In order to determine how effectively the liver is functioning, a liver (hepatic function panel) is performed. This test assesses the levels of total protein, albumin, bilirubin, and liver enzymes in the blood. It is also used to diagnose liver disease. When liver enzymes are elevated or depleted, it may indicate the presence of liver injury or illness.
Many essential tasks are performed by the liver in the body, including converting nutrients into energy for the body and detoxifying the body of toxins.
Why would my doctor want me to take this test?
Fever, vomiting, stomach discomfort, yellowing of the eyes or skin (jaundice), dark yellow urine, and feeling very fatigued are some of the symptoms you may experience. If you are experiencing signs of liver illness, your doctor may recommend that you have a liver function panel performed. Additionally, suppose you have recently been exposed to a hepatitis virus or are using a medication that has the potential to induce liver damage. In that case, you may be subjected to this test.
To keep track of the progress of your liver disease therapy. Most of the time, liver function tests are performed to aid in diagnosing liver disorders such as hepatitis. These tests may provide information about how well the therapy is working. Your doctor may request that you have this procedure to determine how severe your liver has been damaged or scarred due to a condition such as cirrhosis.
Signs and Symptoms of Liver Disease
Jaundice is the most common symptom of liver illness. Your urine may seem darker, and your skin and the whites of your eyes may appear pale and yellow if you have jaundice.
Bilirubin builds up in the bloodstream, causing jaundice. Bilirubin is a pigment generated by the breakdown of red blood cells. Bilirubin cannot be absorbed and converted into bile by a damaged liver.
- Fluid Retention
The fluid build-up is one of the most frequent early warning symptoms of liver disease. Cirrhosis, a disease in which damaged tissue displaces good liver tissue, causes it in 50 percent of individuals.
The fluid accumulation may cause distension in the belly and edema in the legs. When the blood pressure in your liver veins rises, or your liver cannot generate albumin, a protein that stops blood from leaking into the tissue, this happens.
If you have liver illness, you may notice blood in your stool or vomit, as well as rectal bleeding. Blood rushes through the liver like a vehicle on a high-speed highway in most cases, but when you have cirrhosis, the trip becomes bumpy owing to scarring.
As a consequence, the blood seeks other routes. Blood may flow to the spleen, which may expand to alleviate the congestion, and swollen veins may bleed rapidly. A healthy liver can generate clotting proteins, but it may not do so if it is diseased. As a consequence, there may be more bleeding.
- Memory Issues
Memory difficulties and confusion are also typical warning symptoms of liver disease. Toxins may go to the brain if your liver is not capable of clearing them out. Memory problems, disorientation, tiredness, and even coma may result from this.
Lactulose, a laxative, may be prescribed by your doctor to keep toxins in your colon and wash them out before they enter your bloodstream and go to your brain.
How do I need to prepare for this test?
You may be requested to refrain from eating and drinking for eight to twelve hours before the test. Inform your doctor of any medications you are taking since certain medications may affect the test results.
What do the Hepatic Function (Liver) Panel Blood Test results include?
The following are the results of the Hepatic Function (Liver) Panel Blood Test:
- Albumin is a protein that is produced in the liver.
- Protein in total. This test determines the total quantity of protein in the blood.
- ALP (alkaline phosphatase), ALT (alanine transaminase), AST (aspartate aminotransferase), and gamma-glutamyl transferase are all enzymes that help in digestion (GGT). The liver produces a variety of enzymes.
- Bilirubin, a by-product of the liver’s metabolism.
- Lactate Dehydrogenase (LD), an enzyme present in almost every cell in the body. When cells are destroyed by illness or injury, LD is released into the bloodstream.
- Prothrombin Time (PT), which is a protein that helps blood clot.
After the testing, you will generally be able to leave and resume your normal activities. However, if you experience dizziness or light-headedness during blood collection, you should seek medical attention before leaving the testing facility. A test for hepatitis or other illnesses that may damage the liver may be ordered by your doctor. They may also opt to have imaging tests performed, such as an ultrasound or CT scan. The doctor may suggest a liver biopsy to check for fibrosis, fatty liver disease, or other liver disorders.
Here is the link below from which you can order an online blood test for screening: