The liver is the largest internal organ of the body. It is responsible for several vital functions which in includes generating bile. This natural chemical in the body helps in digesting food, filtering toxins, storing vitamins and minerals, as well as producing enzymes that control clotting of blood, as well as other important functions in the body. As more and more people have been reported suffering from liver related conditions, prevention, and early detection is the best way to deal with the scenario. This can be done by going through a liver function test which can help in determining whether your own liver is properly functioning, and at the same time, identify any signs of malfunctions and liver disease.
Our liver can easily be damaged because of several reasons, including drug abuse, alcohol abuse, as well as improper diet. It can also suffer a lot because of some viral infections, including hepatitis. The good news is that, during the early stages of liver damaged that is induced by lifestyle, your liver has the natural capacity to repair itself and regenerate.
Unfortunately, if the damage has spread, ultimately becoming extensive, cirrhosis and fibrosis may occur. In these situations, the condition can become irreversible. Because of these reasons, it is always better to detect the problem through the help of a liver function test early on as it provides the opportunity to make needed changes in your lifestyle before it is too late.
Symptoms of Unhealthy Liver
While you can avail of liver health checks even when you are not yet feeling anything, some symptoms may move you to go through the necessary liver function test. The thing is; the earlier stages of the disease in the liver often do not have symptoms. There are signs, though, but some of them can easily be confused with other medical conditions. These symptoms may include appetite loss, lethargy, and fatigue, unreasonable weight loss, being weak and unwell, unusual color of stool and urine. If you notice these symptoms, it is highly recommended to go through liver health checks even if you are not yet sure of the problem.
Benefits of Liver Function Test
For one, the liver is one of the most important organs in your body. It is complex in a way that it is responsible for several different functions that are vital to life. It aids in digestion and in helping your body to get rid of harmful toxins naturally. If you are worrying that you eat too much, drink too much, or be dependent on prescription, and drugs. As such, it is highly important and recommended to go through a liver health check for earlier signs of disease. There are different tests to take into consideration, ranging from simple liver check to more advanced options on Liver function test that focuses on checking total protein, albumin, globulin, A/G ratio, total bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, AST, ALT or GGT. By going through these checks, there is an opportunity to correct any issue that involves the health of your liver as soon as possible.
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This test is used to gauge whether someone is suffering from folate or Vitamin B12 deficiency.
For people with a history of heart disease in the family in the absence of other risk factors such as being overweight or obese, high blood pressure or smoking; the test can be used in screening patients for stroke or heart attack.
CA 19.9 $67
Serum CA 19.9 levels are usually increased to about 80% among patients who are dealing with pancreatic cancer. They are also evident in 54-89% of patients with stomach cancer, while 65% for those who have colorectal cancer. From time to time, the serum level may also increase in benign conditions, such as acute and chronic pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, cystic fibrosis, as well as hepatobillary tract disease. In benign disease, however, CA 19.9 generally does not go over 100U/ml.
HaemoglobinA1c, or HbAIc, is a diabetes marker, which may be used in long-term care monitoring for people who are suffering from diabetes. The level of HbA1c is directly proportional to the glucose level within the blood. It has been accepted widely as a determining factor that indicates the mean daily concentration of blood glucose throughout the preceding couple of months. According to recent studies, regular measurement and assessment of HbA1c results to the change in diabetes treatment, as well as the improvement of the metabolic control which is indicated with the lowering of the HbA1c valves.
CA 125 $67
This glycol protein is produced in several ovarian cancers. The levels of CA 125 that are above 335ng/ml have been detected in about 20-40% of patients who have State I and II ovarian cancers, as well as 96% of patients who have State III and IV of this disease. In less common situations, the levels can increase in patients who have cancers of the breast, gastrointestinal tract, endometrium, cervix, as well as the fallopian tube. The increase in levels may also be present in some benign conditions such as peritoneal inflammation and endometriosis. CA 125 is also helpful when it comes to monitoring individuals for treatment response and recurrence of tumour.
C-Reactive Protein $37
C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is a particular substance which is produced within the liver as a result of inflammation. CRP is also known as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), as well as ultra-sensitive C-reactive protein (us-CRP). With a high CRP level in the blood, there is a possibility of having a condition which can cause inflammation, ranging from the possibility of an upper respiratory infection to more serious conditions such as cancer. Higher levels of CRP can also be an indication of an inflammation in the heart arteries, swelling of the tissues that line the joints and infection of a bone. This, in turn, may pose a higher risk for heart attack. However, it is important to keep in mind, that CRP is a nonspecific test which may be elevated with any type of inflammatory condition.
CA 15.3 $67
The test for CA 15.3 is considered as a marker of tumour. It is often used in checking how treatment for breast cancer works, looking for cancer that has recurred post treatment. If you are being diagnosed with cancer of the breast, you may go through this test. It is not used for measuring early stage of breast cancer since the levels of this type of protein are only rarely higher than the normal levels within this stage.
PSA is a substance produced within the prostate gland. It is also highly useful when it comes to the diagnosis of prostate cancer, including the monitoring for spreading and recurrence of tumour in patients. Generally, a little amount of PSA can be found in the blood. Increase in the levels of PSA may be caused by benign prostatic or even prostate cancer.
HIV Antibody $27
The antibody screening test is considered as the most common HIV test, looking into the antibodies that is produced by the body against HIV. It may be done on oral or blood fluid, but not saliva. Since the antibody levels in the oral fluid is relatively lower as in the blood, majority of blood-based tests discover the infection sooner right after being exposed compared to rapid HIV tests.