The alkaline phosphatase test is used to measure the amount of alkaline phosphatase present in your blood. This test is used to diagnose problems with liver-like cirrhosis, liver cancer or hepatitis, other problems with bones like Paget disease or gallbladder problems. Usually, this test is a part of the routine liver function test.
What is Alkaline Phosphatase?
Alkaline phosphatase is a type of enzyme present throughout the body but mainly found in the liver, digestive tract, bones and kidney. Enzymes are the proteins useful for chemical reactions. It helps in the breakdown of bigger molecules into small molecules or making the smaller molecules into bigger molecules by joining them together. It also helps in the transport of nutrients and enzymes in the liver, transport of fatty acids, calcium and phosphates in the intestines, in the formation and growth of bones, regulates cell growth, death and migration during fetal development.
Why this test is performed?
This test may be recommended to you if experience any symptoms that indicate liver problems like nausea and vomiting, tiredness or weakness, yellow skin or eyes, stomach pain, swollen abdomen, dark urine, unexplained weight loss, etc. This test may also be recommended if there any conditions affecting bones, kidney, intestines or gallbladder. This test is also recommended to check if the current treatment is working well.
Some medicines may interfere with your test results like birth control pills, antiepileptic drugs like lorazepam, levetiracetam, sodium valproate, etc, blood-thinning medicines like apixaban, heparin, warfarin etc. Taking too much of alcohol also results in high levels of alkaline phosphatase.
Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Alkaline Phosphatase. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Alkaline Phosphatase.
You may have to fast for 10-12 hours without any intake of food and drinks before the test.
The normal test results may vary depending on the gender, age, health history, your condition, etc. Teenagers have high levels of alkaline phosphatase test results due to the rapid development of their bones. Pregnancy also causes higher levels of alkaline phosphatase.
If your test results are higher than the normal range it may indicate conditions like osteoblastic bone tumors, liver disease like hepatitis, blood cancer (leukemia), Paget disease (type of bone condition), rickets (weak or soft bones in children), sarcoidosis (collection of inflammatory cells in different parts of the body), lymphoma (cancer of lymph glands), hyperparathyroidism, etc
If your test results are lower than the normal range it may indicate conditions like alcoholic liver disease, gallstones, blockage of biliary ducts, renal cell carcinoma, giant cell arteritis, pancreatitis, multiple endocrine neoplasias II, etc.
Abnormal test results may rarely indicate conditions like malnutrition, anemia, Wilson's disease, celiac disease, prostate cancer, breast cancer, ulcerative colitis, etc.
If you get abnormal test results, consult your doctor immediately. Your doctor may recommend other tests depending on your results.
|OTHER||All age groups||44 - 147 IU/L|