What Are Liver Tests and How Can They Help You?
Your liver is one of the most important organs in your body. Although it mostly consists of water, this organ is bigger than your brain and it can regenerate itself under proper conditions. The liver regulates hundreds of bodily functions, so it's important to ensure its health and wellbeing.
One of the best ways you can keep an eye on your liver is by using liver tests. These tests can provide profound insight regarding the health of your liver with the help of a simple blood sample. Keep reading to learn more about liver tests, what they entail, and how to take advantage of them.
What Substances Are Checked Using Liver Tests?
Medical professionals take a look at a wide variety of hormones, enzymes, and proteins in your body to determine the health of your liver. It's like listening to the engine of a car to find out if it works properly.
When some key substances are at abnormal levels, this can signify damage to your liver. Let's take a look at some of these substances and find out more about them.
Complete Liver Panel
The complete liver panel is also known as the hepatic function panel. This is a comprehensive and affordable pack of liver function tests that looks at multiple hormones and enzymes in your body. For example, it checks alanine aminotransferase. This is a substance usually found only in the liver. If it's at abnormal levels, it could be a sign of hepatitis.
A similar enzyme called alkaline phosphatase might indicate if your bile ducts are blocked or not. The panel also checks bilirubin, an enzyme that helps doctors detect if your liver is damaged. When people develop jaundice or yellowing of the skin, this is usually caused by excessive bilirubin in the bloodstream.
Albumin is another substance checked by this liver panel. Albumin is one of the most important proteins in the human body. Low levels of it might lead to serious health complications including decreased muscle mass. The hepatic function panel looks at other substances in your system to give you a full understanding of the health of your liver.
The liver plays an important part in your detoxification process. Many of the substances processed by the liver eventually end up in urine for excretion. By looking at different enzymes in the urine, it's possible to determine how well your liver is performing and whether it has been damaged in the past.
Some of the substances checked by a urinalysis panel involve ketones, protein, bilirubin, pH of the blood, nitrite, and others. Specific imbalances in these enzymes can lead to health complications. That's why it's important to do a urinalysis test from time to time. This test will provide valuable insight into the health of your kidneys too.
Gamma Glutamyl Transpeptidase Test
This is also known as the GGT test. Gamma Glutamyl Peptidase is a type of protein found in the liver cells. The test detects the levels of GGT to determine if liver damage is present. When the levels of GGT are high, this could indicate issues such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or even liver cancer.
The levels of GGT in your liver can be raised by different substances. Consuming too much alcohol can increase the levels of GGT in the liver and lead to serious health issues. Certain drugs such as barbiturates and even aspirin might increase the levels of GGT. Since high levels of this protein are associated with dangerous liver complications, this test is very important when it comes to the health of your liver.
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
The comprehensive metabolic panel also looks at various substances in your body to gauge the health of your liver. Apart from some enzymes also checked by other liver function tests, this panel measures your electrolytes, blood glucose levels, and a host of other substances. For example, your total calcium levels will be calculated as well as creatinine and blood urea nitrogen.
Some of these substances will also detect if your kidneys are working well. When the liver is damaged, some of its work is taken by the kidneys. This can overload these organs and cause additional damage. A simple and inexpensive comprehensive metabolic panel can check over 10 substances at a glance, so it's a popular test among health-conscious people.
What Are the Symptoms of Liver Damage?
Although your liver is one of the most important organs in your body, it seldom shows any symptoms. That's because there are little to no pain receptors located next to this organ. However, you will experience a few signs of liver damage and it's best to do something about them right away.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of liver problems encountered by people:
- Chronic fatigue - when your liver is damaged, it cannot do its job of filtering the toxins that get in your body. As a result, these toxins accumulate in your system and drag you down, even if you've slept well last night.
- Abdominal pain and swelling - your liver is located on the upper right side of your abdomen. If this 0art of your body swells and causes pain, it might be because of liver damage
- Dark urine color - if you experience abnormal changes in your urine and stool, these might be caused by a poorly functioning liver that doesn't process certain enzymes properly
- Nausea and vomiting - although these symptoms can be attributed to many diseases, they can also be caused by an unhealthy liver
What Are the Complications of Serious Liver Damage?
First of all, remember that your liver has amazing restorative properties, so even if the test results are not optimal, you can still fix this organ. It's important to take action quickly because the complications of liver damage can be life-threatening.
For example, part of your liver can become fibrous and stop working correctly. For severe liver damage, you might develop liver cirrhosis or even cancer. Liver transplants are also rare and expensive, so it's best to take care of the one you already have.
Order a Liver Test Today!
As you can see, many types of substances can be checked by a liver test. All you have to do is to order your test online from DiscountedLabs.com. If you don't know which test would be more appropriate for you then go for the complete liver function panel. This test will provide a broad insight into the health of your liver and give you more information on what to do next.
Ordering a liver test online has many benefits. You can get the results back by mail in just a few business days, the results are confidential, and you can get a snapshot of your health without spending a lot of money, so take advantage of this opportunity.