Liver Tests: What Do They Say About Your Health?

Blood tests can explain nausea, pain, jaundice and more

Your liver is a master at multitasking: digesting food, processing nutrients and removing toxins, says hepatologist Carlos Romero-Marrero, MD. Tap to see how blood tests help to pinpoint liver problems:

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When do you need liver tests?

When your liver isn’t working as it should, you can develop symptoms like jaundice, nausea, abdominal pain and itching.

“You may need liver tests to investigate jaundice, dark urine or pain in your right upper abdomen,” says Dr. Romero-Marrero. “But liver tests also are part of routine physical exams and can be used to monitor medications you’re taking.” Liver tests can reveal problems even before you have symptoms.

What puts you at risk for liver problems?

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But one abnormal test result doesn’t mean you have liver problems. Medication, diet and other factors can affect your scores.

Your doctor will look at a combination of scores to diagnose liver damage or disease. He or she will explain any areas of concern and help you determine next steps.

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