Liver Function Tests
Take control of your health with our liver function tests throughout the UK. We provide the most extensive and affordable liver function tests available in the UK, find a full list of why it is important to get it checked and more.
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Why are liver function test important?
At Harley Medic International we believe that people should take control of their own health bank. In the same way, we try to understand our surroundings, friends, and emotions, it is equally as important to understand the biological makeup of our bodies and the body needs. A Liver function test can help determine if your liver is working correctly. The liver is the largest solid organ in the body. It removes toxins from the body’s blood supply, maintains healthy blood sugar levels, regulates blood clotting and performs hundreds of other vital bodily functions, such as:
- removing contaminants from your blood
- converting nutrients from the foods you eat
- storing minerals and vitamins
- producing cholesterol, proteins, enzymes, and bile
- making factors that fight infection
- removing bacteria from your blood
- processing substances that could harm your body
- maintaining hormone balances.
Problems with the liver can make a person very sick and can even be life-threatening. Most types of liver disease do not cause any symptoms in the early stages. When you have start to experience yellow discoloration of the skin ( jaundice) or have been exposed to substances that can cause liver damage such as a paracetamol overdose, or routine monitoring of many medications it may be symptoms of a liver disorder.
Where and what is the liver, and what does it do?
The liver is your largest internal organ. It sits in the tummy (abdomen), under your diaphragm on the right-hand side. It is usually tucked under the ribs, which protect it, although in some people the edge of the liver protrudes slightly.
If the liver is swollen, through inflammation or disease, it can swell out from under the ribs and make your tummy swollen. The liver is a factory for the production and breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, hormones and other essential body chemicals, and helps dispose of waste products. This work is mainly carried out by liver cells (hepatocytes). Some of the most important functions include:
Production of these substances
- Glycogen (a carbohydrate energy store), which it makes from glucose.
- Glucose, made and released into the blood from glycogen, proteins and fats.
- Many essential proteins and amino acids (building blocks of proteins).
- Many of the clotting factors that help your blood to clot normally.
- Plays a part in red blood cell production.
- Albumin, the main protein in your blood, which bulks out your serum and enables it to carry essential substances around the body.
- Angiotensinogen, which plays a role in blood pressure control.
- Thrombopoietin, which regulates some of the work of your bone marrow.
- Cholesterol, triglycerides, lipoproteins and fats – as part of the management of fat stores in your body.
- Bile, excreted into the intestine for absorbing fats and vitamin K.
- Hormones that help children grow and that build muscle in adults.
What are liver function tests?
Liver function tests, also known as liver chemistries, help determine the health of your liver by measuring the levels of proteins, liver enzymes, and bilirubin in your blood.
A liver function test is often recommended in the following situations:
- to check for damage from liver infections, such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C
- to monitor the side effects of certain medications known to affect the liver
- if you already have a liver disease, to monitor the disease and how well a particular treatment is working
- if you’re experiencing the symptoms of a liver disorder
- if you have certain medical conditions such as high triglycerides, diabetes, high blood pressure, or anaemia
- if you drink alcohol heavily
- If you have gallbladder diseases
What would the liver function test be checking?
There are many tests that can be performed on the liver. Certain test can reflect different aspects of liver function. The commonly used test to check the for liver abnormalities are test checking:
- Alanine transaminase (ALT) Alanine transaminase (ALT) is used by your body to metabolize protein. If the liver is damaged or not functioning properly, ALT can be released into the blood. This causes ALT levels to increase. A higher than normal result on this test can be a sign of liver damage. An ALT above 25 IU/L (international units per litre) in females and 33 IU/L in males typically requires further testing and evaluation.
- Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) is an enzyme found in several parts of your body, including the heart, liver, and muscles. Since AST levels are not as specific for liver damage as ALT, it is usually measured together with ALT to check for liver problems. When the liver is damaged, AST can be released into the bloodstream. A high result on an AST test might indicate a problem with the liver or muscles. The normal range for AST is typically up to 40 IU/L in adults and may be higher in infants and young children.
- Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is an enzyme found in your bones, bile ducts, and liver. An ALP test is typically ordered in combination with several other tests. High levels of ALP may indicate liver inflammation, blockage of the bile ducts, or a bone disease. Children and adolescents may have elevated levels of ALP because their bones are growing. Pregnancy can also raise ALP levels. The normal range for ALP is typically up to 120 U/L in adults.
- Albumin is the main protein made by your liver. It performs many important bodily functions such as preventing fluid from leaking out of your blood vessels, nourishes your tissues and transports hormones, vitamins and other substances throughout your body.
An albumin test measures how well your liver is making this particular protein. A low result on this test can indicate that your liver isn’t functioning properly. The normal range for albumin is 3.5–5.0 grams per deciliter (g/dL). However, low albumin can also be a result of poor nutrition, kidney disease, infection, and inflammation.
- Bilirubin is a waste product from the breakdown of red blood cells. It’s ordinarily processed by the liver. It passes through the liver before being excreted through your stool. A damaged liver can’t properly process bilirubin. This leads to an abnormally high level of bilirubin in the blood. A high result on the bilirubin test may indicate that the liver isn’t functioning properly. The normal range for total bilirubin is typically 0.1–1.2 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). There are certain inherited diseases that raise bilirubin levels, but the liver function is normal.
- Total protein is usually normal in liver disease. The difference between its concentration and that of albumin, called globulin, tends to increase when albumin falls, but very high values are seen most commonly in alcoholic hepatitis and in hepatitis caused by the body producing antibodies against its own liver (autoimmune hepatitis).
- Patients with liver disease often bruise easily and cuts take a long time to stop bleeding. A long prothrombin time (PT) suggests a deficiency of clotting factors made by the liver or a deficiency of vitamin K which is needed for the factors to work. The deficiency can be the result of severe malnutrition, for example in alcoholism, or the result of blockage of bile passage to the gut. Bile contains bile salts that are needed for the gut to absorb fat, and vitamin K is fat soluble. Patients with a long PT may be given an injection of vitamin K and the PT measured again in 24 hours. A quicker PT after the injection indicates a deficiency of vitamin K rather than of clotting factors.
- A gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) test measures the amount of GGT in the blood. GGT is an enzyme found throughout the body, but it is mostly found in the liver. When the liver is damaged, GGT may leak into the bloodstream. High levels of GGT in the blood may be a sign of liver disease or damage to the bile ducts. Bile ducts are tubes that carry bile in and out of the liver. Bile is a fluid made by the liver. It is important for digestion. A GGT test is unable to diagnose the specific cause of liver disease. So it is usually done along with or after other liver function tests, most often an alkaline phosphatase (ALP) test. ALP is another type of liver enzyme. It’s often used to help diagnose bone disorders as well as liver disease.
How our liver function tests work?
We are here to revolutionise the way the general public thinks about their health making it easier and more assessible for everyone. Currently, when someone feels sick they usually call their local GP and arrange an examination, this may or may not lead to a follow-up appointment with a specialist. This is a long and inaccurate process. Matters of your health is a pressing issue which must be dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Therefore we have remove the inaccuracy and long waiting time by sending a liver function test based on your needs directly to your house. These are then analysed by a lab directly. We then send you the cold hard facts of what your body are telling our lab specialists.
With the advancement of technology, it has progressed to the point of making such accurate healthcare accessible to everybody for an extremely affordable price.
Remove the stress, time, and potential inaccuracies of human judgment by finding out what your body is telling you directly.
HOW OUR SERVICE WORKS
1. Order Online Now
Place an order online using our secure checkout and receive a confirmation email with your order information.
2. Get Tested in 10 Minutes
We send the test directly to the comfort of your house. Here you will take a simple finger prick and a small sample of blood for testing. Send back the sample with our secure packaging.
3. Get Results
Your sample is analysed and you’ll receive your results by email. Take control of your health, and find out what your body is telling you!
20,000 Happy customers.
Answers to Your Questions
What does a ‘normal range’ mean in liver function tests?
The ‘normal range’ is a range of values given by the local laboratory for liver function tests. The range varies slightly between laboratories according to the measurement methods that they use.
