What are the causes of a high liver enzyme count?


Quick Answer

Alcohol consumption, heart failure and certain prescription drugs may cause a high liver enzyme count, according to Mayo Clinic. A high liver enzyme count often indicates leakage of high amounts of liver enzymes into the bloodstream due to liver damage or inflammation.

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Full Answer

Pain relief medications, anti-seizure drugs and antibiotics may cause increased levels of liver enzymes, reports MedicineNet. High liver enzyme count may also be a result of cardiovascular drugs, antidepressants and drugs that lower cholesterol levels. In such cases, the levels of liver enzymes in the bloodstream often return to normal a few weeks or months after the patient stops taking the medication.

Excessive consumption of alcohol may cause elevated levels of liver enzymes, states the American Academy of Family Physicians. Other causes are nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Hemochromatosis is a genetic disorder in which the body absorbs excessive amounts of iron and deposits it in organs such as the liver, and this may cause an increase in liver enzyme levels.

Less common causes of an elevated liver enzyme count are alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, autoimmune hepatitis and Wilson disease, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Causes that are not related to the liver include thyroid disorders, celiac disease and muscle disorders.

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