If your recent blood test results showed signs of elevated liver enzymes or if you want to know about high liver levels out of curiosity, you should first learn about the possible causes of high liver levels. Normally your blood has low levels of several enzymes from the liver and an unhealthy or damaged liver may result in high levels of the liver enzyme in the blood streams.
The most commonly observed liver enzymes are aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT). There can be several causes of high liver levels which may result in high levels of AST and ALT enzymes getting released to the bloodstreams. Here are the most common reasons that you might not be aware of yet.
Drinking alcohol is one of the most common causes of elevated levels of liver enzymes. While people who have a couple of drinks now and then may not be at the risk of high liver enzyme levels, regular and heavy drinkers are more likely to have a damaged liver and elevated levels of liver enzymes in the blood.
Hepatitis is a condition where the liver has some sort of viral infection, usually leading to inflammation of the liver. The liver enzymes are likely to be high in hepatitis patients.
Celiac disease is a common chronic immune-mediated disorder of the small intestine. The condition has several effects on the liver of a patient including elevated levels of liver enzymes, especially the ALT enzyme. Patients with celiac disease can have up to around five times the normal liver enzyme levels.
According to the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, muscular exercise can also be a cause of elevated liver enzyme levels. The muscle breakdown and injury from an intensive workout may lead to high levels of liver enzymes, especially that of AST.
Certain medication can have some side effects on the liver, leading to high levels of liver enzymes. Apart from medication, herbal supplements and vitamins can also cause liver enzyme elevations. Medications such as acetaminophen, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and supplements such as vitamin A supplements can cause high levels of liver enzymes.
Other common causes of elevated liver enzymes include cirrhosis, cytomegalovirus, dermatomyositis, gallbladder inflammation, heart attack, hypothyroidism, liver cancer and Wilson's disease.
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