The ‘normal’ limits are defined by laboratories as the range of levels inside which 19 of every 20 people with healthy livers will fall. This means that, for any one liver test, around 1 in 20 people with healthy livers will have a result that is slightly abnormal. There will, in the majority of cases, be nothing wrong with their liver; having a test that’s just over the edge usually means nothing, as long as – crucially – there is only one slight abnormality out of the whole range of tests. You should always discuss even a slightly abnormal result with your doctor.
Can I take a liver function at home?
Yes, you can. We will send you a test kit to your house that includes a small finger prick to take a small blood sample for the testing.
Can I take a liver function test at your clinic?
Yes, we also offer in-clinic private blood tests. Fill out the form attached to this page to request a private liver function test.
How do I prepare for a liver function test?
You may be asked to stop eating and drinking for 8 to 12 hours before the test. Tell your doctor about any medicines you take because some drugs might affect the test results.
It can help to wear a T shirt or other short-sleeve top on the day of the test to make things faster and easier for the technician who will be drawing the blood.
How do I keep my liver function healthy?
There is a difference between what you need to do to keep your liver healthy most of the time and what you need to do if your liver is inflamed or damaged.
- If you are well, the way to look after your liver is with a balanced diet with a good fibre content, exercise, maintenance of a healthy weight, avoiding ‘fad’ diets (which can challenge the kidneys and liver hard), avoiding unnecessary medicines and supplements including paracetamol, stopping smoking, and staying within the recommended limits for alcohol (both daily and weekly). The liver does not need a detox diet, which will not help it and will often (if it is very low-calorie, for instance) make it work harder. The liver is a digesting, storage and detoxing organ.
- If your liver is inflamed and injured (for example, you have hepatitis and are jaundiced) or you have advanced liver disease (for example, cirrhosis) then, depending on the severity, you may be advised to have a special diet. This involves using carbohydrates as your major source of calories, eating fat moderately and cutting down on protein. You may be advised to take vitamin supplements, and if you are retaining fluid you should reduce your salt consumption to less than 1500 milligrams per day.
How do I take a liver function test at home?
Taking a private blood test at home is very simple. You will be sent a box with a test kit inside and instructions.
First – Open the kit and wash your hands with warm water.
Step 2 – Prick your finger with our safe finger prick and put a small extract of blood into the tube provided.
Step 3 – Sed the box and sample back to our labs.
Step 4 We send you a full report and analysis.
How long does it take to receive my results?
Results will be issued within 24 hours of the sample reaching the lab.
What can cause your liver function tests to be abnormal?
Your liver tests can be abnormal because:
- Your liver is inflamed (for example, by infection, toxic substances like alcohol and some medicines, or by an immune condition).
- Your liver cells have been damaged (for example, by toxic substances, such as alcohol, paracetamol, poisons).
- Your liver is having to work harder to process medicines or toxic substances (for example, alcohol, paracetamol, poisons).
- The bile drainage from your liver is blocked – for example, by a gallstone.
- There is a swelling inside your liver (for example, an abscess or a tumour). ● You have an underlying condition that affects the liver’s production and storage abilities (for example, Wilson’s disease, haemochromatosis, Gilbert’s syndrome). In these cases the abnormality of your liver tests will be a feature of your condition, and may be normal for you.
- Your liver is physically injured (for example, trauma).
- You fall just outside the normal limits (see below).
Why does my doctor want to know what medicines I am taking?
Many over-the-counter drugs and herbal or dietary supplements have the potential to affect the liver. Excessive paracetamol use and the combination of paracetamol and alcohol for instance can cause severe liver damage, as can exposure to toxins such as poisonous mushrooms.
Results You Can Trust - Partnered with UKAS Lab
We have partnered with a UKAS accredited lab to provide the best and most accurate blood tests available on the market, giving you peace of mind knowing you are using a private blood test provider you can trust.
A big thank you to the harley medic team, I came for a private check and found out that my liver was not functioning as well as I thought. I have made some lifestyle changes and now I feel less tired and have more energy.
Let's Get Healthy!
It is time to pay attention to the liver which is helping us maintain a healthy lifestyle. It is time to get a Liver Function test .