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Comprehensive medical assessment for alcohol related problems

An initial comprehensive assessment of your physical, emotional, and social life is needed to fully understand the nature of your problem and design a bespoke care programme for you to stop drinking alcohol. This includes specific Alcohol assessment tools such us AUDIT and SAD-Q.

Blood tests are also very important. Alcohol biomarkers are physiological indicators of alcohol exposure or ingestion and may reflect the presence of an alcohol use disorder.​

  • ALT, GGT and AST  are the most frequently used indirect biomarkers for alcohol related problems.

When the liver is damaged, it releases substances called enzymes into the blood and levels of proteins produced by the liver begin to drop. By measuring the levels of these enzymes and proteins, it's possible to build up a picture of how well the liver is functioning. This can help to diagnose certain liver conditions, including hepatitiscirrhosis and alcohol-related liver disease.

Liver disease is detected, evaluated and monitored by combinations of up to five tests measured at the same time on a blood sample. These may include:

  • Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) – an enzyme mainly found in the liver; the best test for detecting hepatitis

  • Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) – an enzyme found in the liver and a few other places, particularly the heart and other muscles in the body

  • Total bilirubin – measures all the yellow bilirubin pigment in the blood

  • Another test, conjugated bilirubin, measures the form made only in the liver

  • Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) – an enzyme related to the bile ducts; often increased when they are blocked, either inside or outside the liver

  • Albumin – measures the main protein made by the liver and tells how well the liver is making this protein

  • Total protein - measures albumin and all other proteins in blood, including antibodies made to help fight off infections

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