Having a liver function panel completed is an effective way to monitor liver damage and disease if you have already been diagnosed or even if you simply have many of the risk factors for developing a liver infection, disease or other disorder.
The test requires a sample of blood to be drawn and then measures total protein, bilirubin (helps find signs of cirrhosis and hepatitis), aspartate aminotransferase (used to diagnose and monitor the course of liver disease), alkaline phosphatase (a protein that helps cells – and is made in the liver), albumin (a protein in the blood) and ALT (if levels are increased in the blood it can be a result of liver damage).
If you believe you are at risk or you have participated in any of the following high risk situations, it may be a good idea to have your levels monitored.
1. You come in contact with bodily fluids on the job.
2. You are regularly exposed to toxins.
3. You have used an unsterile needle or have been tattooed by a dirty needle.
4. You take large doses of vitamins.
5. You received a blood transfusion before 1992.
6. You frequently have unprotected sex with multiple partners.
7. You are affected by obesity or diabetes.
8. If you have had an abnormal liver function test in the past.
9. You consume alcohol – even in a small amount, alcohol can have a damaging effect on the liver when taken with certain over-the-counter drugs.