Elevated Liver Enzymes
Hearing that one has elevated liver enzymes
may be scary. However, the term actually could refer to any one of a number of conditions, and does not necessarily indicate any specific disease. Symptoms may be present, but it is also possible to have elevated liver enzymes with an underlying liver disease, yet have no noticeable symptoms. If you have been diagnosed with elevated liver enzymes, your doctor may recommend that you have further testing.
More information about elevated liver enzyme symptoms
Elevated liver enzymes are also often called elevated transaminases
. At times the more simple term transaminitis
is also used. The particular enzymes which are commonly elevated are alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST). In most cases of liver disease, ALT levels
will rise above that of AST, however, in the case of greater AST levels
alcoholic liver disease is a potential underlying condition.
You can read more here about the liver function tests
Although elevated liver enzymes are quite often present in liver injury, they are also noticed in other conditions. Therefore, a diagnosis of elevated liver enzymes in itself does not even confirm any sort of liver damage in the patient. In agreement with this point, previously, liver enzyme levels were actually used as part of the process of diagnosing a heart attack. Recently, however, enzymes more specific to heart damage have been preferred.
Some common causes of elevated liver enzymes are:
, primary sclerosing cholangitis
, primary biliary cirrhosis, or other autoimmune disorders of the liver or bile ducts
, or heart failure
Fatty liver disease
, Wilson's disease, or other metabolic liver diseases
, or other infections
Medications such as some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), cholesterol medications, anti-biotics or anti-seizure medicines.
Tumors of the liver, pancreas or bile ducts
Using too much of kava kava, comfrey, pennyroyal, skullcap, or particular other herbal supplements
You can continue reading a larger list of elevated liver enzymes causes
You should talk with your doctor directly regarding treatment options for elevated liver enzymes, as the underlying condition will change which treatments
are better or worse for your case.
Additional information on liver disease
is also available.
Return to top