Q:

What causes elevated muscle enzymes?

A:

Many neuromuscular disorders cause elevated enzymes in the blood, as certain enzymes leak out of damaged muscles, according to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. A genetic mutation inside the cells or an attack from the immune system gradually damages the muscle tissue.

Cells are composed of thousands of enzymes, which serve as catalysts for chemical reactions that take place in the cells, says the MDA. Enzymes are often elevated above normal when a disease or injury damages the cells, causing large amounts of enzymes to leak out in muscles or other parts of the body. Alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) are the two enzymes typically measured on routine blood tests. Both of these enzymes are found in the heart, muscles, liver and kidneys. AST is also found in the brain, lungs, pancreas and spleen. Conditions that cause damage to the muscle tissue and cause elevated enzyme levels include inflammatory myopathies and muscular dystrophies. Enzymes also leak out of the liver and other organs.

The MDA states that enzyme levels are measured through blood tests, as many enzymes are normally found in the blood. When blood tests reveal higher enzyme levels, physicians investigate the parts of the body that possibly leak enzymes into the blood. After finding the source, they determine why the leak occurred and how to fix it.

Learn More
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why does diabetes cause polydipsia?

    A:

    Diabetes mellitus causes polydipsia, or excessive thirst, because of high blood sugar. According to the Mayo Clinic, the kidneys remove excess sugar from the blood, which results in higher urine production. As the body loses water through increased urination, or polyuria, this triggers thirst, and the diabetic drinks more water.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes cretinism?

    A:

    Cretinism, also known as congenital hypothyroidism, affects newborn infants through an anatomic thyroid defect, an error of thyroid metabolism, or iodine deficiency, according to Medscape. Symptoms present at birth include lethargy, enlarged anterior fontanel, poor feeding and rough facial features. In addition, cretinism is commonly accompanied by neck swelling, which manifests as goiters.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the side effects of dialysis?

    A:

    The side effects of dialysis include dry skin, decreased circulation in the muscles, nausea, low blood pressure and restless leg syndrome, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Patients may also experience difficulty sleeping, increased potassium levels or fluid overload.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is Asperger's disease?

    A:

    According to WebMD, Asperger's syndrome is not a disease; it is a complex neurodevelopment disorder also classified as an autism spectrum disorder. It affects a child's social and communication skills and is a lifetime condition, although symptoms can improve over time. Asperger's cannot be prevented and its cause is unknown. Hans Asperger, a Viennese child psychologist, identified and published the syndrome's characteristics and behavior patterns in 1944.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore