The Liver is the largest internal organ in the body and plays a crucial role in the digestive system. Its main function is to filter the blood from the digestive system for toxic material and to metabolize drugs and chemicals. It also releases a digestive juice called Bile that is necessary to breakdown fat. So it is imperative that if the liver stops working it will affect all the other organs of the body in a serious way.
The good thing about Liver is, it can continue to work even if it gets damaged a little. Unfortunately, Liver damage does not cause any explicit symptoms unless it progresses to a significant level; and the eating habits of modern day (junk food, high fat diet, carbonated beverages, alcohol etc.) are good ways to induce Liver problems. If the damage goes below a certain level, it may not be treatable and Liver transplant becomes the only option for survival. This calls for periodic clinical screening of the Liver to ensure its optimum working condition and make suitable changes to habits and lifestyle. People with following risk factors need to periodically check their Liver health to ward off future complications.
Recommended tests for Liver Health Evaluation:
Complete Blood Count This test is done to assess the quality of blood and its components. The test values may vary slightly depending upon age, gender and general condition. But, higher abnormalities may be an indication of potential health problems.
Blood Sugar: Liver plays a vital role in glucose production and storage in our body. Hence, people with type-2 diabetes are greater risk of developing Liver conditions.
Urea nitrogen (BUN): When protein is broken down by Liver Urea is produced as a waste product, which in turn is excreted by Kidney. A reduced BUN level generally indicates deterioration in Liver function.
Liver Function Test (LFT)
This includes a set of investigations for the amount Liver enzymes known as ALT, AST and ALP in the blood. Typically these enzymes are not released directly into the blood. Hence, an elevated level of these enzymes in blood indicates some kind of damage to the liver.
Hepatitis – B Surface Antigen (HBsAg)
Positive test result shows infection with Hepatitis – B virus, which is the more common form of hepatitis.
This test is done to check the presence of Hepatitis – C infection.
This test is performed to evaluate the health of the organs within the abdominal cavity. It is useful in detecting any structural abnormalities of the liver.