Elevated liver enzymes: Causes, symptoms, and treatment

By: Bel Marra Health | Liver | Saturday, October 15, 2016 - 09:30 AM

Elevated liver enzymes: Causes, symptoms, and treatmentOur liver is an important organ that is responsible for many functions in the body. When it becomes damaged, we feel ill, but symptoms may often be confused with other illnesses.

Elevated liver enzymes may indicate a problem with the liver. When the liver is inflamed, it releases more chemicals than normal, which can be seen in a blood test.

You can lower elevated liver enzymes naturally, but first let’s examine elevated liver enzymes and what they mean for your health.

Common liver enzymes are alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST). Normal levels of ALT should be five to 40 units per liter of serum. Normal levels of AST are seven to 56 units per liter of serum. These enzymes are biomarkers doctors use to determine the health of the liver. The doctors use a blood panel to measure the levels.

Causes and symptoms of high liver enzymes

Elevated liver enzymes could reveal an underlying medical condition or be caused by a pre-existing one. Causes of elevated liver enzymes include:

Symptoms of elevated liver enzymes may not be specific to the liver, meaning, you probably won’t feel pain on the liver. Symptoms are in relation to the cause, for example, if celiac disease is the cause, symptoms may include gas and abdominal pain after consuming gluten.

Tips to lower elevated liver enzymes

A healthy diet can work wonders on the liver, just like how a bad diet can harm it. When we consume fatty foods and alcohol, these get processed in the liver, making it work harder. When we eat liver-friendly foods, the liver doesn’t have to work as hard and can continue to keep us healthy.

If you want a healthy liver and want to reduce elevated liver enzymes, cut down on your alcohol intake, or eliminate it completely. Stay away from processed, fatty, and sugary food items as these weigh heavily on the liver. Red meat, spices, and oil should also be limited, as these, too, can impact the liver negatively.

You can also adjust your diet to help lower your liver enzymes. Make sure you drink enough water. Below is a list of foods you should incorporate into your diet in order to lower elevated liver enzymes.

  • Foods high in antioxidants
  • Foods high in fiber
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Cruciferous vegetables

Avoid foods that can harm your liver. Instead, opt for fruits and vegetables and lean sources of protein. Eating healthy can help lower elevated liver enzymes and protect your liver in the long run.

Infographic: Understanding Elevated Liver Enzymes

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