Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
LIVER ENZYMES
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LIVER ENZYMES

I AM A 52 YEAR FEMALE.  
MY QUESTION IS:
COULD YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN WHAT CAUSES LIVER ENZYMES TO ELEVATE, AND WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF THIS HIGH LEVEL?  

MY AST IS 76H AND MY ALT IS 3H.  I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO KNOW WHAT AST AND ALT MEAN.  
I DON'T DRINK OR SMOKE.  I AM OVERWEIGHT AND I WAS INFORMED THAT MY GLUCOSE IS 216. DO THESE LEVELS HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH EACH OTHER?
THANK YOU FOR THIS FORUM.  
RESPECTFULLY AWAITING YOUR RESPONSE.

TEEVEE
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4 Comments
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Hi, I would hope your physican would discuss further testing for the discovery of you illness.  I would be concerned with the sugar level being as high as it is.  I am not sure if this information will be of use to you.  I hope you find out what the problem is soon.  Good Luck!

ALT
(Alanine aminotransferase serum)


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ALT, an enzyme appears in liver cells, with lesser amounts in the kidneys, heart, and skeletal muscles, and is a relatively specific indicator of acute liver cell damage. When such damage occurs, ALT is released from the liver cells into the bloodstream, often before jaundice appears, resulting in abnormally high serum levels that may not return to normal for days or weeks.
The purpose of this blood serum test is to help detect and evaluate treatment of acute hepatic disease, especially hepatitis, and cirrhosis without jaundice. To help distinguish between myocardial (heart) and liver tissue damage (used with the AST enzyme test). Also to assess hepatotoxicity of some drugs.

ALT levels by a commonly used method range from 10 to 32 U/L; in women, from 9 to 24 U/L. (There does exist differing ranges used by various laboratories.) The normal range for infants is twice that of adults.

Very high ALT levels (up to 50 times normal) suggest viral or severe drug-induced hepatitis, or other hepatic disease with extensive necrosis (death of liver cells). (AST levels are also elevated but usually to a lesser degree.) Moderate-to-high levels may indicate infectious mononucleosis, chronic hepatitis, intrahepatic cholestasis or cholecystitis, early or improving acute viral hepatitis, or severe hepatic congestion due to heart failure. Slight-to-moderate elevations of ALT (usually with higher increases in AST levels) may appear in any condition that produces acute hepatocellular (liver cell) injury, such as active cirrhosis, and drug-induced or alcoholic hepatitis. Marginal elevations occasionally occur in acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), reflecting secondary hepatic congestion or the release of small amounts of ALT from heart tissue.

Many medications produce hepatic injury by competitively interfering with cellular metabolism. Falsely elevated ALT levels can follow use of barbiturates, narcotics, methotrexate, chlorpromazine, salicylates (aspirin), and other drugs that affect the liver.


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Be Aware:
Serum liver enzymes can create confusion for both patients and physicians for these tests are highly sensitive, but very nonspecific. Tests commonly referred to as liver function tests or LFTs do not actually determine liver function. Instead, they are static, primarily diagnostic parameters that serve to detect liver disease rather than quantitate liver function.
Rather than liver function tests, it is more useful to refer to these tests as serum liver tests and to mentally categorize them according to the pathophysiologic processes they truly reflect. The serum liver enzyme AST (formerly known as SGOT) and ALT (formerly known as SGPT) are primarily nonspecific markers of necrosis (cell/tissue death) and inflammation, whereas alkaline phosphatase (AP), gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) and 5'-nucleotidase (5'-NT) are nonspecific indicators of cholestasis (stoppage or suppression of the flow of bile). The serum albumin level and prothrombin time (PT) reflect hepatic synthetic ability, but are too static to quantitate liver function. Likewise, the serum bilirubin level reflects prehepatic, intrahepatic, and posthepatic factors, making the differential diagnosis of jaundice complex. Of the available liver tests, only a handful such as the C-aminopyrine breath test and galactose elimination capacity (GEC) truly quantitate liver function.

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Avatar_n_tn
How is your cholesterol and triglycerides? Have you been tested for mono, lupus, and diabetes? How about Fatty liver? I would say it is most likely weight related because that can effect the liver, go on a low-fat diet to help and/or prevent fatty liver, and if you drink stop.
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Avatar_n_tn
The next step would be to have an abdominal ultrasound done.  This can detect the fatty deposits in the liver.  If you have fatty infiltration of the liver it will cause the elevated enzyme levels.  If you are overweight the doctor should tell you to lose weight.
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Avatar_n_tn
Check iron studies. Elevated ferretin may suggest haemachromatosis - accumulation of iron which accumulate sin the organs, particularly in the liver. Also possible damage to pancreas and thus sugar levels may be affected. May be genetic so best check it out. Usually women okay until menopause as teh regular bleeding keep sthe iron levels under control.
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