A liver function test is sometimes necessary to determine the health of your liver. The function test measures proteins, bilirubin, and enzymes found in your blood. Based on the test results, the ER can determine if something is wrong with your liver. They may be able to discover a problem with your liver, such as hepatitis or any number of other conditions.
How the Liver Function Test Works
If you have recently suffered from a medical condition and your doctor believes you might have experienced liver damage, you can check for liver damage through a liver function test. You might also be taking medications and might need to monitor the side effects of these medications.
You should determine the best treatments if you suffer from a liver disorder. Finally, if you consume a lot of alcohol, you might need this test to determine how much your liver has been damaged. Your family might have a history of fatty liver disease, and it would make sense to be tested for this condition.
There are many types of liver function tests you can receive. The main types of liver function tests are:
To participate in the test, a sample will be sent to a testing center. For example, if you are checked into an emergency room, they might have your liver tested. A nurse will draw your blood to be sent to the testing center.
The Analysis of Your Blood Sample
Your blood sample is then sent to the lab to be analyzed. Depending on the type of tests performed on the blood sample, you might receive the results back in hours or days.
When you receive the liver function test results, you will see several values for the substances that the tests measured. The correct range for each substance will be based on your age, weight, and gender. Elevated ALT levels, for example, can indicate that your liver is stressed.
You might need help understanding the test results after they are returned. However, it would be best to speak with the doctor you saw at the ER and your primary care doctor about what they mean. Your doctor may need to run more tests to determine whether you need to undergo a particular treatment regimen. Then, you are more likely to have a better outcome with your medical condition.
For more information on ER laboratory testing, contact your local ER.
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