Conditions

Liver Function Test

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Liver Function Test
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Package Type
Home Collection
£34.99
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About Product
This content has been written and checked for quality and accuracy by
Mohamed Imran Lakhi Content Administrator GPhC: 2060586 Updated on: 01/06/2021 Next review: 01/12/2021

Buy Liver Blood Tests Online UK

The liver is one of the bodies vital organs, and plays many important roles within our bodies, including:

  • Breaking down drugs and nutrients
  • Creating bile (which breaks down food)
  • Producing and maintaining hormones
  • Making proteins and cholesterol (which distribute fat around the body)
  • Regulating blood glucose levels
  • Removing toxins from the blood

The liver is very resilient and can continue working even when most of it is damaged. It even has the ability to repair itself, though the time it takes for the liver to heal determines on a complexity of factors.

Damage can stop the liver from functioning correctly. This can have a knock-on effect on many aspects of our health, including the build up of toxins in the blood, blockages of the bile ducts and problems with blood coagulation.

If caught early, liver diseases, such as fatty liver disease and mild alcoholic hepatitis, can be reversed with lifestyle choices.

Liver function tests (LFTs) are increasingly being referred to as liver blood tests. This is because the liver can be functioning normally even after receiving an abnormal test result, so the term "liver blood test" more accurately describes the test than "liver function test".

With Prescription Doctor, you can buy a liver function test online. This simple blood test allows you to take a sample from the comfort of your own home, before sending it by post to our partnered laboratory. Results are delivered electronically via your Prescription Doctor account - which is created when you place your order.


What Do Liver Function Tests Show?

Liver function tests check whether the liver is functioning properly by measuring the amount of various substances the liver produces.

For most healthy people, the liver produces certain quantities of enzymes and proteins. If the liver is producing an abnormal quantity (too much or too little) of these enzymes and proteins, it may be indicative of an abnormally functioning liver, and a possible sign of liver disease.

The test examines a sample of blood and looks for levels of the following:

  • ALT and AST: Enzymes produced by the liver.
  • Albumin: A protein found in blood which helps to transport hormones, vitamins and fatty acids.
  • Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP): An isoenzyme which breaks down proteins.
  • Bilirubin: A yellowish pigment which is produced when red blood cells are broken down in the body.
  • Gamma-GT (GGT): An enzyme found in the liver. If the liver is damaged, this enzyme can leak into the bloodstream.
  • Globulin: A protein produced by the liver which plays roles in blood clotting, the immune system, and normal liver function.
  • Total Protein: The gross amount of all proteins produced by the liver.

Test results which indicate abnormal liver function are fairly common and, despite the result, the liver can be functioning normally. Therefore, it is important to take another liver blood test to confirm whether this remains the case.

One of our online doctors can explain your test results and provide further information on what to do next, should you require it.

Do I Need A Liver Function Test?

You should take a liver function test if you have concerns about your liver health, or if you are at risk of developing liver disease.

Factors which can contribute to liver disease include:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Having a family history of liver disease
  • Viral hepatitis B and C

You should discuss your risk of liver disease with your doctor.

Some medicines, such as pain relievers and certain antibiotic and antifungal medicines like Terbinafine, have the potential of causing liver damage. Drugs which have the potential of damaging your liver are known as hepatotoxic drugs. Your doctor can discuss with you any medicines which may damage the liver, and inform you whether you need to take a liver function test.

You may require liver function tests if you are experiencing symptoms which may indicate a problem with your liver.

What are the symptoms of liver disease?

Some symptoms of liver disease can include:

  • Abdominal pain or swelling
  • Black or bloody stools
  • Dark urine
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue
  • Jaundice (Yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes)
  • Nausea
  • Pale stools
  • Unusual changes in weight
  • Vomiting
  • Vomiting blood

If you notice any of the above symptoms, speak to your doctor as soon as possible.


How Do I Use The Liver Function Test Kit?

To test the function of your liver, a blood sample is required. You can collect the sample at any time of day and you do not need to fast before acquiring the sample.

