Comprehensive Guide on Liver Function for India
Liver diseases are increasing in India at an alarming rate. Liver is considered the workhorse of our body performing various important functions including conversion of fats, carbohydrates and proteins, being a storehouse of some vitamins and, metabolism of certain hormones.
Many of us abuse the liver through our own voluntary actions like excessive alcohol drinking or eating unhealthy food. Unfortunately, there are also things which are beyond our control that are harming our liver irreparably. The chemical laced food that has become commonplace in our country, where regulation implementation is really lax, harms ours liver. Additionally, some medicines impact liver function, as a side effect. The author knows of a relative, who was on Parkinson’s medication. The doctor failed to mention that the medicines for parkinson’s disease can cause liver damage. The relative died of liver cirrhosis when a simple liver function test could have identified the problem earlier and remedial steps could have been taken.
LabsAdvisor, the largest diagnostic test platform in India, is working towards improving health care system in India. A big part of this endeavour is to make people aware of the health issues that they may face. Awareness can bring in preventive action. Before we start the guide, if you want to quickly book your liver function test, please call us on 09811166231 now. We can book LFT across the country with home collection facility. You can also fill in the form below for a call back.
We have started a complete guide series that covers many body organs and common preventive and prescriptive tests. This guide is on liver function and is intended to provide easy to read information for the reader to help her in taking preventive actions for managing liver function well.
The liver function guide is divided into the following sections. Feel free to jump to the section of your interest. Each section can be read individually without the need to read them in order.
- What is the role of liver in our body’s functioning?
- What are signs of liver dysfunction?
- Who should get tested for liver dysfunction?
- What are the tests prescribed for liver testing?
- How is liver function test done?
- What are the labs available for liver function test?
- What is the cost of liver function test?
- What are the parameters covered in liver function test?
- What is the interpretation of the results?
- What are the normal ranges of liver function test?
What is the role of liver in our body?
Liver is considered as the workhorse of our body. Its functioning impacts most body functions in one way or the other. Liver helps in metabolism functions including breaking up fat to make it digestible. Liver is the store for some vitamins and iron. Some of the other functions of liver include:
- Converts carbohydrates and some amino acids into glucose which gives energy to the body
- Works on the proteins to make them usable for the body
- Helps in the breakup of waste material that is then passed out of the body through urine
- Processes alcohols and various medicines including antibiotics
- Processes certain hormones including the thyroid hormones and estrogen
- Contributes to the production of Vitamin D in the body along with skin and kidneys
- Helps in the formation of cellular components of blood
The above points highlight the major role this organ plays in the body and why we need to take care of it. For detailed functions of liver, one can check here.
Here is a short video on amazing facts about liver.
What are signs of liver dysfunction?
Liver dysfunction or failure mostly occur over a period of time and hence it is difficult to diagnose. There is one exception though called acute liver failure when the deterioration of liver happens rapidly.
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Different kinds of liver diseases and reasons for their onset are given below:
- Fatty Liver: This condition is caused by accumulation of excess fat in the liver. When the fat % in liver exceeds 5%, it is considered the onset of fatty liver disease. Obesity or being fat is the primary reason for developing fatty liver. Excessive consumption of alcohol and some genetic factors can also cause this condition. Fatty liver in itself is generally not a huge cause of concern but it makes liver vulnerable to other infections and diseases and hence should be promptly addressed in consultation with your doctor. Symptoms of fatty liver are:
- Mild Abdominal Pain
- Weight Loss
- Inflammation may occur which the doctor can identify through physical examination
- Cirrhosis of liver: Liver cirrhosis is the permanent scarring or damage to the liver. This is a non reversible disease which progresses and covers liver over a period of time. Liver cirrhosis can be life threatening and require immediate attention.
Liver cirrhosis results in liver slowly losing its capacity to cleanse the body. The toxic build up will start to occur which will lead to retention of water in legs and rest of the body. Over a period of time, the patient’s personality will start changing, he will become forgetful and sleep patterns will get impacted. In the later stages, internal bleeding and coma may occur. Signs of liver cirrhosis include:
- Weight Loss
- Loss of Appetite
- Yellowness in Eyes
Key reasons causing liver cirrhosis are excessive alcohol consumption, genetic factors or viral infections. Sometimes, the medicines of certain diseases like Parkinson’s are also known to cause liver dysfunction perhaps leading to cirrhosis.
- Liver Cancer: There are different kinds of liver cancers and the causes of liver cancer vary. Since liver receives blood from various organs of the body, cancer from other organs may impact liver. Liver cancer can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption, certain types of viral infections including Hepatitis B and due to genetic factors. People with liver cirrhosis have a higher chance of developing liver cancer.
There are many other kinds of liver diseases or liver dysfunctions. More details related to abnormal liver function can be accessed here.
What are the tests prescribed for liver dysfunction?
Liver function can be tested through a basic blood test called liver function test. This test can be a part of preventive health check up or is prescribed by doctors as the first screening test. This blood based test is covered in more details in the rest of the article.
