If you’re concerned about your health, you may have surely come across the word “liver”, perhaps on radio, TV, and even in domestic discussions. Liver stands out as a popular part of the body. Just as the term ‘liver’ is well-known, it is also known popular to hear people lose their precious lives because of complications or infections that affect the liver. These disorders include viral hepatitis, cirrhosis, bile duct obstruction, hepatoma (cancer of the liver) etc. The liver has numerous functions, including production of proteins, enzymes and certain chemicals, detoxification of alcohol and other chemicals, vitamins and minerals, and maintenance of balance of hormones, among other essential functions.
Due to this, it is highly essential for you to protect your liver.
The first step of ensuring your liver is safe is to conduct a liver function test. Your blood sample shall be taken and used to conduct the test by a medical laboratory scientist. Questions popping up in your mind are probably “how can blood be used to check the state of your liver?” Breathe out. As already said, the liver produces some enzymes and other chemicals. These chemicals produced by the liver end up in your blood. So if the quantity being produced is low or high, then it shows there’s something wrong with your liver. The machine/analyzer the Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) uses can measure the quantity of them, and if compared to a standard reference range (normal range of values), we can tell if it’s high or low, hence determination of an ill state of your liver.
These enzymes have unfriendly names. They include
- Alanine aminotransferase (ALT)
- Aspartate aminotransferase (AST)
- Alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
- Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT)
- Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)
The Total Protein (TP) in your blood is also measured. Bilirubin is measured as well.
The results for these are critically analyzed by an MLS and a physician to determine whether the ill condition is with the liver itself, or regions close to the liver. Medical attention can be sought right after, and it may involve conduction of other tests for confirmation of diagnosis.
To check your liver function state, kindly contact +233 540 666 781.
PS: This article was written by Joseph Ofori, a graduate of University of Ghana, and a practising Medical Laboratory Scientist. It was proofread by MLS Alexander Kwakye, a Modern Medical Associate and MLS at University Hospital, KNUST.