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Abnormal liver enzyme

Abnormal liver enzyme detection and estimation provides a comprehensive foundation for the identification of inflammatory diseases associated with the liver. These values are raised when liver cells are damaged. Routine liver function test helps in the estimation and detection of abnormal liver enzymes.


In many cases liver enzyme abnormalities are caused because of hepatocellular injury. This condition results when the liver cells are damaged producing leaky membranes. The intracellular enzymes enter the blood stream as a result of these leaky membranes. The predominant intracellular liver enzymes which are analyzed indicating the hepatocellular damage are aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT). Hepatitis is one of major causes for the hepatocellular damage.


Cholestasis is another condition, resulting in the production of abnormal liver enzymes. It is caused because of biliary obstruction or hepatic infiltration. The resulting enzymes produced because of these conditions include alkaline phosphatase (ALT) and gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT).


Risk factors due to abnormal liver enzymes

The risk factors pertaining to the onset of liver disease are based upon factors such as behavior, medications and systemic illness. The patients categorized based on the behavior include IV drug users, history of multiple sex partners, alcohol abuse and tattoos. The patients categorized based on the medication include acetaminophen and anticonvulsant drug users. Systemic conditions such as diabetes, auto immune diseases, obesity and metastatic cancers are major risk factor indicatives of hepatocellular damage which elevate the abnormal liver enzyme values.


Liver function test

Alanine aminotransferase (ALT): It is also known as serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT) analysis. It helps in the detection of hepatocellular damage due underlying conditions such as hepatitis. The reference range for the ALT test is 9 -72 u/l.

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP): This test used in the detection of biliary obstruction in liver and also bone disorders. The results are correlated with other liver function tests to diagnose liver cell damage. The reference range is 38-126 u/l

Aspartate aminotransferase (AST): AST is also used in the detection of liver cell damage and membrane leakage of the liver cells. The reference range is 8- 50 u/l.

Bilirubin: Bilirubin diagnostic test is administered to detect conditions such as cirrhosis, hepatitis and presence of gall stones. It is predominantly ordered in the case of newborns to detect the incidence of jaundice. The reference range for total bilirubin is 0.2-1.3 mg/dl.

Albumin: Albumin test signifies the presence of liver disorder or nephrotic syndrome. Low albumin levels indicate the presence of liver damage. The reference range is 3.9- 5.0 g/dl.

Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH): LDH values indicate the presence of tissue damage. It is used to detect tissue damage associated liver, kidney and cardiac origins. The reference range for LDH is 313-618 u/l.

Comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP): Comprehensive metabolic panel pertaining to liver disease is very significant in the detection of underlying liver disorders such as hepatitis especially in newborns. It also helps in the identification of liver damage caused because of alcohol consumption.

Gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT): This test acts as a precursor for the estimation of alkaline phosphatase values pertaining to hepatocellular damage and biliary obstruction. GGT and ALP tests are interrelated in case of hepatic and bone disorders.

Total protein: Total protein levels are measured by evaluating the albumin and globulin ratios. The reference range for total protein is 6.3- 8.2 g/dl. The decrease in total protein value indicates the onset of liver or kidney disease.

Statins

Statins are medications that are prescribed to lower high levels of cholesterol. This is done by inhibiting enzyme HMG-CoA reductase; critical to cholesterol production in the liver. While cholesterol comes from diet, it is also manufactured internally in the liver. Since elevated cholesterol is indicated in cardiovascular disease, statins are prescribed for controlling cholesterol levels. In addition to inhibiting cholesterol synthesis, statins play a role in improving endothelial function, maintaining plaque stability and preventing the formation of thrombus.


The typical side-effect of statin is muscle pain, soreness and weakness. Some amount of liver damage might be noticed since it increases the production of certain enzymes. Some might notice nausea, diarrhea or constipation. Many individuals with heart diseases or high cholesterol are looking to switch to natural alternatives to statins or natural statins as they are widely known, to protect themselves from the potential side effects of statins. Foods containing natural statins are fermented soy products, flax seed, fish oil, fibrous grains like oats and barley, fibrous vegetables like beans and carrots, fibrous fruits like apples, avocados and berries.


Antioxidant

The cells of our body need oxygen for metabolism. But when there are excessive oxygen molecules and other free radicals that are formed due to other cellular reactions, they cause infinite damage to the body. These unstable oxygen molecules are referred to as free radicals and they are cited as an important cause for most chronic diseases. These free radicals are highly reactive chemical substances that travel throughout the body. We are also exposed to free radicals in the atmosphere in the form of cigarette smoke and pollution.


Free radicals are known to cause cells to mutate and die. They may have a role to play in the development of cancer cells. Atheriosclerosis is attributed in some part to free radicals that attack blood fats. Free radicals may have a damaging effect on sperm thereby causing infertility and birth defects. They may also be involved in ulcers and other digestive tract disorders, liver damage and reduced resistance to infection and disease. Rheumatoid arthritis and asthma have also been linked to increased free radicals within the body. The process of aging is said to be a result of free radical damage in the body. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun also increases the free-radical load.


Antioxidants work as scavengers of free radicals. When your body has insufficient antioxidants, it can lead to significant damage and disease. Boosting your body's defense mechanism with adequate amounts of natural antioxidants and antioxidant supplements can boost body resilience and reduce chances of disease. Antioxidants can aid in controlling high blood pressure. Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Phytochemicals, Green tea and beta carotene are some well-known antioxidants.

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Bibliography / Reference

Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: September 23, 2019