Other tests which are used for further evaluation are
- Computerized Tomography Scan or CT Scan of Whole Abdomen. Sometimes, a CT Scan Whole Abdomen with Contrast (for better images) is also used.
- Ultrasound of abdomen
- MRI of Whole Abdomen
- 3 Tesla MRI of Whole Abdomen
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
- Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP)
Who should get tested for liver dysfunction?
In the Indian context, it is recommended that all individuals above the age of 30 should get a liver function test done as a part of annual preventive health check up. People who have the following symptoms or attributes should consider getting a liver function test done at regular intervals.
- Weakness, fatigue or loss of energy
- Yellow skin or eyes
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Family history of liver disease
- Too much eating out
- People of regular medication for diseases like Parkinson’s
How is liver function test done?
Liver function test is a basic blood based tests that tests multiple parameters which demonstrate liver health. A phlebotomist or a technician will take a blood sample, most probably from your arm, for this testing. Home collection can be arranged and this test does not require overnight fasting. The results are generally available within 24 hours.
Liver Function Test report contains the normal ranges of the liver parameters covered. This will help you assess if more investigations are needed. However, preventive health check up do not replace the sessions that you should have with your doctor for your general well-being.
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What are the labs available for liver function test?
We have multiple labs on our panel and you can choose which lab should do your testing based on the quality rating, cost, home collection facility and proximity to your house. Sample labs on our panel that conduct Liver Function Test are :
- Thyrocare Technologies
- Allianz Health
- Quest Diagnostics
- Janta X-Ray
- Mahajan Imaging
We can help you choose the right lab for you. If you want a call back to discuss, please fill the form below
What is the cost of liver function test (LFT) in India?
The cost of the liver function test can vary depending on the lab concerned. Some labs charge premium for their brand while others are cheaper as they do not spend too much on marketing. LabsAdvisor lets you choose the lab best suited for your needs. In the table below you can see the minimum cost of liver function test available with LabsAdvisor.com. The links will take you to a lab listing page with multiple lab options.
|Cost of Liver Function Test / LFT Test Cost||Min Cost|
|Cost of Liver Function Test / LFT in Delhi||₹ 360|
|Cost of Liver Function Test / LFT in Gurgaon||₹ 360|
|Cost of Liver Function Test / LFT in Noida||₹ 360|
|Cost of Liver Function Test / LFT in Mumbai*||₹ 504|
|Cost of Liver Function Test / LFT in Hyderabad*||₹ 484|
|Cost of Liver Function Test / LFT in Faridabad||₹ 400|
|Cost of Liver Function Test / LFT in Bengaluru*||₹ 400|
|Cost of Liver Function Test / LFT in Ghaziabad||₹ 360|
|Cost of Liver Function Test / LFT in Navi Mumbai*||₹ 504|
|Cost of Liver Function Test / LFT in Chandigarh*||₹ 545|
|Cost of Liver Function Test / LFT in Chennai*||₹ 545|
|Cost of Liver Function Test / LFT in Any City of India*||₹ 545|
*: Home Collection Free
What are the parameters covered in liver function test?
Liver Function Test consists of testing multiple parameters that helps in evaluation, detection and monitoring of liver disease or damage. It usually includes following:
- Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) – measures enzymes that release in response to disease
- Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) – measures enzymes that release in response to liver dysfunction
- Alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
- Bilirubin – include Total Bilirubin , Direct Bilirubin , Indirect Bilirubin. Bilirubin tests measure how well liver disposes bilirubin a waste product of blood.
- Total protein (TP)
- Gamma – glut amyl transferase (GGT)
- Prothrombin time (PT)
Some of the above parameters measure the enzymes that liver releases in response to disease. Other check how well liver creates the protein albumin.
Interpretation of liver function test results
|Type of liver condition or disease||ALT and AST||Bilirubin||ALP||Albumin||PT|
|Acute liver damage||Usually greatly increased||Normal or increased||Normal or moderately increased||Normal||Normal|
|Chronic forms of various liver disorders||Mild or moderately increased||Normal or increased||Normal to slightly increased||Normal||Normal|
|Alcoholic Hepatitis||AST is moderately increased, usually at least twice the level of ALT||Normal or increased||Normal or moderately increased||Normal||Normal|
|Liver Cirrhosis||AST is usually higher than ALT||May be increased||Normal or increased||Normal or decreased||Prolonged|
Normal Range of Liver Function Test Parameters
Normal blood test results for typical liver function tests include:
- ALT. 7 to 55 units per litre (U/L)
- AST. 8 to 48 U/L
- ALP. 45 to 115 U/L
- Albumin. 3.5 to 5.0 grams per decilitre (g/dL)
- Total protein. 6.3 to 7.9 g/dL
- Bilirubin. 0.1 to 1.2 milligrams per decilitre (mg/dL)
- GGT. 9 to 48 U/L
- PT. 9.5 to 13.8 seconds
These results are for a typical male. Normal results vary from lab to lab and might be slightly different for women or children.
To know more about liver function and tests, you may refer to the following resources
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