Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) is a crucial enzyme that is present in many parts of the body. But the general sources of ALP are pregnant women’s liver, bones, intestine, kidneys, and placenta. The level of the enzymes shows that these organs and internal parts are in working condition. If the levels of ALP are irregular, these indicate dysfunctionality of these internal organs.
The ALP test measures the level of ALP in the blood sample, denoted in international units per liter (IU/L). If the test indicates an abnormality in the result, then there must be some problems with your internal organs and bones. The Alkaline Phosphatase Test price may vary depending on the mode of the test and the lab.
As ALP relates to various parts of the body, the ALP test cannot specify which organ is malfunctioning. So you need to take another test along with the ALP to find the precise source of the problems.
How Many Types of ALP Tests Are Available?
There are mainly two types of Alkaline Phosphatase tests. The test price varies depending on the test. One of the main two types of the ALP is
- ALP isoenzyme test
- General ALP
CMP, which is also known as a ‘comprehensive metabolic panel’, and liver panel (HFP or LFT) are two common types of general ALP tests.
While the general ALP test measures the level of ALP in your body, the ALP isoenzyme test can narrow down the source of ALP malfunction.
What do the Different Levels of ALP mean?
The ALP test cannot identify the exact problem in the body, but different levels of ALP help to narrow down the search. By knowing the levels of ALP, pathologists understand what other tests they need to do to pinpoint the abnormality’s source. Here are the meanings of different levels of the ALP test.
- High ALP levels are a general sign of disorders in your Liver and bone. But to ascertain the problem, your pathologist may take a liver function test with it. If the test is positive, you may face disorders like a blockage in the bile ducts, Cirrhosis, Hepatitis, and Mononucleosis.
But if the Liver function test is normal, you may have a bone disorder.
- High levels of ALP may be a sign of ailments like heart failure, Hodgkin lymphoma, or certain infections.
- Low levels of ALP are rarely seen; the most reason for low ALP is malnutrition, lack of zinc, pernicious anemia, thyroid disease, Wilson disease or hypophosphatasia,
What is the Need for an Alkaline Phosphatase Test?
An Alkaline Phosphatase test is generally used for routine checkups. The test confirms a problem with the internal organs and parts of the body. But detecting the exact problem is not what this test does. Doctors prescribe additional tests to identify the cause of symptoms like:
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Lack of appetite
- Swelling or pain in your abdomen
- Dark-colored urine and/or light-colored stool
- Frequent Itching
- Pain in bones
- Inflammation in joints and arthritis
- Bones with unusual shapes and size
How to Prepare For the Test?
Generally, there are no specific rules to follow before the test. But if you have a special condition, then you may need to take some precautions. Such as
- Limit the food and liquid intake for several hours before the test.
- As chemicals can affect the enzymes, your doctor may ask you to hold your ongoing medication.
How is the Test Done?
The test follows a normal blood test procedure, where your lab technician will take a fixed amount of blood in a testing kit. The process is as follows:
- They will start by tightly binding your hand with an elastic band, called a tourniquet, around your arm.
- Then the tech will clean the skin area with a chemical solution, preventing the germs on your skin from infiltrating your body.
- After that, they will puncture your skin with a syringe and draw out some blood with the suction tube.
- After they get enough blood for the test, gently remove the syringe and cover the puncture with a bandaid.
After the sample is drawn, it is sent to the lab for testing and results. Wrapping Up
Whether you notice the symptoms or not, you should take the ALP test as per your doctor’s advice.