Essential for survival and inconspicuous: The liver fulfils numerous tasks.
It filters harmful substances from the body, detoxifies, regulates protein, fat and sugar metabolism as well as the vitamin and mineral balance, stores nutrients and produces bile for digestion. What damages the liver is not only alcohol consumption - but also fatty food, overweight, medication (including some herbal preparations) and, above all, hepatitis viruses. Since the liver itself does not have any pain receptors, swelling of the organ causes nerve fibres in the surrounding area to become irritated. In the right upper abdomen, non-specific pressure pain then develops. Fatigue, exhaustion, loss of appetite and other difficult-to-interpret everyday complaints can also indicate liver damage. In the early stages, liver diseases are usually well treatable. Irreparable late effects can be prevented with simple preventive measures. These include a blood test for the enzymes GPT, GGT and GOT. We offer this and other tests at Bioscientia. You can find all our tests in our list of analyses.
Congenital diseases of liver and iron metabolism lead to liver damage after a certain time. Wilson's disease is caused by disturbed copper excretion. The excess copper is deposited mainly in the liver and causes an inflammatory reaction. The diagnosis is complex and involves several parameters - we will be happy to advise you before making a diagnosis. In hemochromatosis, too much iron is absorbed in the intestine and the body is unable to excrete it. Our genetic test can diagnose the disease.
Liver damage can also be caused by the body's own defence substances that attack the liver tissue or the bile ducts. These diseases are rare and their causes are still unknown. Many analyses are possible for a diagnosis. A first pioneering test is the determination of transaminases (GOT, GPT). The measurement of antibodies helps to divide autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) into its subtypes. We will be happy to discuss with you which other tests could be useful.
Inflammation of the liver can also be caused by various viruses. Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E can be asymptomatic or manifest themselves through unspecific complaints such as upper abdominal pain, fever and nausea. In suspected cases we recommend the determination of the liver enzymes GPT, GGT and GOT and the liver synthesis parameters (protein, albumin, coagulation) as well as a hepatitis basic or extended profile. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Fatty liver has many causes
Alcohol is considered the main trigger for steatosis. But an unhealthy diet, overweight, high fructose consumption and some medications can also promote fatty liver. This is called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, NASH for short. If left untreated, fatty liver leads to fibrosis or cirrhosis and liver function is lost. In order to make a clear diagnosis and find the appropriate treatment, it is crucial to clarify the cause. Our laboratory diagnostics offers many different tests for this, for example the determination of CDT in serum and ethyl glucuronide in urine. We will be happy to discuss with you individually for each patient which diagnostic tests are useful.