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Fast Food Can Cause Elevated Liver Enzymes?
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Fast Food Can Cause Elevated Liver Enzymes?

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2565580

A very interesting article. It appears that fast food can cause liver enzymes (ALT and AST) to dramatically increase in less than a week. In 30 days it appears that habitual fast food intake can mimic NAFLD.

I came across this because my Doctor accidentally came across my elevated liver enzymes. ALT 199 / AST 92. I'll be going for an ultrasound and a hepatitis test tomorrow.
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Avatar_n_tn
My sons liver enzymes are also high.   Sqpt 169,  Sqot 54, and bili 1.2.  I was told that there was a big concern because his billirubin was elevated along with the other two.  My son is only 16, he doesn't drink or do drugs (He has been tested when he started having visual problems and the Neurologist and opthamologist couldn't figure it out).  He isn't overweight but doesn't get enough exercise.

His chol and trig are normal but is vitiamin D deficient.  Is your billirubin, chol, and trig normal?  His Dr is waiting 2 months to retake the blood test.  He is to eat no take out food and if the numbers don't change then we have to see a specialist.  I have been going crazy with worry about this.
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Avatar_n_tn
All I have gotten from the Dr's Office is my ALT/AST numbers. I'm awaiting the Ultrasound and blood test results.

I've been worried too, but being 29 it's something I've probably done to myself. Too much alcohol just before bedtime, too much fast food or a mix.

In your son's case, does he take a lot of Advil or Tylenol for chronic pain? Does he eat out all of the time? I'm no expert but I've read a lot since my abnormal results came back.

I gotta tell you that worrying will not change the outcome. The outcome is already in place. You are just waiting for the diagnosis. No amount of worrying will change it.

I have read that most of the time the elevations are due to fatty liver and that fatty liver is almost always reversible, no matter the cause.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

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Avatar_n_tn
He doesn't take a lot of any kind of over the counter meds.  Does take Tylenol every once in awhile but usually I practically have to force him, like if he is running a fever or really complaining of pain all the time.

He was overdosed on Tylenol at one of his hospital visit when he was around 4.  He had pneumonia and the nurse gave him adult strength and the adult amount every 4 hours.  What I was told was only twice.  I remember freaky out because I had heard how too much Tylenol would destroy the liver.  Of course they told me that wasn't the case and mad him drink the charcol.  I had forgot about that until you mention Tylenol.

He does eat out a lot more than I would like.  He just moved in with his father about 3 months ago and they eat out on average five to seven times a week.  This is why I took him to the Dr.s in the first place.  I was worried about his chol. and trig. and vitiamin D levels.  In two months his numbers will improve if it is because of his diet, which is what I am counting on.

I like the way you put "The outcome is already in place".  This is true about genetics and if his problem is self induced then the outcome is within our control.
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow our AST/ALT elevations are very similar.



Here are some things I've read...


AST > ALT usually points to alcohol- Doesn't apply to you

ALT > AST can mean many things. This is most common.

• In acute liver injury, such as viral hepatitis, the ALT and AST may be as high as 1000U/L. In chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis of the liver, ALT and AST may be 10 to 100 times their normal values.

• ALT enzyme is found in the liver. Damage from alcohol, strenuous exercise and a number of diseases can cause high values for both AST and ALT. Levels are elevated with liver damage (for example, from viral hepatitis) or with an insult to the heart such as heart attack. Higher levels are often seen in hepatocellular disorders that are extra- or intra-hepatic, such as an obstruction. ALT oftentimes will be higher than AST in the case of acute inflammation of the liver. ALT has a longer half-life than that of AST, so it tends to stay elevated longer.



Enzymes 2-10x normal-

"think of infectious mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr , CMV ), chronic hepatitis (viruses B, C, or D; Wilson's (don't miss this one), autoimmune I, II, or III, many α1-protease inhibitor deficiency PiZZ), drug-related hepatitis, hypoxemia of the liver ("passive congestion"), recovering hepatitis, milder degrees of boozing, NASH, cocaine (? at least in mice, maybe people: Arch. Int. Med. 151: 1126, 1991), many cases of hemochromatosis (South. Med. J. 83: 1277, 1990; don't miss this one, either); people who JUST impacted a gallstone in the common bile duct
Remember that overweight people may have slightly elevated AST/ALT "on the basis of obesity".





From what I've learned, it's usually a Fatty Liver. Fatty Liver is totally reversible. A simple ultrasound can usually tell if it in fact a fatty liver. Fatty liver is caused by bad eating habits and/or alcohol.

Now also realize that the normal range for your son's ALT and AST may be much higher than yours and mine. I believe children have much higher levels of this enzyme tho I dunno about teenagers.

I think what is best (for both he and I) is to do the following:

A) Listen to the Doctor's advice.
B) NEVER eat fast food again- EVER.
C) NEVER drink alcohol- for me never again, for him never to start.
D) Calm down and hope for the best. I have read that a person with an ALT of 50 may be no better off than a person with an ALT of 250. Remember the test results are IDIOPATHIC.




Sorry, it helps me to calm down. I'm half talking to me and half to you!



Really though, we shouldn't worry until we have cause to worry. As of now we have only cause for suspicion. :-)
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Avatar_n_tn
They think it's hemochromatosis
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Avatar_n_tn
I am sorry to hear that.  My aunt had this.  She would have to have her blood taken about once a month.  I believe it was more frequent in the beginning though.  She was much older than you when Dx.  She was a heavy drinker, very heavy.  She did well until she develop breast cancer.   The Dr.s decided not to treat her cancer because of all her other problems therefore this is what took her.

I was told that she had this because of her drinking but seems like I read somewhere that this condition is due to genetics.

Good Luck to you.

I hope this isn't the case for you.  Let me know when you hear for sure.
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Avatar_n_tn
Well I go to a specialist today! I'll be really glad to get his take on the situation. I'll let you know, and let me know about your son.
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Avatar_n_tn
We'll do!  We have to wait until the end of December before the second blood test then if levels are still high he'll go to the specialist.  I prefer to skip the waiting and go straight to the specialist.  I would much rather hear sooner than later good or bad.
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317787_tn?1373214989
I know this is old but it is good information and people need information
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