Doctors often order and examine liver function tests, generally blood tests, to take a look at vital bodily functions that revolve around the liver. The tests themselves focus on the clearing of bilirubin and the production of enzymes that indicate health problems. Liver cells produce many enzymes when in distress, and this quantity is easily measured. Production of these enzymes does not always indicate liver disease -- often, additional tests are required to complete the diagnosis.
While occasionally a doctor will order them as part of basic physicals, more often these tests are ordered for patients more prone to liver problems, such as those who drink alcohol or smoke in excess. A doctor may also request a test due to the age of the individual. Liver health is vital to digestion and its function, like most, decreases over time.
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