What is it?
- A liver profile is a group of blood tests that tell how well your liver is working. The liver is in your abdomen next to your stomach. The liver is responsible for removing medicines, drugs and other chemicals from your body. Another important job of the liver is to break down and store substances such as sugar, fat and vitamins.
- There are many different laboratory tests in a liver profile. A common list of tests include liver enzymes. Elevated liver enzymes may be caused by damaged liver tissue. An enzyme is something that helps speed up a chemical reaction in your body. Other tests may look for substances that have been made or changed by the liver such as proteins or bilirubin. Bilirubin is a reddish-yellow material that comes from the normal or abnormal destruction of red blood cells.
Why do I need it?
Your caregiver may do these tests if you have yellow skin and eyes. This is called jaundice. Jaundice can be a sign of liver disease. Higher than normal levels of enzymes is often the first sign of liver injury. The liver profile is also used to be sure that your medicines are not hurting your liver.
How do I get ready for the test?
Your caregivers will tell you when to have your blood test done. Caregivers may tell you if you should not eat or drink anything, except water, after midnight. Several medicines interfere with liver function tests. Ask your caregivers if you should wait to take your medicines until after your blood is taken.
How is the specimen collected?
A caregiver will put a wide rubber strap around your arm and tighten it. Your skin will be cleaned with alcohol. A small needle attached to a special test tube will be put into a vein in your arm or hand. The tube has suction to pull the blood into it. When the tube is full, the rubber strap, needle and tube are removed. The caregiver will press a piece of cotton where the needle was removed. You may be asked to hold the cotton on the site for a few minutes to help stop the bleeding. Tape may then be put over the cotton on your arm.
What do I do after the test?
You may remove the tape and cotton in about 20 to 30 minutes. Call your caregiver to get the results of your test. Your caregiver will explain what your test results mean for you. Follow the instructions of your caregiver.
Care AgreementYou have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your lab tests. You can then discuss the results with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care may be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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