Common Liver Disorders and Their Impact on Liver Function Tests

Common Liver Disorders and Their Impact on Liver Function Tests

The liver is a vital organ that processes nutrients, detoxifies harmful substances, and supports overall metabolism. A healthy liver means the fat in your body is turning into energy that your body needs to function. However, sometimes, people can develop liver disorders due to various reasons.

In that case, liver function tests become important as they detect these disorders early by measuring enzyme and protein levels in the blood. Regular testing ensures that any liver issues are identified and treated promptly, preventing further damage and maintaining good health.

Keep reading to learn about common liver disorders and how they impact the liver function test.

5 Common Liver Disorders

Liver disorders can develop due to various reasons, affecting the liver’s ability to perform its essential functions. Here are five common liver disorders-

  1. Alcohol-Related Liver Disease- Damage to the liver caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
  2. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)- Accumulation of excess fat in the liver not caused by alcohol consumption.
  3. Hepatitis- Inflammation of the liver, often caused by viral infections.
  4. Haemochromatosis- A genetic disorder causing iron overload in the body.
  5. Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC)- Chronic disease causing damage to the bile ducts in the liver.

What Causes Liver Inflammation?

Liver inflammation, or hepatitis, occurs when the liver swells and becomes irritated. This inflammation impairs the liver’s ability to function properly. The most common causes for liver inflammation include-

  1. Infection- Parasites and viruses, such as hepatitis A, B, and C, can infect the liver, leading to inflammation.
  2. Immune System Conditions- Autoimmune diseases like autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cholangitis, and primary sclerosing cholangitis cause the immune system to attack the liver.
  3. Genetics- Hereditary conditions like haemochromatosis, Wilson’s disease, and alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency can lead to liver inflammation.
  4. Cancer and Other Growths- Liver cancer, bile duct cancer, and liver adenomas can cause inflammation.
  5. Other Causes- Long-term alcohol use, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, certain medications, herbal mixes, and exposure to toxic chemicals.

Is Fatty Liver and Inflamed Liver the Same?

No, fatty liver and inflamed liver are not the same. A fatty liver, or steatosis, refers to the accumulation of fat in the liver cells. It can be caused by alcohol (alcoholic fatty liver) or other factors like obesity (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease).

An inflamed liver, on the other hand, refers to hepatitis, which involves liver swelling and irritation. While fatty liver can lead to inflammation (steatohepatitis), they are different conditions.

What are the Treatment Options for Fatty Liver?

Most people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) do not develop severe problems, but it’s crucial to take steps to prevent the condition from worsening. Fatty liver treatment options include-

  1. Healthy Lifestyle Choices- Adopting a balanced diet, regular exercise, and weight management can significantly improve liver health.
  2. Managing Associated Conditions- Treatment for high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol can manage NAFLD.
  3. Regular Monitoring- Routine check-ups with your doctor to monitor liver function and detect any complications early.
  4. Medicines- There’s no specific medicine that treats NAFLD. However, medications for associated conditions, such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, can be beneficial.
  5. Liver Transplant- In cases of severe cirrhosis where the liver fails to function, a liver transplant may be necessary.

What are Skin Signs of Liver Failure?

Liver failure can significantly impact your skin, showing up in various noticeable ways. These skin symptoms often indicate underlying issues with liver function and should not be ignored. Here are some common skin signs of liver failure-

  1. Itching- Persistent itching due to bile salt accumulation under the skin.
  2. Jaundice- Yellowing of the skin and eyes caused by high bilirubin levels.
  3. Bruising Easily- Increased bruising due to impaired production of clotting factors.
  4. Paper Money Skin- Thinning of the skin, making it appear like fine paper.
  5. Spider Angioma- Small, spider-like blood vessels visible under the skin.

How Do Liver Disorders Impact the Liver Function Test Result?

Liver disorders can have a huge impact on liver function test results. When liver enzymes like ALT, AST, ALP, and GGT are elevated, it often signals inflammation or damage in the liver. Issues such as hepatitis, fatty liver, and cirrhosis cause these enzymes to enter the bloodstream, resulting in abnormal test readings.

Low albumin levels and high bilirubin levels also indicate liver problems. Regular liver function tests are crucial for keeping track of these changes and helping doctors to make informed treatment decisions.

Visit Anna Pharmacy for Liver Function Tests

At Anna Pharmacy, we offer comprehensive liver function tests to help you stay informed about your liver health. If you have any concerns or symptoms related to liver health, don’t hesitate to reach out to us to enquire about liver function blood tests.