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The Ultimate Guide to Home Liver Function Testing in the UK

The Ultimate Guide to Home Liver Function Testing in the UK

As the saying goes, "health is wealth," and taking care of your liver is an essential part of maintaining good health. The liver plays a crucial role in filtering toxins from the body, producing bile for digestion, and storing essential nutrients. But how do you know if your liver is functioning properly? That's where home liver function testing comes in. In the UK, there are a variety of options available for home liver function testing, but navigating the different types of tests and interpreting the results can be overwhelming.

That's why we've put together the ultimate guide to home liver function testing in the UK. From understanding liver function to selecting the right test for you, we'll cover everything you need to know to take control of your liver health from the comfort of your own home. So let's dive in and get started on the path to a healthier liver!

Why home liver function testing is important

Your liver is one of the most important organs in your body, and it performs a variety of functions that are necessary for your overall health and wellbeing. One of the liver's key functions is to filter toxins and waste products from your blood. When your liver is working properly, it can easily eliminate these harmful substances from your body. However, when your liver is not functioning properly, it can lead to a buildup of toxins in your body, which can cause a range of health problems.

Home liver function testing is an important tool for monitoring the health of your liver. By regularly testing your liver function, you can detect potential problems early on and take steps to prevent them from getting worse. Home liver function tests are convenient, affordable, and easy to use, making them an excellent option for anyone who wants to take control of their liver health.

Liver function tests explained

Before we dive into the different types of home liver function tests available in the UK, it's important to understand what liver function tests are and how they work. Liver function tests are a group of blood tests that are used to assess the health of your liver. These tests measure the levels of certain substances in your blood, such as enzymes and proteins, that are produced by the liver.

There are several different types of liver function tests, each of which measures a different aspect of liver function. These tests include:

  • Alanine transaminase (ALT) test: measures the level of ALT in your blood, which is an enzyme that is produced by the liver. High levels of ALT can indicate liver damage or disease.
  • Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) test: measures the level of AST in your blood, which is another enzyme that is produced by the liver. High levels of AST can indicate liver damage or disease.
  • Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) test: measures the level of ALP in your blood, which is an enzyme that is produced by the liver, bones, and other organs. High levels of ALP can indicate liver or bone disease.
  • Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) test: measures the level of GGT in your blood, which is an enzyme that is produced by the liver. High levels of GGT can indicate liver damage or disease.
  • Bilirubin test: measures the level of bilirubin in your blood, which is a waste product that is produced by the liver. High levels of bilirubin can indicate liver disease or other health problems.

Liver function tests are typically ordered by a healthcare professional if you are experiencing symptoms of liver disease or if you have risk factors for liver disease, such as heavy alcohol use or a history of hepatitis.

Types of home liver function tests available in the UK

Now that you understand what liver function tests are and how they work, let's take a look at the different types of home liver function tests that are available in the UK. There are several options to choose from, each with its own benefits and limitations.

- Liver function home test kits: These kits are designed to measure the levels of enzymes and proteins in your blood that are produced by the liver. They are easy to use and can provide results in just a few minutes. Some kits also come with a mobile app that allows you to track your results over time.

- Liver function home test strips: These test strips work in a similar way to the home test kits, but they require a few more steps. You'll need to collect a small sample of blood using a lancet and then apply it to the test strip. The strip will change color to indicate the level of enzymes and proteins in your blood.

- Home liver function breath tests: These tests measure the level of acetone in your breath, which can indicate how well your liver is functioning. They are non-invasive and easy to use, but they are not as accurate as blood tests.

- Liver function home saliva tests: These tests measure the level of certain enzymes in your saliva, which can indicate how well your liver is functioning. They are non-invasive and easy to use, but they are not as accurate as blood tests.

Advanced Liver Function Blood Test - £99.00 - Next day results

When selecting a home liver function test, it's important to consider your individual needs and preferences. Some tests may be more accurate than others, while others may be more convenient or affordable. It's also important to choose a test that is approved by regulatory bodies such as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) or the European Union (EU).

How to prepare for a home liver function test

Before you conduct a home liver function test, there are a few things you'll need to do to prepare. First, you should make sure you are well-hydrated. This will make it easier to collect a blood or saliva sample. You should also avoid any alcohol or drugs that could affect your liver function for at least 24 hours before the test.

If you are using a liver function home test kit or test strip, you should carefully read the instructions before beginning the test. Make sure you understand how to collect the sample and how to interpret the results.

If you are using a home liver function breath test, you should avoid eating, drinking, or smoking for at least 30 minutes before taking the test. You should also avoid any activities that could affect your breath, such as brushing your teeth or using mouthwash.

If you are using a home liver function saliva test, you should avoid eating, drinking, or smoking for at least 30 minutes before taking the test. You should also avoid any activities that could affect your saliva, such as brushing your teeth or chewing gum.

How to conduct a home liver function test

The process for conducting a home liver function test will vary depending on the type of test you are using. However, there are a few general steps that you should follow:

- Read the instructions carefully: Before beginning the test, make sure you understand how to collect the sample and how to interpret the results.

- Warm your hands up!: Either in the sink or under warm running water for about 5 minutes.

- Keep the lancet in place for 1 second: After piercing the skin, keep the lancet in for 1 second or so, don't remove immediately.

- Post it on time: Make sure you collect the sample in the morning and post by midday, Monday to Friday!

Interpreting your home liver function test results

Once you have conducted a home liver function test and posted it back to us, you will need to wait for the results to be processed and sent back to you. These will arrive in two forms - as a secured PDF and on your Health Dashboard.

The results will have a reference (normal) range.

If your results are normal, this is a good indication that your liver is functioning properly. However, it's still important to monitor your liver function regularly to detect any changes early on.

The ideal way of managing that is via one of our subscriptions, with up to 30% off when compared to one-off purchases.

If your results are borderline, this means that there may be some slight abnormalities in your liver function. This could be a sign of early liver disease or damage, and you should consult with a healthcare professional for further evaluation.

If your results are significantly outside of the normal range, this could be a sign of liver disease or damage, and you should consult with a healthcare professional as soon as possible for further evaluation and treatment.

It's important to note that home liver function tests are not always accurate, and there may be false positives or false negatives. If you have any concerns about your liver function or the accuracy of your home liver function test results, you should consult with a healthcare professional.

Understanding abnormal liver function test results

If your home liver function test results are abnormal, it's important to understand what this means and what the potential causes could be. Abnormal liver function test results can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Alcohol use
  • Viral hepatitis
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Autoimmune liver disease
  • Drug-induced liver injury
  • Genetic liver disease
  • Cancer

Head over to our Health Dashboard for in-depth interpretation of the reference values and what your results mean in terms of the ranges. There is a wealth of information and once you have your results - check it out!

When to seek medical advice

While home liver function testing can be a useful tool for monitoring your liver health, it's important to know when to seek medical advice. If you have any of the following symptoms, you should consult with a healthcare professional:

  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Abdominal pain or swelling
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Dark urine
  • Pale or clay-colored stools

These symptoms could be a sign of liver disease or damage, and they require prompt medical attention.

Where to buy home liver function tests in the UK

 

Advanced Liver Function Blood Test

 

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