The liver is an extremely important organ of the body and it has many functions. If you have just had a blood test, you may be wondering what high liver enzyme in blood test may indicate. Unfortunately high liver enzyme levels can occur due to several reasons, including an infection or cancer. In order to diagnose the results, the doctor will take into account the accompanying symptoms and then make a diagnosis. Just by looking at the high liver enzyme, the doctor will never make a diagnosis.
The liver is the biggest organ in the body. It plays a vital role in metabolism, digestion, synthesis of proteins, and detoxification of the body. In addition, it is responsible for secreting bile that helps to digest fats. The bile is stored within the gallbladder and hence, high levels of liver enzymes could also mean that there is a problem within the gallbladder. Also, the liver had a role to play in the immune system.
In order for the various bodily functions to perform properly, the liver has to work properly. Hence, high levels of liver enzymes could also indicate a problem in some other organ of the body. High liver enzymes can also result from infection or swelling of the liver itself, the gallbladder or the bile duct as it could mean that the person is suffering from cancer, cirrhosis of the liver or congestive heart failure.
There different kinds of liver enzymes and some of them that are usually found elevated are listed below:
Alanine transaminase can be high when the cells of the liver sustain damage due to an illness or injury. In case, there is no sign of damage to the cells, the increased levels of this enzyme could be due to an infection, or possible overdose of a drug that is broken down in the liver.
Aspartate transaminase is another liver enzyme that can show high levels due to damage. Here, if the enzyme is increased in levels, it could mean that there is a problem in the brain, kidneys, skeletal muscles or the heart. In case the level of aspartate transaminase is high and that of alanine transaminase is low, then the possibility of liver problem is ruled out. However, if both enzymes are elevated, then there is a problem in the liver.
Alkaline phosphatase is usually in high levels among pregnant women as well as kids. However, in other people high levels of alkaline phosphatase means that the bile duct is blocked or inflamed, the gallbladder is inflamed, or the person is suffering from a liver tumor, hepatitis or cirrhosis.
Gamma glutamyl transpeptidase is another enzyme from the liver. High levels of this enzyme mean that the person could be suffering from blockage of the bile duct, cirrhosis, hepatitis or tumor in the liver. This enzyme can also be raised if a person takes certain prescription medications, drinks excessive alcohol or is suffering from congestive heart failure.
Total and direct bilirubin is an indication that the person is suffering from jaundice. When the total bilirubin is high, checking the direct bilirubin can tell the doctor what the issue is. However, if the direct bilirubin levels are normal, then the person could be suffering from hepatitis or cirrhosis. However, if both total and direct bilirubin are high, then there is a problem with gallbladder or the bile duct.
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