How do I get a normal LFT value?
Q: I appeared for a medical examination last week whereby I found my value of LFT to be 1.7, but the Hepatitis and HIV results were fortunately negative. Please suggest how I can get my LFT value to optimum range (below one) within a week. I don't feel tired and can jog for two miles without stop. Also, my eye colour is not yellow.
A:Liver function tests (LFT) are a group of blood tests done to assess liver injury and liver function. These include the measurements of serum proteins, different liver enzymes (ALT, AST, GGT and ALP), bilirubin, prothrombin time, cholesterol etc. Abnormal LFTs often suggest that something is wrong with the liver and provide clues to the nature of the underlying problem but they may also be abnormal in conditions that do not affect the liver (like bone disease or red cell breakdown) or sometimes be normal in liver disease. I think you are referring to your serum bilirubin values. This is a chemical, which is manufactured in the liver as a result of breakdown of haemoglobin, the red coloured pigment in our blood which carries oxygen. The bilirubin occurs in two forms - conjugated and unconjugated and the total level is usually under 1.0 mg/dl. Depending on the underlying cause, either or both fractions of bilirubin may be elevated. Raised bilirubin levels may impart a yellow colour to the eyes, skin, etc. which is called jaundice. Bilirubin may be raised either due to increased production or raised excretion and the list of causes is large. Conjugated fraction may be increased in diseases within the liver itself or conditions affecting it (like viral hepatitis, drug injury, inherited states, etc.) or obstructive jaundice. Unconjugated bilirubin elevation may be seen in haemolytic states, Gilbert's syndrome, etc. Avoiding excessive alcohol consumption, drug toxicity and eating a proper nutritious diet can help sustain a healthy liver. It is important to remember that an abnormal test is interpreted taking the clinical profile of the patient into consideration and not in isolation. You need to talk to your doctor and discuss this with him.