3 Liver Enzymes
• Alkaline Phosphatase/ALP
• Alanine Aminotransferase/ALT
• Asparate Aminotransferase/AST
• The liver filters and processes blood as it circulates
through the body. It metabolizes nutrients, detoxifies
harmful substances, makes blood clotting proteins and
performs many other vital functions. The cells in the
liver contain proteins called enzymes that drive these
• When liver cells are damaged or destroyed, the
enzymes in the cells leak out into the blood, where they
can be measured by blood tests. Further testing is
required for any abnormal result.
• Electrolytes are minerals in your blood and other
body fluids that carry an electric charge.
• Electrolytes affect the amount of water in your
body, the acidity of your blood (pH), your muscle
function, and other important processes. You lose
electrolytes when you sweat. You must replace
them by drinking fluids.
• Common electrolytes include:
• A test for calcium in the blood checks the calcium level in
the body that is not stored in the bones. Calcium is the
most common mineral in the body and one of the most
important. The body needs it to build and fix bones and
teeth, help nerves work, make muscles squeeze together,
help blood clot, and help the heart to work. Almost all of
the calcium in the body is stored in bone. The rest is
found in the blood.
• Normally the level of calcium in the blood is carefully
controlled. When blood calcium levels get low
(hypocalcemia), the bones release calcium to bring it
back to a good blood level. When blood calcium levels get
high (hypercalcemia), the extra calcium is stored in the
bones or passed out of the body in urine and stool. The
amount of calcium in the body depends on the amount of:
Calcium you get in your food.
Calcium and vitamin D your intestines absorb.
Phosphate in the body.
Certain hormones, including parathyroid hormone,
calcitonin, and estrogen in the body.
• A chloride test measures the level of chloride in
your blood or urine. Chloride helps keep the amount
of fluid inside and outside of your cells in balance.
It also helps maintain proper blood volume, blood
pressure, and pH of your body fluids. Tests for
sodium, potassium, and bicarbonate are usually
done at the same time as a blood test for chloride.
• Most of the chloride in your body comes from the
salt (sodium chloride) you eat. Chloride is absorbed
by your intestines when you digest food. Extra
chloride leaves your body in your urine.
• This test measures the amount of potassium in the
blood. Potassium (K+) helps nerves and muscles
communicate. It also helps move nutrients into cells
and waste products out of cells. Your doctor may
order this test to diagnose or monitor kidney disease.
The most common cause of high potassium levels is
• Because potassium is important to heart function,
your doctor may order this test if you have signs of
high blood pressure or heart problems. Small changes
in potassium levels can have a big effect on the activity
of nerves and muscles, especially the heart. Low
levels of potassium can lead to an irregular heartbeat
or other electrical malfunction of the heart. High levels
cause decreased heart muscle activity. Either situation
can lead to life-threatening
• Sodium is a substance that the body needs to work
properly. Sodium is found in most foods. Your blood
sodium level represents a balance between the sodium
and water in the food and drinks you consume and the
amount in urine. A small amount is lost through stool
• Many things can affect this balance. Your doctor may
order this test if you:
Have had a recent injury, surgery, or serious illness
Consume large or small amounts of salt or fluid
Receive intravenous (IV) fluids
Take diuretics (water pills) or certain other
medications, including the hormone aldosterone The most
common form of sodium is sodium chloride, which is table
CO2 / Carbon Dioxide
• The CO2 test is most often done as part of an
electrolyte or basic metabolic panel. Changes in
your CO2 level may suggest that you are losing
or retaining fluid, which causes an imbalance in
your body's electrolytes.
• CO2 levels in the blood are influenced by kidney
and lung function. The kidneys are mainly
responsible for maintaining the normal
CO2 testing may be ordered, usually
as part of an electrolyte panel when:
Someone is having a routine blood screen
• A doctor suspects that a patient may be
retaining water or is dehydrated, upsetting
their electrolyte balance
• A doctor wants to evaluate a patient’s acid-base
• A doctor wants to monitor a condition or
treatment that might cause an electrolyte imbalance