A lot of information about your health can be revealed by a simple sample of your blood. Some of the tests that are routinely performed on blood are known as liver function tests because the substances they detect can reveal how well your liver is working. An abnormal liver test can tell your doctor if your liver is struggling to perform a particular function or if it has experienced any damage.
Liver Function Tests
Among the liver function tests that can be conducted on your blood are several tests that measure the levels of substances that your liver should be producing. An example of this is the protein albumin. If the albumin levels in your blood are too low, your liver might not be working as well as it should be. Blood tests can also look for signs of liver damage. For example, if your blood is clotting normally, it could be because your liver has experienced some serious damage.
Liver function tests won’t always reveal a liver problem, but if you do get an abnormal liver test result it can be a sign of a condition that requires treatment. However, further testing may be required in order to work out exactly what is wrong with your liver.
After an abnormal liver test, your doctor might want to take a closer look at your liver to find out why you got that result. Various kinds of imaging tests can be used to reveal liver abnormalities such as scarring. You might need to have an ultrasound, CT scan or MRI to check on your liver. Another option is a liver biopsy, which involves taking a sample of your liver so that it can be examined in the lab. The biopsy is performed with a fine needle that is usually inserted in between your ribs. You will be given a local anaesthetic so that you can’t feel anything while the sample is taken. The biopsy results can reveal how damaged your liver is and provide clues as to the cause.