What is a lft blood test used for?

It’s time to talk about everyone’s favorite thing – blood tests! Okay, maybe they’re not our favorite things. After all, who enjoys getting poked with a needle and then having vials of your life juice plundered? But hey, if you want to keep that body of yours healthy and well-equipped to handle anything the world throws at it, regular health checkups are key. And one important test your doctor might recommend is an LFT blood test.

What Is It?

Let’s start with the basics: what even is an LFT blood test? LFT stands for Liver Function Test – appropriate since this type of blood analysis examines how well your liver is functioning by measuring specific enzymes in your bloodstream. Don’t worry; we’ll delve into exactly what metrics doctors look for during this kind of exam later on.

But why should you care about liver function anyway? Your liver plays a crucial role in filtering out toxins from your body as well as producing bile which aids in digestion; that’s just scratching the surface on its many biological functions though. Suffice it to say if there are any issues going on with this organ, it could have devastating repercussions throughout various systems operating within us humans!

How Does It Work?

Now that you know why checking up on your liver function matters let’s dig deeper into what happens when you get an LFT test done.

When performing the procedure itself, a medical professional will draw some tiny amount (typically under 5mL or so) of blood from one of your veins using a needle/syringe setup. This sample is then placed into containers specially designed/prepared for laboratory testing where different enzymatic assays can be carried out according to predefined protocols/test algorithms so accurate readings may emerge reflecting hepatic activity levels at any given moment!

Note: You might wanna take deep breaths or distract your mind during the needle-stricken process. But hey, that doesn’t make you weak – even Arnold Schwarzenegger is afraid of needles!

Who Needs It?

Now that you have an idea of what to expect during an LFT blood test let’s move on to why someone would need this kind of analysis in the first place.

There are various reasons and occasions for which a doctor might recommend such a check-up; some include:

  • Symptoms concerning liver dysfunction e.g., itching skin/jaundice (yellowing)/fatigue/nausea/vomiting.
  • To monitor effects dosage & responses over time with medications/drugs targeted towards treating hepatic problems like hepatitis B/C/non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
  • As part of standard routine wellness checks done by practitioners offering preventive care services etcetera especially when personal history/family medical records indicate possible enhanced risks relating to liver function health status etc.

Risk Factors

Speaking of increased risk factors for things like liver diseases, here are just some situations where doctors may specifically advise taking an LFT blood test:

  1. Alcohol Consumption: Heavy alcohol use can cause several formsof liver damage with symptoms ranging from mild fatigue and weakness at one end all the way up until complete cirrhosis or chronic permanent scarring plus inflammation causing eventual organ failure on others!
  2. Medications And Supplements: Whether we’re talking about prescription drugs you might be taking regularly, natural products including supplements or OTC-medications there remains potential risk regarding any product influencing livers’ metabolism capacity rates together concentrated upon enzyme system modifications responsible filtering bio-active materials consumed body wide.
  3. Medical Conditions: A large number but try type 2 diabetes mellitus/malnutrition/cancer/lupus/any autoimmune conditions among other systemic pathologies could pose as serious impediments jeopardizing appropriate glucose increasing cholesterol synthesis requirements abating enough of an amino acid building block called albumin necessitated for proper liver function.
  4. Infectious Diseases: If you contracted hepatitis type A/B/C/E viruses, epstein-Barr virus specifically mononucleosis or other pathogenic conditions involving the lymphatic system (e.g. leukemia), could place added strain on your hepatic enzyme systems upsetting otherwise necessary balances needed to maintain functions healthily working as they should.

Measuring Liver Function

So now that we’ve established who might need one and why let’s look at how doctors and medical experts measure liver function during an LFT blood test!

Your doctor or practitioner will almost always carry out some combination of these metrics when analyzing results – each methodology potentially returning findings indicating under certain scenarios what precisely is causing inhibiting limits upon complete hepatic ability in processing unique body wastes byproducts etcetera:

ALT & AST Levels

Alanine transaminase (ALT) as well as Aspartate aminotransferase(AST) are enzymes found primarily present within your liver; elevated levels can reflect potential hepatocellular damages along several lines explaining any breakthrough issues involuntarily impairing overall productivity including symptomatology related with digestive processes/energy conservation homeostasis skin yellowing – among others.

Usually, though, measuring the ratio between both helps physicians distinguish whether difference(s)are already indicative of significant developments requiring further analysis/testing vs transient elevated readouts only momentarily active dependent upon specific inputs/provoking factors influencing hepato-cellular protein synthesis/excretion pathways.

Alkaline Phosphatase Level

This enzyme abundant source detected predominantly in bones and/or membranes but also actively secreted from Cholangiocytes infiltrated into biliary structures- hence its relevance measuring patients suffering from gallstones/bile duct obstructions/hemolysis those obstructing/decelerating adequate physiological drainage mechanisms – usually noted following jaundice emergence relating to one reason or another.

Bilirubin Level

This might sound like sci-fi jargon straight outta Star Trek, but bear with us. Bilirubin is a substance created when red blood cells break down (but hey, you knew that because your biology teacher actually taught something useful!), and you’ll also know it’s responsible for part of why bruises turn yellow before fading.

Now if this pigment starts to accumulate in excess levels within your bloodstream, it can cause issues relating to liver functioning which could manifest as symptoms such as jaundice(fatigue/yellowing skin)/fever/upset stomach/somnolence/disorientation.

Total Protein And Albumin Levels

These two substances are crucial biomolecules working alternatively and together. Incorrect balances/differences note-worthy adjustments indicating the presence potentially problematic underlying health inconsistencies amenable early identification by qualified professionals armed test results/treatment protocols structured limit further risks arising from unchecked metabolites building upon prolonged endogenous hepatic metabolism distorting essential balance mechanism governing healthy growth/repair/healing processes associated with body-wide repairs both post-trauma incidents/systemic disorder sequela – among other primary factors revolving around proper protein production/reabsorption ratios altered under pathological conditions not conducive everyday lifestyle habits requiring corrective interventions


And there you have it – an overview of what LFT blood tests are all about! Whether your doctor is ordering one due to symptoms related to potential liver dysfunction or simply needs more information on how well certain medications might be affecting said organ system; an LFT Test provides valuable insights into possible pathology happening inside our bodies whether we’re aware of things off symptomatically suspicious occurrences present absent intradepartmentally. So next time someone brings up the topic at a dinner party? Whip out some knowledge bombs while sipping ionized water acting as though life doesn’t exist past productive enzymatic species once released during efficient livers pruning body-wide waste!