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Liver Function Tests

What does the liver do?

The liver is in the upper right part of the
abdomen. The functions of the liver include: storing glycogen (fuel for the
body) which is made from sugars; helping to process fats and proteins from
digested food; making proteins that are essential for blood to clot (clotting
factors); processing many medicines which you may take; helping to remove
poisons and toxins from the body.

The liver also makes bile. This is a greenish-yellow fluid that contains
bile acids, bile pigments and waste products such as bilirubin. Liver cells
pass bile into bile ducts inside the liver. The bile flows down these ducts
into larger and larger ducts, eventually leading to the common bile duct. The
gallbladder is like a 'cul-de-sac' reservoir of bile which comes off the common
bile duct. After you eat, the gallbladder squeezes bile back into the common
bile duct and down into the duodenum (the first part of the gut after the
stomach). Bile in the gut helps to digest fats.

What are liver function tests?

As the liver performs its various functions, it makes chemicals that pass
into the bloodstream and bile. Various liver disorders alter the blood level of
these chemicals. Some of these chemicals can be measured in a blood sample.
Some tests that are commonly done on a blood sample are called liver function
tests (LFTs).

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Firstcare Practice

       Blenheim Centre

Hounslow, TW3 1NL

T- 020 8630 1111

E- firstcare.practice@nhs.net

 

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Sat & Sun 0800-2000

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