Bile Acids Blood Test
The Bile Acids Blood Test evaluates liver function by measuring bile acid levels in the blood.
What are bile acids?
Bile acids are compounds that are produced by the liver and stored in the gall bladder. They play a vital role in the digestion of food, particularly fats. When you eat, your body signals the gall bladder to contract and release bile acids into the small intestine. The bile acids combine with food in the intestine to break down complex fats into absorbable particles.
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this Bile Acids Blood Test to evaluate liver function by measuring bile acid levels in the blood. This test may be used to:
- Evaluate if the liver has enough healthy cells to function properly.
- Assess whether the liver has a good blood supply.
- Determine if bile is moving freely through and out of the liver.
The bile acid test assesses the liver's ability to recycle bile acids. A healthy liver can effectively recycle these acids, while a damaged or defective liver cannot.
When should I order a Bile Acids Blood Test?
Individuals may order this test if they display signs of liver damage or defect. Common signs or symptoms of liver damage or defect include:
- Elevated liver enzyme levels in the blood. The liver may not have enough healthy cells to function properly and may become damaged.
- Low albumin levels in the blood. Albumin is a protein synthesized by the liver. Low levels indicate insufficient healthy liver cells, resulting in compromised liver function.
- Developmental delays. A congenital blood supply defect is preventing proper liver function.
- Seizures (or convulsions). Liver disease can cause seizures due to poor liver function or insufficient blood supply.
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