The purpose of liver function tests is to monitor key proteins and enzymes that illustrate whether the liver is performing properly.

These proteins and enzymes may indicate acute or chronic liver function issues.

Liver function tests look at certain markers to ensure that the liver is performing properly. Let’s talk about how often you should check your liver function as well as the circumstances under which it is essential to regularly check your liver function.


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How often should you check your liver function?


It is recommended that you check your liver function if you have symptoms, you're worried about medical conditions that may cause liver dysfunction or if you're taking medication that may cause liver damage.

There are no specific guidelines that offer insight into the ages at which you should test your liver function or how often you should check your liver function.

You should consider taking a liver function test if:

  • You have a family history of liver issues
  • You have issues with alcohol or you are an alcoholic
  • You are taking performance enhancing drugs
  • You suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa
  • You have had or currently live with gastrointestinal disease
  • You have had or currently live with gallstones.
  • You previously took medications which can harm your liver
  • You currently take medications which could harm your liver


When should you check your liver function?


There are a number of instances when you should seek out regular liver function testing.

You should regularly check your liver function if:

  • You have a family history of liver issues
  • You have issues with alcohol or you are an alcoholic
  • You are taking performance enhancing drugs
  • You suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa
  • You have had or currently live with gastrointestinal disease
  • You have had or currently live with gallstones.
  • You previously took medications which can harm your liver
  • You currently take medications which could harm your liver

letsgetchecked-liver-function-test-results


You have a family history of liver issues


If you have a family member who has previously or currently suffers from liver function issues, it increases your likelihood of developing liver issues. Hemochromatosis and Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency are the most common liver issues to be passed from family member to family member. If you have a family history of liver issues, you should explain your family history to your doctor and ask them for specific recommendations on how often you should get tested as well as specific lifestyle habits you may need to implement on a regular basis.


You have issues with alcohol or you are an alcoholic


If you consume too much alcohol or you have been diagnosed with alcoholism, you should consider liver function tests as a measurement of treatment, once alcohol abuse has ceased. If you have been living with alcoholism or you have been binge-drinking alcohol over a prolonged period of time, liver function tests may be helpful to monitor the reversible damage of drinking over a prolonged period of time.


You are taking medications or performance enhancing drugs that could harm your liver


Taking performance enhancing drugs such as anabolic steroids or other potent medications may lead to liver abnormalities and tumours. If you are currently taking anabolic steroids, or you recently stopped taking anabolic steroids, liver function tests may be useful to monitor some of the specific proteins and enzymes that are affected by taking steroids and/or various medications. If you have been taking medications and have exceeded the recommended doses on a number of occasions, liver function testing is recommended to monitor the effects that taking these medications has had.


You suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa


For those who are recovering or are currently living with an eating disorder, doctors often perform a number of tests. Liver function testing is important within the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of anorexia and bulimia, as well as a complete blood count, kidney function and thyroid function tests.


You have had or currently live with gastrointestinal disease


Gastrointestinal disease and liver problems are tightly linked. If you like with one, it is likely you will live with the others, doctors will likely recommend that you take a liver function test if you are living with gastrointestinal disease.


You have had or currently live with gallstones.


If you are currently living with gallstones, your doctor will likely recommend that you take a liver function test. They are also likely to carry out a physical exam on the abdomen to see if they liver or gallbladder is tender or enlarged.


If you have been considering taking a liver function test but haven't had time to make an appointment or can't take time off work, why not consider taking an at home LetsGetChecked Liver Function Test?

With results available within one week an clinical support at every step of the way, it has never been easier to learn more about your health from the comfort of home.


Written by Hannah Kingston | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Susan O' Sullivan