Q:

What happens if you have low liver enzymes?

A:

Quick Answer

Low liver enzymes in the blood are usually an indicator of a healthy liver, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. It is possible, however, for an individual to show normal levels of liver enzymes while liver damage is present. Additional medical testing will often reveal this damage.

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Full Answer

Liver enzyme blood testing is used to check levels of liver enzymes including ALT, AST and alkaline phosphatase, according to WebMD. Additional liver function testing includes a blood test to determine PT, INR, albumin and bilirubin levels. These diagnostic tools are critical for health care providers to detect inflammation and damage to the liver. The tests are also an indicator of how well the liver is filtering and processing blood, metabolizing nutrients, producing blood clotting substances and detoxifying toxic substances in the body.

AST, or aspartate aminotransferase, is a liver enzyme found in muscles and other tissues throughout the body. It is often referred to as SGOT. ALT, or alanine aminotransferase, is another liver enzyme sometimes referred to as SGPT. Akaline phosphatase is the most commonly tested liver enzyme, according to WebMD. Elevated levels of this protein can be an indicator of slow or blocked bile flow.

Additional diagnostic testing used to detect liver problems, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, includes ultrasound, CAT scans, MRI and liver biopsies.

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