Many diseases and conditions can contribute to elevated liver enzymes. Your doctor determines the specific cause of your elevated liver enzymes by reviewing your medications, your signs and symptoms and, in some cases, other tests and procedures.
Elevated liver enzymes are signs of inflammation or liver damage. The damaged or inflamed cells of the liver release excess liver enzymes into the blood stream, resulting in abnormally high levels of liver enzymes in the blood. Elevated liver enzymes are detected during liver function tests. The liver enzymes that are usually found in excess quantities in the bloodstream are alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST).
A number of diseases can damage the liver, ranging from acute, temporary elevations to chronic mild elevation. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, commonly called NASH, mostly occurs as a result of overweight or diabetes. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a chronic disease, affects 2 to 5 percent of Americans, mostly middle-aged, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders website reports. Other medications such as cholesterol-lowering medications can also cause liver enzyme elevations. Acute hepatitis A, drug poisoning or overdose with acetaminophen can cause a sudden, very high increase in liver enzymes, more than 10 times the normal range, the Lab Tests Online website says.
People suffering from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or obese people might have elevated liver enzymes. Certain autoimmune and metabolic diseases of the liver might increase the levels of liver enzymes. Diabetes, heavy drinking, tumors in the liver, bile duct or pancreas and high levels of triglyceride in the bloodstream might push up the levels of liver enzymes. Intake of over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, and cholesterol and anti-seizure medications might increase the levels of liver enzymes. Certain herbal supplements such as comfrey, kava kava and skullcap might be associated with this condition.
High liver enzyme causes
The liver enzymes might rise due to several reasons. A liver injury could increase the liver enzymes levels in the blood. Hepatitis A, B and C are common causes of elevated liver enzymes. High liver enzymes might indicate presence of stone in the gall bladder or a gall bladder disease.
How to Control elevated liver enzymes
Treating the underlying liver problem could bring down the liver enzymes levels naturally. Abnormal fluctuations in the liver enzymes could be prevented by eating a nutritious diet and by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Losing excess weight and reducing high triglyceride levels could bring down the elevated liver enzymes levels in obese people and people diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Diabetics should control their blood glucose levels.
People with elevated liver enzymes should avoid alcohol and carbonated drinks. Fatty and fried foods should be eliminated from the diet of people with elevated liver enzymes. Monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids might be included in the diet of people with abnormally high level of liver enzymes. Monounsaturated fats could enhance liver function by eliminating the unhealthy saturated fats from the liver. Omega-3 fats might reduce liver inflammation. Milk thistle might be used for improving liver function and restoring the normal liver enzymes levels in the blood.