Liver Function

If your liver is not functioning well, you will not notice this for a long time. Symptoms and complaints that may indicate an abnormality in the liver often resemble everyday symptoms and complaints. In many cases, liver disease only occurs after serious damage has already occurred. An abnormality is therefore often only discovered late - too late, in some cases.

Symptoms that may occur with liver disease include swelling of the liver, jaundice, and fatigue.

The liver is essential for our health and it has important functions:

  • Converting waste so that it can be excreted (removal of toxic substances from the body);
  • The metabolism and storage of fats, proteins and carbohydrates (the conversion and storage of substances containing energy);
  • The formation of bile, a liquid that allows fat-soluble substances to leave the body through the liver and allows fats and fat-soluble vitamins to be obtained from food.

To detect liver problems at an early stage, it is advisable to have your liver function checked. Liver problems increase the risk of liver disease and cardiovascular disease.

This test gives you insight into your liver function. To provide an indication of your liver function, tests assess the following markers:

  • ALT;
    • A liver enzyme that can be measured to diagnose liver disease.
  • Gamma-GT (gGT)
    • An enzyme made in the liver that helps convert certain amino acids (such as AST and ALT).
  • icon It is completely anonymous;
  • icon You can always come to us:
  • icon You do not have to go directly to a healthcare provider;
  • icon The test is as reliable as the one used in hospitals;
  • icon Our clinical chemist will assess your results and give you tailored advice;

ALT

ALT (alanine aminotransferase) is a liver enzyme that is measured to diagnose liver disease. An enzyme is a protein that converts one substance into another. This happens when alcohol or medicines are broken down, for example. ALT is mainly present in the liver, but is also found in small amounts in muscles, the kidneys and heart. When liver cells become damaged, ALT leaks from the liver into the blood. This causes an increase in the concentration of ALT in the blood. This can happen before there are any signs or symptoms that may indicate liver damage. Since ALT is primarily present in the liver, it is the most specific marker to identify possible damage to liver cells.

 

Gamma-GT (gGT)

Gamma-glutamyltransferase (Gamma-GT or GGT) is an enzyme made in the liver that helps convert certain amino acids (such as AST and ALT). Gamma-GT is also present in the kidneys, pancreas, spleen, heart and brain. Normally the concentration of Gamma-GT in the blood is very low, but when the liver is having to work hard, the amount can rise considerably. This happens when many substances arrive in the liver for processing in a short period of time, for example due to (extreme) use of alcohol or medicines.

 

Consequences

The most common causes of liver disease are:

  • Alcohol use/abuse
  • Medicine use
  • Viruses, for example Hepatitis
  • Congenital defects
  • Metabolic diseases

The liver has a large reserve capacity: if one part of the liver is not working properly, another part can work harder to make up for the shortfall without too much effort. The disadvantage of this is that liver problems are often only discovered at a more advanced stage.

Liver problems can involve various diseases:

  • Liver cirrhosis (scarring of the liver)
  • A liver tumour
  • Hepatitis
  • Fatty liver

Our Liver Function test 

The Liver Function test that we offer at How Are You Diagnostics is the same laboratory test that is also performed by hospital laboratories. 

We distinguish ourselves by offering the majority of our tests via a self-test kit. This means that you can have our tests delivered to any postal address, after which you can take the sample for the chosen test yourself at any time. So you can take your sample at home, just like with a self-test/home test.

For some markers you can also buy a self-test at the drugstore or pharmacy. For these, you put a drop of blood on a special strip and the result is displayed immediately. The self-test gives you an impression of the level of the marker in the blood. 

With a self-test you have to interpret the result yourself, which is difficult if you are not qualified to do this like a clinical chemist. It is more reliable to perform the test in a laboratory with the appropriate equipment and have the result determined by a clinical chemist. 

Similar tests from your GP or hospital are often twice as expensive. You also have to make an appointment and go to the appointment to do a blood test

How does it work?

Our self-sampling kits for the home have been specially developed to make it easy to take a sample yourself, namely: you prick your finger and collect a few drops of blood in the blood tube. 

Clear instructions explain how to do this step by step. You return the samples in a safe manner by normal post, in the packaging enclosed especially for this purpose. We carry out the diagnostics immediately upon receipt. 

The result of the analysis is reported back within 3 working days after interpretation by the clinical chemist. You can view these results on our results page. For each marker you will receive the value measured by us, whether this value is high, low or normal and additional advice from our Clinical Chemist on how to interpret the results.  

Content and step-by-step plan 

Are you ordering the self-sampling test from us? You will receive the following materials by post: 

  • A detailed letter and instructions; 
  • A results card with a unique log in code for our results portal; 
  • A prick set (with finger pricks, gauze and plasters) 
  • A special blood tube for the blood sample; 
  • A transport bag and postage paid return envelope. 

You return your blood sample in a special package for medical mail. Therefore, always use the enclosed return envelope. You can safely post these in any PostNL postbox.

 

The process of this self-sampling test will be as follows: 

  1. Thoroughly read the letter and make sure to keep the results card with your code (you will need this to access your result later) 
  2. Take your blood sample following the included instructions; 
  3. Send the blood sample from your test to the laboratory within 24 hours; 
  4. Our specialists will analyse your blood sample; 
  5. Acces your results and the extensive report thorugh our results portal; results.howareyoudiagnostics.com. 

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