CT scan
  • Ultrasound
  • Liver biopsy

Treatment of liver diseases

  • Lifestyle changes (abstaining from alcohol and high-fat diet, exercises)
  • Supplements (like vitamins, Germander, chaparral, Valerian)
  • Drugs 
  • Surgery to remove excess fat or damaged liver portion

Purpose of Liver Function Test

Doctors recommend liver function tests in case of the following liver problems.

  1. 1. Hepatitis- A, B and C
  2. 2. Viral hepatitis
  3. 3. Alcoholic hepatitis
  4. 4. Liver cirrhosis 
  5. 5. Medication side effects 
  6. 6. Reactions to toxic compounds
  7.  

How do doctors detect liver disease from blood tests?

A liver function test is done to check the levels of various liver enzymes released in the blood. These liver enzymes are associated with specific liver diseases, and the abnormal level of those enzymes will indicate the occurrence of that disease.

Why did my doctor ask for an LFT (liver function test)?

Doctors recommend LFT to the patient when he wants to check the health and functioning of the liver. 

  1. 1. Liver infection
  2. 2. Autoimmunity-associated Liver diseases 
  3. 3. Genetic liver problems
  4. 4. Cancerous or tumor growth in liver
  5.  

What is the procedure for an LFT?

The liver function test, or LFT, is as simple as a normal blood test. The following steps are included in getting LFT reports

  1. 1. Blood collection
  2. 2. Blood testing
  3. 3. Result analysis
  4. 4. Receiving LFT Report
  5.  

Blood collection

  • 1. The patient is asked to go to the blood collection room
  • 2. Your skin above the elbow of one of the arms is sterilised by a cotton swab dipped in ethanol.
  • 3. A sterilised needle is injected, and blood is collected into sterilised blood vials
  • 4. Blood vials are immediately sealed and labelled
  •  

Blood testing

Blood is sent to the laboratory for biochemistry and microbial tests.

Result analysis

Laboratory professionals observe the results and record the observations. 

Receiving LFT Report

LFT Report sent to the doctor or given to the patient.

Role of Liver in the human body

  • 1. Produce bile
  • 2. Metabolize drugs
  • 3. Eliminate toxic substances
  • 4. Activate enzymes
  • 5. Produce albumin and clotting factors
  •  

Types of Liver diseases 

  • 1. Liver infections
  • 2. Liver cancers
  • 3. Genetic cause
  • 4. Autoimmune disorders
  •  

Symptoms of liver diseases

  • 1. Pale or yellowish eye whites and skin color
  • 2. Stomach pain
  • 3. Abdominal swelling
  • 4. Stool and urine color changes
  • 5. Itching
  • 6. Nausea that persists
  • 7. Frequent vomitings
  •  

Cause of liver diseases

  • 1. Excess alcohol
  • 2. High-fat diet
  • 3. Liver infection
  • 4. Autoimmunity-associated Liver diseases 
  • 5. Genetic liver problems
  • 6. Cancerous or tumor growth in liver
  •  

Risks of liver diseases

  • 1. Obesity
  • 2. Excessive alcohol
  • 3. Diabetes (type 2)
  • 4. Sexually transmitted 
  • 5. Genetically transmitted
  • 6. Toxic chemical exposure
  • 7. Contaminated needles
  • 8. Body piercings and tattoos
  •  

Diagnosis of liver diseases

  • 1. Physical examination
  • 2. Liver function test
  • 3. MRI
  • 4. CT scan
  • 5. Ultrasound
  • 6. Liver biopsy
  •  

Treatment of liver diseases

  • 1. Lifestyle changes (abstaining from alcohol and high-fat diet, exercises)
  • 2. Supplements (like vitamins, Germander, chaparral, Valerian)
  • 3. Drugs 
  • 4. Surgery to remove excess fat or damaged liver portion
  •  

Cost of liver function test

A single LFT test will cost you around ₹750. However, the cost of different LFT tests varies depending on locations ₹400 to ₹1500.

Frequently asked questions

Q.1. What is the Liver Function Test?

Liver function test is abbreviated as LFT, it is a medical diagnostic test in which a patient’s blood is tested for the level of liver enzymes and proteins. Liver plays a great role in metabolism and excretion of toxic waste. While performing its functions liver cells release various enzymes. When there is damage to the liver or it is infected, it causes an abnormal release of enzymes in the blood. This abnormal enzyme concentration can be detected through liver function tests.

Q2. Purpose of liver function test

Doctors recommend liver function tests, in case of the following liver problems.

  1. 1. Hepatitis- A, B and C
  2. 2. Viral hepatitis
  3. 3. Alcoholic hepatitis
  4. 4. Liver cirrhosis 
  5. 5. Medication side effects 
  6. 6. Reactions to toxic compounds
  7.  

Q.3. How do doctors detect liver disease from blood tests?

Liver function test is done to check the levels of various liver enzymes released in blood. These liver enzymes are associated with specific liver disease and the abnormal level of those enzymes will indicate the occurrence of that disease.

Q.4. Why did my doctor ask for an LFT (liver function test)?

Doctor ask for an LFT to check the following,

  1. 1. Liver infection
  2. 2. Autoimmunity associated Liver diseases 
  3. 3. Genetic liver problems
  4. 4. Cancerous or tumour growth in liver
  5.  

Q.5. What is the procedure for an LFT?

The liver function test or LFT is as simple as a normal blood test. Following steps are included in getting LFT reports

  • 1. Blood collection
  • 2. Blood testing
  • 3. Result analysis
  • 4. Receiving LFT Report
  •  

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