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What causes high liver enzymes?

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Quick Answer

Causes of high liver enzymes include statin drugs, alcohol consumption, obesity, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and over-the-counter pain medications, according to Mayo Clinic. Less common causes of elevated liver enzymes include mononucleosis, autoimmune hepatitis and celiac disease.

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Full Answer

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease occurs when excess fat builds up in liver cells that is not a result of alcohol consumption, notes the American Liver Foundation. People who develop the condition are typically overweight or have diabetes, high triglycerides or high cholesterol. Patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease often have no symptoms, or have symptoms that include weight loss, fatigue and loss of appetite.

Mononucleosis is an infectious disease that is typically caused by the herpes virus Epstein-Barr, explains Cleveland Clinic. The disease usually causes symptoms in teenagers and young adults, with patients experiencing a sore throat, fever, headache, loss of appetite and white patches in the throat.

Autoimmune hepatitis is a chronic disease in which the body's immune system attacks healthy liver cells, states the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Doctors do not know the exact cause of this condition but believe environmental and genetic factors contribute to its development. Symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis include joint pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, dark urine and skin rashes.

Celiac disease is also an autoimmune disorder in which the body's immune system attacks the intestinal lining as a response to gluten in the body, reports Cleveland Clinic. Doctors do not know the cause of this condition, but a gluten-free diet significantly improves a patient's symptoms, which include digestive problems, anemia, seizures and growth problems.

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