Countless metabolic activities occur in the liver, which has a greater capacity to heal, but specific ailments and an unhealthy lifestyle cause radical changes and impair the organ’s basic function. The liver has a wide range of functions that even the most skilled physicians cannot always make a diagnosis solely based on symptoms. Laboratory testing procedures come in heren, allowing doctors to evaluate the organ’s functional and structural condition and find the possible causes of the liver problem.
The liver’s importance cannot be overemphasized. It impacts the endocrine and digestive systems, is involved in metabolic pathways and bile production, and filters dangerous compounds that invade our system through the air-water and food, amongst other things.
At home tests, such as liver test kits are becoming more and more popular these days, as people become more interested in their wellbeing. But what are liver test kits, and what do they do? In this blog article, we’ll take a closer look at liver test kits, what they can tell you about your health, and how you can use them to improve your wellbeing. So read on to learn more!
What are the functions of the liver
The liver can rightfully be referred to as the body’s central laboratory due to the wide range of functions it performs. Some of them include:
- Involvement in the digestive process: the liver produces bile, which is important for proper intestinal digestion, breaking of fats, and the absorption and entire peristalsis of the large intestine.
- Effectively operates as a barrier: the liver sieves out toxins, microbes, bacteria, and viruses that enter the body through the blood and other body fluids, and also substances such as drugs and alcohol.
- Participation in metabolism: the liver converts all nutrients assimilated into the bloodstream into the form they are used up or stored. It produces blood plasma proteins and ketone bodies that drive the body’s metabolism.
- Protects other organs: Multiple diseases of digestive, respiratory, and heart diseases are caused by violations of the liver’s complex mechanisms.
What are other factors contributing to liver problems?
The work of the liver can be disturbed under the influence of various factors and diseases. For example, ammonia often ceases to be entirely excreted by a weak liver and accumulates in the body. If the liver is damaged further, toxic ammonia will gather in the blood, and elevated ammonia levels in the body can lead to impaired concentration, memory, and sleep.
The main factors contributing to various liver diseases are:
- Unbalanced diet.
- Alcohol abuse – alcohol creates a significant load on the liver and contains many calories, which contributes to the appearance of excess weight.
- Medications – Many drugs can cause liver damage, such as overuse of over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and pain medications. Special precautions should be observed with regular and long-term use of drugs.
Liver test kits
At-home liver test kits have been used over the years. Their packaging usually includes detailed test instructions to ensure the best results. The dipstick liver test kit is a strip of paper that reacts with the chemicals in your urine. The test strips are polymerized with special materials that react to the presence of bilirubin and urobilinogen in the urine. Bilirubin’s presence is a clear sign of the onset of autoimmune liver disease or hepatitis. This is one of the most straightforward urine test strips for liver function. Deviation from the norm of urobilinogen and bilirubin indicates possible disorders in the liver.
When to use liver test kits?
The test can be used at any time, but it is best to use it during the period our liver is most busy. That is:
- During the holidays
- During illness
- With the systematic intake of alcohol.
- With the frequent use of canned foods.
At-home liver test kits can be used to monitor liver health at the comfort of your home but don’t forget to consult a healthcare provider if you get a result indicating liver issues from your tests.
What can be detected with the liver test kit
A liver test kit is a powerful tool that can help detect various conditions.:
- Alanine transaminase (ALT): The test will look for high amounts of ATL in the body. In the event that the liver isn’t working properly, ATL may be released into the body.
- Alkaline phosphatase (ALP): Look for liver or bile duct damage.
- Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT): Checks for high levels of GGT in the blood, which may indicate damage to the liver or bile ducts.
If you are at risk for any of these diseases or have any concerns about your liver health, talk to your doctor.
Symptoms that you might have liver problems
Fatigue, weight loss, and nausea may indicate liver problems, but the same symptoms are common in many other health problems, so they are not strong indicators. Other symptoms of liver problems include:
- Heaviness and pain in the right hypochondrium, especially after heavy meals.
- Bitterness in the mouth
- Decreased appetite
- Yellow skin and sclera
- The appearance of vascular asterisks on the abdomen
- Enlargement of the liver in size (typically, the liver does not protrude from under the ribs)
- Itchy skin
- Sudden loss of muscle mass, sudden swelling of the legs, enlargement of the abdomen, and bleeding disorders are severe symptoms in the case of cirrhosis of the liver.
- Sleep deprivation: A common symptom of liver problems is insomnia. Sufferers usually feel drowsy throughout the day and remain unable to sleep.
Actions to heal your liver
In the case of liver problems caused by a toxic factor, such as alcohol or drugs, it is crucial to limit or, if possible, eliminate it. In other cases, everything related to a healthy lifestyle is helpful for the liver:
- Reducing excess weight
- Proper nutrition
- Partaking in exercise and sports
- Taking medications in reasonable doses
- Drinking enough fluids
Food like garlic, avocado, and green tea has also been highly beneficial in detoxifying the liver. To improve liver function, you can take various drugs and spices that stimulate bile flow, such as ginger, artichokes, and turmeric. You can also take multiple natural nutritional supplements.