Liver function tests are a common blood test that your doctor will run to check how well your liver is functioning. Liver function tests are also run regularly if you are on medication that has the potential to damage the function of the liver.
The lab ranges for the results of these tests are very wide so your liver may still not be functioning optimally even if your results are within these ranges. As a Naturopath the optimal range we work within is much narrower than those used by most doctors.
The liver is a very important organ in the body as it helps the body to process and remove toxins. It also helps clean our blood and it stores nutrients, so it’s extremely important that we look after it.
Your liver may not be functioning well if you have any of the following symptoms:
• Intolerance to coffee or alcohol
• Indigestion – especially with fatty foods
• Gas or bloating
• Tiredness and fatigue
• Weight gain – particularly around your middle
• Pain under right rib cage
• Constipation or diarrhoea with light coloured stools
• Blood sugar issues
If your liver function test results are not within the optimal ranges this could be an indication that you may:
• Have issues with moving toxins from your body – we are exposed many toxins every day, we do not want to start building up the levels of toxins in our body.
• Have fatty liver disease.
• Not be using the fats you eat efficiently to produce energy and for brain function but instead storing theses fats as fat – this can happen if bile is not flowing freely from the liver and gallbladder.
The GREAT NEWS is there’s a lot we can do to support good liver function, as Naturopaths we are trained how to use herbs and other nutrients to help clean out and improve the function of the liver and gallbladder. Other lifestyle factors are also important for good liver health such as eating healthy foods, decreasing the amount of toxins we are exposed to and reducing our alcohol intake.
If you are concerned about the health of your liver or just want to check that your liver is functioning optimally, ask your doctor to run liver function blood tests or come in and see us, we can provide the paper work for you to get these tests done.