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What causes elevated liver enzymes?


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2015-05-12 15:44:24
2015-05-12 15:44:24

There is a wide variety of causes for elevated liver enzymes (commonly, although incorrectly, called liver function tests, or LFTs). Elevated LFTs can only be interpreted in the context of a full clinical history -- that means that only a trained health care provider can determine the underlying cause of elevated LFTs in a particular individual. An important fact to remember is that while lab results (eg, elevated LFTs) are important in medicine, lab results alone are very infrequently diagnostic of a particular condition. When analyzed by trained personnel, they aid tremendously in reaching a diagnosis, but they absolutely never replace a proper clinical history. That means that for us patients, we cannot expect solid answers to questions like "why do I have elevated LFTs?" unless we ask our physicians. The only thing we can gain from asking perfect strangers questions like this is that we get a better understanding for what the tests mean and why they must be interpreted in such a way. Hopefully I can help illustrate this. The major liver enzymes measured in an LFT analysis are serum levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP). ALT and AST are markers of injury to liver cells, while ALP is a marker of injury to the system of bile ducts that drain bile from the liver (also called the biliary tree). Liver and biliary tree damage are the most common causes of elevated LFTs, although other seemingly unrelated conditions can cause elevated LFTs as well. For example, hypothyroidism can cause elevated LFTs for unknown reasons. Viral and alcoholic hepatitis are among the most common causes of liver injury; these result in elevated LFTs, with ALT and AST being elevated to a greater degree than ALP. There are many other conditions that cause a similar elevation in LFTs; this underscores the importance of evaluating high LFTs in the proper clinical context (ie, with your physician). Elevated LFTs with a predominant rise in ALP is suggestive of damage or obstruction of the biliary tree (which disrupts the flow of bile out of the liver, called cholestasis). There are a number of conditions that can cause this, including a stone in the common bile duct (choledocholithiasis), cancer of the head of the pancreas, primary sclerosing cholangitis, primary biliary cirrhosis, and many others. The preceding list isn't meant to frighten you; it's merely to illustrate the wide variety of causes of cholestasis. On the other hand, one's LFTs may be elevated without any clinical significance. Yes, this is yet another reason to have one's test results evaluated by a physician. Again, it's absolutely fine -- indeed, it's preferred! -- that you ask these sorts of questions to your physician. Only she is able to answer your question adequately, with a strong understanding of your clinical presentation, past medical history, social history, etc.


Related Questions

No, dehydration cannot cause elevated liver enzymes. Vitamin deficiency and damage to liver can cause the enzymes of the liver to be elevated.

Typically, kidney stones do not cause elevated liver enzymes. However, a sever urinary tract infection within the kidneys can cause elevated liver enzymes.

is a elevated count of 90 high for liver enzymes

They can be if left untreated. There are medications such as, Denosyl, that can help regulate the liver enzymes.

Elevated liver enzymes is a problem because it means an individual's liver is damaged and the body has to fight to survive. It will not mean cancer but could turn into cancer.

Can Hepatitis B vaccine elevate liver enzymes

Liver Enzymes are the proteins which mainly help in speeding up chemical reactions with the liver. They perform variety of functions in the body such as filtration, blood cleansing, excretion and metabolism. The liver mainly helps in removing toxins from the body. It also makes proteins which help in clotting of the blood. When liver enzymes are elevated , it is a sign of liver impairment which needs immediate attention. Some of the causes for elevated liver enzymes are: Fatty Liver Herbal Toxicity Alcohol Abuse Congestive Heart Failure

Kidney issues can cause elevated enzymes. When your kidneys are damaged, your body responds with elevated levels of naturally occurring enzymes.

HELLP syndrome is a condition during pregnancy that includes elevated liver enzymes.

Elevated liver enzymes may indicate inflammation or cell damage in the liver. Inflamed or injured liver cells leak higher than normal amounts of liver enzymes into the bloodstream.

There are several things that could be causing your baby's liver enzymes to be elevated. Some of these things include Hepatitis A, B, or C, liver disease, and heart failure.

The liver is the organ that breaks down chemicals in the blood. It removes toxins, and also drugs from the body so they can be taken out of the body by the kidneys and the bladder (pee). If you have elevated liver enzymes this means that the way in which the liver is breaking down the toxins and drugs is working faster than normal.

It takes approximately twenty-four to forty-eight hours for elevated liver enzymes to return to normal after cessation of alcohol consumption. For smaller individuals, it can take even longer.

An elevated liver panel means that certain enzymes and proteins that are associated with liver function in the dog are higher than they should be. This tends to indicate liver damage, although it could be due to anything from ingesting a toxic substance to a liver infection to liver cancer.

An elevated ALT level in dogs can be a sign of liver disease. It can be caused by a number of different toxins in the liver and something as simple as a poor dog food can cause elevated levels.

Yes. Elevated liver enzymes may have various causes in cases where there is rheumatoid arthritis . ranging from the rheumatic disease itself, as the result of anti-rheumatic medication or it be caused by an associated autoimmune disease.

Elevated liver enzymes are usually a symptom of an underlying condition rather than a cause.As such the elevated levels of enzymes themselves are unlikely to be deadly, rather it is the condition causing the elevated concentration which is potentially dangerous.A number of conditions can cause elevated liver enzymes leading to abnormal liver function tests:Fatty liver (commonly caused by alcohol, obesity or diabetes)Hepatitis (varying forms including those caused by viral infection and alcohol abuse)HIVCirrhosisLiver cancerNB: This is by no means an exhaustive list.Certain drugs may also affect liver function tests so you should tell your doctor about any prescription, over the counter, legal (alcohol etc.) or illegal drugs that you are taking or have taken.Please see the related links

High levels of liver enzymes can indicate damage or inflammation of the liver. Causes include hepititis, obesity, fatty liver disease or even a problem caused by certain medications.

What causes elevated GGT related to liver

It could be an infection but without knowing what WBCs are elevated and which liver tests are showing that result, you really need to ask the doctor who asked for the tests.

To attempt to identify any "obvious" causes for elevated liver enzymes (e.g visible scarring, fatty deposits, or tumors)- it's the less invasive investigatory procedure, the other option being a liver biopsy. An ultra sound can rule out/ rule in the need for a biopsy. However don't be alarmed by being sent for an ultrasound - if your initial blood results were a major concern, you'd be sent straight for a biopsy, rather than "just" an ultrasound.

It is a concern because it indicates the liver is impaired in some way. Which will lead to an inability to excrete toxins from the body, as well as the livers hundreds of other functions.

It causes fatty tissue to build up in the liver, it suppresses enzymes needed to break down toxins in the body, and it causes scar tissue to form inside the liver (cirrhosis).

There are many reasons that the kidneys have elevated enzymes. One possible reason is dehydration and it is reversible.

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