Our liver function test kits come with everything you need to collect the sample at home and send it off to our partnered laboratory, including:

  • Lancets (to prick your finger)
  • A sample collection tube
  • A laboratory request form
  • A prepaid envelope
  • An alcohol swab
  • A plaster
  • An adhesive sample label

Before you acquire the sample, it’s important to read the enclosed instructions and follow them exactly.

  1. Start by filling out the request form and the sample label. This form is important as it tells the laboratory technicians, what the sample is to be tested for, when the sample was taken and who the sample belongs to. Without this form, the lab technicians will be unable to process your request. The sample label should be filled out before adhering it to the sample vial.
  2. Use one of the alcohol swabs provided to clean the finger you will be drawing blood from.
  3. Take one of the lancets from the kit. Remove the top by twisting it. Place the end against your finger and press it firmly into your finger. This will release a small needle which will prick your finger.
  4. Wipe away the first drop of blood. Do not collect the first drop of blood from your finger.
  5. Hold your finger above the sample collection tube and let the blood drop into it. If you are having difficulty getting blood out, you can milk your finger. Do not squeeze the end of your finger where the puncture was made.
  6. Once you have collected enough blood, secure the cap on the sample collection tube.
  7. Place the sample tube, request form and any remaining lancets back in the box.
  8. Seal the box and its contents in the provided prepaid envelope and post it at your earliest convenience. It is important to post it as soon as possible after collecting the sample to ensure it gets to our laboratory quickly.

Once the lab receive the sample, they will perform the relevant tests. Your results should be made available within 48 hours of the lab receiving the sample.

When your results are ready, we will notify you via email. To view your results, simply login to your Prescription Doctor account. Go to “My Account” then “My orders” and select the “TDL Results” button under the order for the liver function test.

One of our online doctors will contact you to discuss your liver function test results and provide further information about what they mean. You can discuss with one our online doctors what next steps need to be considered.


Frequently Asked Questions

How long do the results take to arrive?

The results usually come in within 48 hours of the lab receiving the results.

It is important to send off your blood sample as soon as possible to prevent the blood congealing, which renders it unusable by our lab.

You can check with your local Post Office or check the times on your nearest postbox to determine the best time to send your sample.

What should I do with any unused lancets?

If you have unused lancets, put them in the box with your collected sample, and post them back to our lab. The laboratory will dispose of them safely for you.

Do I need to fast before taking the liver function test?

You do not need to fast before taking our liver function test.

Can a liver function test detect hepatitis?

While a liver function test may detect the effects of Hepatitis, it does not detect the virus Hepatitis.

You can use our Full STI Blood Test Kit, which detects Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, as well as HIV and Syphilis.

Why do I need to take repeat liver function tests?

A liver function test can come back as normal even in the case of liver disease. Therefore, even if a result comes back as normal, it’s important to have a follow-up test to ensure that this is the case.

Likewise, a liver function test can return abnormalities. This can happen in cases of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) which is estimated to occur in 30-40% of the population, according to the British Liver Trust.

Taking a second test can provide further information on the function of your liver.

How long do I need to abstain from alcohol for before taking a liver function test?

It is usually recommended abstaining from alcohol for at least 24 hours before taking a liver function test. Traces of alcohol can remain in the blood for a few days and may affect your test results.

Will I need to see a specialist about abnormal liver function test results?

If your liver function test result comes back as abnormal, you may need to be referred to a specialist known as a hepatologist.

Further tests may need to be conducted to determine the cause of your abnormal liver function.

One of our online doctors can discuss what you should do depending on the outcome of your liver function test.

How can I look after my liver?

You can keep your liver healthy by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.

Avoid excessive alcohol consumption, as this can be a contributing factor to liver disease. If you are concerned about how much you drink per week - especially if you drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week - speak to your doctor about getting a liver function test.

Practising safe sex by using condoms can prevent you from contracting viral hepatitis.


Table of contents

Buy Liver Blood Tests Online UK

What Do Liver Function Tests Show?

How Do I Use The Liver Function Test Kit?

Frequently Asked Questions

Sources

British Liver Trust - Liver Blood Tests

NHS, 2020. Liver Disease