Here's How To Interpret Your Liver Function Tests

Got Elevated Liver Enzymes? Here’s How To Interpret Your Liver Function Tests


Liver Function Tests: The human liver is one of the most important organs as it helps in breaking down protein and many important compounds that are consumed along with food. The liver secretes enzymes that are essential for the digestion process and also helps in metabolizing the food once it is digested. 

Liver functions can be affected when there is an issue with the liver cells, the level of enzymes it releases and with the lifestyle of the individual placing excessive strain on the liver. LFT blood test is the primary way used by doctors to evaluate the functioning of the liver and to check for the level of enzymes released by the liver. 

If there is any abnormalcy in the levels of the enzymes or the amount of protein in the blood, it may denote an issue with the liver. It is essential to identify such issues early on so they can be treated immediately, as unmanaged liver issues can cause Acute Liver Failure and Liver Cirrhosis in humans. 

Liver Functions and Liver Disorders

Liver has many functions, and the most important of them all is the release of enzymes such as ALT, AST, ALP, GGT, LD, PT, Bilirubin, etc. These are all vital enzymes that help in breaking down important constituents of food that, in turn, help in metabolizing, energy release and nutrient absorption by the digestive organs. 

The liver can be affected if it undergoes strain from the type of food one consumes and the lifestyle that one leads, such as alcohol consumption, fatty foods, stressful lifestyle etc. High levels of cholesterol in the body are also not great for the liver as they may deposit on the liver cells and cause organ failure. 

Imbalance in the liver based enzymes mentioned above can also be a cause of trouble in the digestive system and may result in diseases such as Hepatitis A, B, Alcoholic Hepatitis, etc. 

In order to know how the liver is performing, the doctors may order an LFT Blood test which can help in identifying issues early on. The level of enzymes released by the liver is analyzed via this test, and based on the results, a treatment course may be chosen. 

LFT Test Constituents

Below are some of the tests that together form the LFT blood test:

  • LD – Lactate Dehydrogenase – Enzyme for Lactose break down
  • ALT – Alanine Transaminase – Enzyme for the breakdown of protein for liver cells
  • ALP – Alkaline Phosphatase – Enzyme for protein breakdown for bones
  • GGT – Gamma Glutamyl Transferase – Enzyme in blood
  • PT – Prothrombin Time – Enzyme for coagulation of blood
  • AST – Aspartate Transaminase – Enzyme for amino acid breakdown
  • Bilirubin Count – Enzyme for RBC breakdown
  • Albumin Count – Enzyme for immunity 
  • Total Protein – Protein count in blood and urine

These are some of the counts that are measured and checked against the normal range. Each enzyme has a predetermined normal range. A higher count of these enzymes can cause liver damage and may signify the lack of metabolism of protein, cells and amino acids in the body. 

Lower than normal levels signify the lack of production of enzymes which is required for the proper breakdown of these cells and acids. By conducting an LFT blood test, the functions of these enzymes can be ascertained, and in case of any imbalance, appropriate treatment can be provided. LFT blood test price costs around Rs 500 to Rs 1000  in most labs in most cities. 

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