The liver, a powerhouse organ, is a cornerstone of overall wellness. It plays a pivotal role in the body’s metabolic processes, detoxification, and digestion. Despite its resilience, the liver is susceptible to damage from various factors, including excessive alcohol, toxins, and viruses as well as diet and lifestyle. Liver diseases can be silent for years, often detected only when they have progressed to a severe stage. This makes regular liver health checks crucial for the early detection and management of potential liver conditions.
Randox Health recognizes the importance of liver health and includes comprehensive liver function tests in its health packages. This article will delve into the significance of liver health, common liver diseases, and the role of Randox Health in providing personalized health insights.
The Importance of Liver Health
The liver, the body’s largest internal organ, performs over 500 vital functions1. It processes virtually everything we eat, drink, breathe, or absorb through the skin. It metabolizes nutrients from food to produce energy, breaks down alcohol and drugs, and removes harmful toxins from the body. The liver also produces bile, a substance needed to digest fats and absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K. Moreover, it plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and protein synthesis.
Despite its critical functions and its ability to regenerate, the liver is not invincible. Prolonged exposure to harmful substances, such as excessive alcohol, toxins, or certain medications, can damage the liver, leading to liver diseases. Low physical activity and an unbalanced diet are also known to have a significant impact on the progression of liver diseases. Physical inactivity and dietary overconsumption can lead to high levels of lipid accumulation in the liver, playing a part in the progression of liver diseases. These diseases can range from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and cirrhosis, to liver cancer.
Randox Health and Liver Health
Randox Health’s comprehensive health packages include extensive liver function tests. These tests measure various biomarkers, providing a detailed picture of liver health. They can detect early signs of liver disease, even before symptoms appear, enabling timely intervention.
Liver function tests measure levels of various enzymes and proteins in your blood that are produced by liver cells. If the liver is damaged or diseased, these substances can leak out of the liver cells and show up in the blood.
For instance, the tests measure levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), albumin, and bilirubin. Elevated levels of ALT, AST, and ALP can indicate liver damage, while low levels of albumin and high levels of bilirubin can suggest liver disease.
Randox Health’s liver function tests also include a test for gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT). This test is particularly sensitive for detecting bile duct problems. Elevated GGT levels can indicate bile duct disease or liver disease.
By providing a comprehensive analysis of these biomarkers, Randox Health’s liver function tests offer a proactive approach to liver health. They enable individuals to understand their liver health status and take necessary actions if abnormalities are detected.
Common Liver Diseases
Liver diseases are a global health concern. They include conditions such as:
NAFLD can play a role in the progression of other diseases and complications. Increased levels of fat in the liver have been shown to be associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes4 and cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke and heart attack, which are the largest cause of mortality among NAFLD patients5. Other conditions associated with NAFLD include chronic kidney disease, obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and extrahepatic malignancies, such as colorectal cancer5.
Randox Health’s comprehensive health packages, which include extensive liver function tests, provide a proactive approach to liver health. By detecting potential liver conditions early, they enable timely intervention and management. In a world where liver diseases are a significant concern, Randox Health offers a beacon of hope. By providing personalized, comprehensive, and timely health insights, it empowers individuals to take charge of their health, ensuring a safer and healthier life.
- John Hopkins Medicine. Liver Health. www.hopkinsmedicine.org. Published 2023. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/liver-health
- Pouwels S, Sakran N, Graham Y, et al. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD): a review of pathophysiology, clinical management and effects of weight loss. BMC Endocrine Disorders. 2022;22(1). doi:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12902-022-00980-1
- Dunn W, Shah VH. Pathogenesis of Alcoholic Liver Disease. Clinics in Liver Disease. 2016;20(3):445-456. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cld.2016.02.004
- Bray F, Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Siegel RL, Torre LA, Jemal A. Global Cancer Statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN Estimates of Incidence and Mortality Worldwide for 36 Cancers in 185 Countries. CA: a Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 2018;68(6):394-424
- Clark T, Maximin S, Meier J, Pokharel S, Bhargava P. Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Review of Epidemiology, Screening, Imaging Diagnosis, Response Assessment, and Treatment. Current Problems in Diagnostic Radiology. 2015;44(6):479-486. doi:https://doi.org/10.1067/j.cpradiol.2015.04.004
- El-Diwany R, Pawlik TM, Ejaz A. Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma. Surgical Oncology Clinics of North America. 2019;28(4):587-599. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soc.2019.06.002
- Overview – Cirrhosis. NHS. Published 2019. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Cirrhosis/
- Padda MS, Sanchez M, Akhtar AJ, Boyer JL. Drug-induced cholestasis. Hepatology. 2011;53(4):1377-1387. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/hep.24229
- Angelini C. The role of corticosteroids in muscular dystrophy: A critical appraisal. Muscle & Nerve. 2007;36(4):424-435. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/mus.20812
- Ala A, Walker AP, Ashkan K, Dooley JS, Schilsky ML. Wilson’s disease. The Lancet. 2007;369(9559):397-408. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(07)60196-2
- Pietrangelo A. Hereditary Hemochromatosis: Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Treatment. Gastroenterology. 2010;139(2):393-408.e2. doi:https://doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2010.06.013