Liver Blood Tests - Why Were You Tested?

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What are common liver blood tests?

Liver blood tests are some of the most commonly performed blood tests. These tests can be used to assess liver functions or liver injury. An initial step in detecting liver damage is a simple blood test to determine the level of certain liver enzymes (proteins) in the blood. Under normal circumstances, these enzymes mostly reside within the cells of the liver. But when the liver is injured for any reason, these enzymes are spilled into the blood stream. Enzymes are proteins that are present throughout the body, each with a unique function. Enzymes help to speed up (catalyze) routine and vital chemical reactions in the body.

Among the most sensitive and widely used liver enzymes are the aminotransferases. They include aspartate aminotransferase (AST or SGOT) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT or SGPT). These enzymes are normally predominantly contained within liver cells and to a lesser degree in the muscle cells. If the liver is injured or damaged, the liver cells spill these enzymes into the blood, raising the AST and ALT enzyme blood levels and signaling liver disease.

Other blood tests pertaining to the liver are measurements of some of the other enzymes found the liver. In addition to AST and ALT, alkaline phosphatase, 5' nucleotidase, and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) are a few of the other enzymes located in the liver. The focus of this article is mainly on the most common liver enzymes, AST and ALT.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: JoB, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 12

Rest assured this colonoscopy test is not painful. Take the drugs they offer during the test and you really won't feel any pain or embarrassment. It is very short and everyone is there to help you. Do not believe the horror stories! The worst part is drinking the preparation. I did the 2 part Suprep. First part at 6 pm followed by a quart of water and the second part (same quantities) at 4 AM because my test was at 8 AM. Getting that all down while feeling slightly nauseous was a bit tough. I added some mint leaves to the water and it did help. The gut cleansing was a bit messy. I suggest super soft tissue with aloe followed by some soothing vitamin E oil or aloe. That helped my skin from feeling raw. The test was over and done, clean bill of health! Beats what my sister is going through with stage 4 colon cancer! Do this thing!

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Comment from: Lee, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 01

My stepmom taught me that drinking 9 sips of water, then a large gulp of water cures hiccups, you don't have to hold your breath for this. Works for me, but just now so did holding my breath for 15 seconds.

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