The liver plays an important role in the body. It stores energy from food, makes proteins and helps remove toxins. The liver also makes bile, a fluid that helps with digestion. Many liver diseases start out with only mild symptoms, but can progress to severe disease before symptoms arise to enable detection. Damaged or diseased liver can be caused by alcohol, prescription drugs, and over the counter medications. Statins, a class of drugs that reduce the production of cholesterol by the liver, have a potential side effect of liver damage. Liver tests are also frequently ordered to help diagnose viral infections (such as hepatitis or mononucleosis)./
Some reasons for liver function tests include:
- Possible exposure to Hepatitis A, B, and/or C
- Taking recreational drugs
- Heavy alcohol intake
- Overweight and/or elevated cholesterol levels
- Taking prescription medications
Early detection of liver problems can prevent serious damage from occurring.
* Liver testing often requires fasting for the most accurate results.