Welcome to another edition of MedChunk’s Health Bulletin where we strive to make health topics easy to understand. In today’s edition, we’ll take a look at how you can check your liver health at home.
Your liver does a lot to keep you healthy. Malfunctioning of the liver could lead to dangerous health conditions. Poor dietary habits like eating oily foods, self-medication, and an unhealthy lifestyle can affect the liver.
You can purchase at-home liver tests online and discuss the results with your healthcare provider. LetsGetChecked Liver Test and Walk-In Labs Liver Tests are some of the top at-home providers of liver tests.
You can perform a finger prick test before eating breakfast. You need to send the sample back the same day using the prepaid envelope, with results usually taking up to 5 days.
The most common type of liver disease in the United States, the fatty liver disease strikes up to 30 percent of the population and it will probably be the top reason for liver transplants in the future.
Who’s at risk?
People with the following conditions can develop fatty liver:
- Sleep apnea
- Obesity and Hypertension
- High cholesterol
- High triglycerides
Liver disease can cause :
- Dizziness and Confusion
When your liver is damaged and unable to filter toxins, they may travel to your brain. The resulting condition, known as hepatic encephalopathy, can cause confusion, memory problems, and lethargy.
You may vomit blood or notice blood in the stool if your liver is severely damaged. Your liver typically cycles about 25% of your blood from the portal vein. But cirrhosis creates an opportunity for bleeding. Varicose veins may develop in your esophagus and stomach, and these enlarged veins can also easily bleed.
How can endoscopy help me?
An endoscopy is a test to look inside your body. An endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube with a light and a video camera at one end. During an endoscopy, the instrument is passed down your esophagus and into your stomach. Pics of your stomach are transmitted to an external screen. The doctor will be looking for swollen veins which can be a sign of cirrhosis.
Do I need Bilirubin tests?
Bilirubin outside the liver can give urine a very dark appearance. While home tests may not screen for all of these biomarkers, they may still provide helpful information about potential liver damage, disease, or other liver conditions.
Bilirubin is a fluid that results from the body’s red blood cells as they break down. If a person has liver damage, bilirubin can enter the bloodstream, causing jaundice.
Albumin and total protein
Albumin is one of several proteins made in the liver. Your body needs these proteins to fight infections and perform other functions. Lower-than-normal levels of albumin and total protein may indicate liver damage or disease.
During the test
You may feel a quick pain as the needle is inserted into your arm and experience some short-term discomfort at the site after the needle is removed.
The blood sample for liver function tests is usually drawn through a small needle inserted into a vein in the bend of your arm. The needle is attached to a small tube, to collect your blood.
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