Elevated liver enzymes occur when there is damage or inflammation on the liver. The damage causes the liver cells to produce a higher amount of certain chemicals, which are deposited into the bloodstream. The liver enzymes that are usually elevated in the blood include alanine transaminase, or ALT, and aspartate transaminase, or AST.
The most common causes of elevated liver enzymes include obesity, alcohol, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, certain over-the-counter pain drugs, certain prescription medications and fatty liver disease. The elevation is also linked to other conditions, such as heart attacks, liver cancer, cirrhosis, pancreatitis, Wilson's disease, mononucleosis, dermatomyositis and gallbladder inflammation, among others. A doctor will be able to determine the underlying cause after checking the symptoms and reviewing the medications of a person.
Elevation of the liver enzymes can occur temporarily, and it is usually detected during normal blood tests. Most of the time, the elevation may not indicate a serious liver problem, as stated by Mayo Clinic. At most times, the elevation can only be treated after treating the underlying cause. Further tests and procedures may be necessary to know the exact cause of the elevation. Liver tests will check for the availability of the enzymes in the blood, as stated by WebMD.Learn More
The most common causes of elevated liver enzymes are certain prescription medications, including statins; alcohol consumption; heart failure; hepatitis A, B and C; and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, according to Mayo Clinic. Obesity and over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen can also cause enzyme elevation.Full Answer >
Hepatic parenchymal disease is damage to the functional cells of the liver, according to HealthTap. Liver diseases can be divided into those affecting the biliary ducts and those affecting the functional cells of the organ, known as the parenchyma. Although liver disease is often associated with alcoholism, there are more than 100 hepatic diseases caused by a variety of factors, says the Canadian Liver Foundation.Full Answer >
Several different factors cause elevations of the prostate-specific antigen, including prostate cancer and noncancerous conditions, according to Mayo Clinic. In most men, the PSA levels are below 4 nanograms per milliliter, which is the traditional cutoff for concerns about cancer; however, prostate cancer is possible regardless of the PSA level.Full Answer >
The production of bile makes the liver an important organ within digestion, as it emulsifies fat, much like dish soap acts on fat and grease to split it into smaller pieces. This process makes it much easier for the body to process fats. Hepatocytes within the liver also absorb much of the glucose that comes from digested food and stores the sugar as glycogen for later release. This helps the body regulate its sugar levels.Full Answer >