The liver releases certain enzymes when it is injured. The following article provides information regarding high levels of these enzymes in the blood.
Elevated liver enzymes may indicate impaired cells in the liver. The function of the liver is to remove toxins from the body and help digest the food. Certain conditions may damage the liver cells causing them to release excess amount of enzymes in the bloodstream. There are mainly two enzymes: alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST). This condition may seem serious, but in most cases, it is mild and occurs for a temporary period. The enzymes can be measured by blood tests also known as liver enzymes tests. If both ALT and AST are found in high quantities, then it is most likely an indication of a liver damage.
The doctor determines the specific cause of this disorder by reviewing your medications, symptoms, and other tests and procedures, if any. The common causes of this condition include certain over-the-counter and prescription medicines, diseases such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. People affected by obesity or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are also prone to this condition.
Many disorders can also contribute to this condition. They include celiac disease, heart attack, liver cancer, pancreatitis, toxic hepatitis, and Wilson’s disease. Diseases such as alcoholic hepatitis, autoimmune hepatitis, cirrhosis, dermatomyositis, mononucleosis, and polymyositis are also among the other contributing factors.
Increased liver enzymes may also indicate the onset of conditions like cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, hemochromatosis, and muscular dystrophy.
The symptoms may include itching and jaundice. Itching occurs as a result of the substances which build up inside the body, and remain in the blood and skin. Jaundice may be characterized by symptoms such as dark or cloudy urine, and light stools. Also, the white of the eye, the skin and the mucous membranes inside the mouth may show a yellow discoloration. General weakness and fatigue may also accompany the symptoms.
The treatment involves addressing the underlying cause of the condition. So, the patients are advised to refrain from using over-the-counter drugs, prescription medications, and supplements without the doctor’s advice.
Eating a healthy, low-fat diet and performing exercises regularly would help address the problem of obesity. Alcohol consumption has also been found to be the cause of this condition in some people. Therefore, reducing the intake of alcohol or shunning the habit altogether would be beneficial for treating this condition. If the high levels of the enzymes do not decline even after such measures, then additional tests would be performed to rule out other medical conditions which may be a probable cause.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.