Liver disease is responsible for over 16,000 deaths in the UK every year and this figure in increasing. If you are worried that you may have damaged your liver due to drinking, obesity, infection or any other reason, there are a number of ways you can check the health of you liver.
If you are unable to (or do not wish to) visit your doctor, hospital or clinic one popular option is to use a home liver test. These are simple DIY test kits which you use in your own home that will enable you to check for liver damage or disease. There are currently two types of these tests on the market:
A liver function blood test developed by Yorktest laboratories. It works much like a hospital liver function test but uses just a pinprick of blood. You take the blood yourself at home with the kit provided and post it back to Yorktest’s labs to be analysed. You will receive the results within 2 weeks. Read more here
These can be purchased online for as little as £5. They check for raised levels of bilirubin or urobilinogen in your urine which can sometimes be an indicator of liver disease. Urine tests unfortunately do not often provide accurate results. They may indicate that you have liver damage when in actual fact you do not; or more importantly they may indicate that everything is fine when it isn’t.
The most common option is to ask your doctor or GP for a liver function test (LFT). This is a free (in the UK) blood test where you will be required to visit a hospital so that they can take your blood. You should receive test results within a few weeks. If visiting a hospital is not a problem for you then this is the best way to check for liver damage.
Another alternative is to have a LFT privately but this can cost hundreds of pounds and you will still be required to attend a clinic for the test.
Who Should Use A Home Test?
Anyone who is worried that they may have liver damage caused by alcohol, hepatitis, drugs, diabetes or obesity but is unable to visit their doctor or local hospital.