Q:

Can liver enzymes be too elevated?

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Quick Answer

Elevated liver enzyme levels are a possible indicator of many conditions, such as heart failure, hepatitis A, B or C, obesity, or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, according to Mayo Clinic. Other causes of high liver enzyme levels include celiac disease, cirrhosis, use of over-the-counter medications and drinking alcohol.

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Full Answer

Since there are so many possible reasons for elevated liver enzyme levels, doctors must closely examine each patient in order to determine the cause of the elevated levels, explains Mayo Clinic. Doctors may order additional tests performed, inquire about patients' symptoms and analyze patients' use of medications in order to arrive at a diagnosis. In many cases, elevated liver enzymes are a temporary condition and do not indicate a serious health ailment.

Two specific liver enzymes, aspartate transaminase and alanine transaminase, are generally measured in blood tests, according to MedicineNet. The normal level for aspartate transaminase is between 5 and 40 units per liter of serum, and the normal level for alanine transaminase is between 7 and 56 units per liter of serum. High levels of either liver enzyme do not necessarily indicate that the liver is not functioning properly. They are simply an indication of inflammation or damage to the liver.

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