This test measures important liver enzymes as well as hyaluronic acid which can indicate liver fibrosis.
Our Liver Check Plus provides a comprehensive check of liver enzymes such as Gamma GT (GGT), Alanine Transferase (ALT) and Aspartate Transferase (AST) which can be raised if the liver is inflamed or the biliary system is obstructed. GGT can be raised through bile duct obstruction or, more commonly, through excessive alcohol consumption. ALT is thought to be specific to liver damage whereas AST can also indicate muscle or heart damage. The Liver Check Plus also checks hyaluronic acid which is an indicator of liver fibrosis.
Our Liver Check Plus also includes tests for Kidney Function, Diabetes, Gout and Cholesterol, giving you a comprehensive picture of your organ and metabolic function.
As well as for individuals who wish to monitor an already diagnosed liver problem, the Liver Check Plus is for individuals who wish to know how their liver is coping with their lifestyle, particularly if they consume excessive calories, units of alcohol or drugs. Early detection of liver damage means that preventative action can be taken before damage becomes irreversable.
The early stages of liver disease often have no specific symptoms with some signs easily confused with other problems.
Early symptoms can include:
Bilirubin is a product of haemoglobin breakdown. It is removed from the body via the liver, stored and concentrated in the gall bladder and excreted into the bowel. Raised bilirubin can cause the skin and whites of eyes to become yellow (jaundice) as the liver is unable to remove sufficient bilirubin from the blood. This can indicate liver damage.
Bilirubin can also be raised due to a blocked bile duct as well as Gilbert's syndrome.
Alkaline Phosphotase (ALP) is an enzyme located mainly in the liver and bones. High levels can indicate bone or liver disease. Raised ALP is looked at in conjunction with other liver function tests to determine whether the problem lies in the liver or the bones.
Pregnancy can also cause raised ALP and it is often elevated in growing teenagers.
Aspartate Transferase (AST) is an enzyme created mainly by the cells of the liver and the heart. Any injury to the heart or liver, and other bodily tissues will cause AST to be released into the bloodstream. Levels can be raised following a heart attack, or from liver damage caused by alcohol, drugs or viruses (hepatitis).
AST can be raised after vigorous exercise.
Alanine Transferase (ALT) is an enzyme which is produced by the liver and can indicate liver damage caused by alcohol, drugs or viruses (hepatitis). Small amounts of ALT are normal, but raised levels may mean that your liver is inflamed.
Raised levels can also be caused by recent vigorous exercise.
CK (Creatinine Kinase) is a muscle enzyme which measures muscle cell damage and death. CK levels tend to be higher in people with greater muscle mass.
CK levels are measured to assess muscle damage, CK levels can rise rapidly after muscle trauma, but will subside as the damage repairs. Levels which continue to rise indicate that muscle damage is continuing. If you have been to the gym the day before your blood test you may well have raised levels of CK.
Gamma GT is a liver enzyme which is raised in liver and bile duct diseases. It is used in conjunction with the ALP to distinguish between bone or liver disease. Gamma GT is used to diagnose alcohol abuse as it is raised in 75% of long term drinkers.
Total Protein represents the sum of albumin and globulin. It is more important to know which protein fraction is high or low than what the measure of total protein is.
Albumin is made mainly in the liver and helps keep the blood from leaking out of blood vessels. It also helps carry some medicines and other substances through the blood and is important for tissue growth and healing.
Low albumin levels can indicate liver disease and can also be a marker for chronic ill-health, malnutrition and chronic inflammation. It can also occur in kidney conditions such as nephrotic syndrome and diabetes.
Raised levels are usually caused by dehydration.
Globulin consists of different proteins and is made by the liver and the immune system. Certain globulins bind with haemoglobin while others transport metals, such as iron, in the blood and help fight infection.
We will send you your Liver Check Plus blood and sample collection kit together with the details of a convenient clinic where you can go and have your sample taken.
Your Liver Check Plus includes 1st class postage and packaging for you to send your blood and sample directly to our laboratory for analysis. If you live in an area where you cannot rely on the post or you simply want to ensure that your sample arrives at the laboratory the following day, you may wish to send your blood and sample guaranteed next day delivery for extra reassurance.