What Do High Liver Enzymes Mean for My Health?
High liver enzymes can be due to your lifestyle or may be a sign of a more serious health issue.
If you’ve recently received a blood test and were told you had high liver enzymes, don’t worry yourself too much – often times this result can be attributed to lifestyle choices. The first step to further diagnosis is to discover what the root cause could be. Be direct with your doctor on your lifestyle to help pinpoint the cause to better develop an appropriate treatment.
Often times patients forget (or don’t mention) that they drank alcohol the day before a blood test. Alcohol consumption can actually cause liver enzyme tests to come back with elevated levels. If this is the case, retake your blood test days later after alcohol consumption to confirm if they are still elevated.
Also keep in mind that if you drink alcohol regularly (two or more drinks a day) or binge on alcohol frequently, your lifestyle choice can cause severe damage to your liver over time leading to liver disease or cancer.
A variety of medications can cause your blood test to come back with high liver enzymes. These medications include:
- Pain relievers like aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve
- Anti-seizure medications like Dilantin, Depakote and Tregretol
- Antibiotics like tetracyclines and sulfonamides
- Cholesterol-lowering medications like Crestor, Lipitor and Mevacor
- Cardiovascular medications like Corderone and Apresoline
- Antidepressant medications
Let your doctor know of all medications you are taking to help determine any test issues.
Fatty liver disease is a disease caused by large amounts of fat in the liver, which inflames the liver and slowly leads to cirrhosis of the liver. About 30% of American adults have fat in the livers and don’t realize it until they receive high liver enzyme results. One significant cause of fatty liver disease is being overweight or obese, especially if you tend to hold a lot of weight in your midsection. By reducing your weight through regular exercise and diet, you may be able to lower your high liver enzymes and slowly heal fatty liver disease.
What If None of the Above Causes Apply to Myself?
If you are still receiving high liver enzyme test results and are not drinking alcohol, taking any related medication above, or overweight, seeing your doctor is the next step to understanding what is causing your elevated liver enzymes. We are able to provide in-depth blood tests and liver ultrasounds to pinpoint your health issue.
Some possible health issues we will be able to help with are:
Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease where your body reacts to gluten in your diet. Patients with the disease have been found to have elevated liver enzymes at the time of diagnosis, even without feeling any type of symptoms from gluten-intolerances. However, after altering their diet, the elevated enzyme levels returned to acceptable levels.
High liver enzymes can be an indicator of liver cancer. Factors such as alcohol abuse, hepatitis, diabetes, or being overweight can increase your risk of developing liver cancer. We are able to determine through sophisticated testing if your elevated liver enzymes are a result of cancer.
Hepatitis is a virus that can cause high liver enzymes and ultimately leads to liver disease. There are three types of hepatitis (Types A, B, and C). The different types of hepatitis are transmitted through many ways, from traveling to a developing country and drinking contaminated water to engaging in risky behaviors such as sharing syringes or having unprotected intimate contact with an infected individual.
While these different types of hepatitis share a variety of similar symptoms, the different types of the virus vary in health severity, with Type A having the lowest risk of liver disease and Type C having the highest risk. We are able to properly test for Hepatitis and offer the right treatment for you.