It is true when people say that excess of anything in life can be harmful to us. This is true for materialistic objects in the real world and it is true for all the things in our body as well.
Enzymes are produced by our body and if our body goes into an overload system, it might end up creating too many enzymes which lead to enhanced enzyme levels. This may sound good because the more the merrier, right? Well, no. In the medical world, everything has to be present in a balanced ratio and excess can be dangerous for our body.
Elevated enzyme levels can be extremely dangerous for us in the long run. An analysis of elevated liver enzymes in Acute Medical Setting found that among 378 patients, 26% percent, which means a 100 of the patients died within 30 days of getting diagnosed for high liver enzyme levels. Carelessness and disregarding it can lead to death in a worst-case scenario.
Can stress cause elevated liver enzymes? Well, down below you can find answers to that, and other questions like can dehydration cause elevated liver enzymes, what can cause liver enzymes to be elevated, symptoms of elevated liver enzymes, and lots more.
Table of Contents
What Are Enzymes?
For people who are new to medical lingo, let’s first try to understand what enzymes are, how they function in our body, and why we need them.
First off, you need to know that a human body is very complex and there are thousands and thousands of chemical reactions going on at every second. These chemical reactions are a crucial part of our body and without the body will be unable to function properly and one might die. Some most common chemical reactions that take place in our body are digestion, respiration, decomposition, precipitation, etc. Even though precipitation cannot kill us but it is still very essential as without sweating your body can heat up resulting in fatal conditions.
Now that we know how essential these chemical reactions are, you should know what all chemical reactions need some sort of activation energy to complete the chemical reactions. This activation energy is provided to the body by enzymes.
Enzymes are catalysts in our body which help in speeding up the process of chemical reactions. There is a certain amount of activation energy needed by the body for each chemical reaction and catalysts help in providing said energy.
Symptoms Of Elevated Liver Enzymes
Knowing the symptoms of certain diseases and problems is extremely crucial as it can help one in detection. If you can spot an issue at an earlier stage, you will be better equipped for finding a solution for it. With the basics of enzymes covered, let’s take a look at the symptoms of elevated liver enzymes.
The basic thing about elevated enzyme levels is that there are no specific symptoms to spot it out. The only way doctors can find out if one has elevated enzyme levels is by the help of a blood test. In a blood test, among many other things enhanced enzyme levels can be found.
Doctors do blood tests for several reasons. Liver enzyme tests checks are also ordered for the following types of patients:
1. Liver Diseases Genes
All patients who seem to have parents or other close relatives with liver diseases are asked to go through an enzyme level checkup test. Since this is a disease that can be passed through genetics, these patients are the top priority doctors to ask for a test. Liver diseases can stem from high levels of liver enzymes hence once doctors can detect the high level of enzymes, they can start on the next step of figuring out how the liver is malfunctioning.
2. Overweight People
Being overweight or obese has also made various effects on the liver. People with weight problems on a higher scale are known to be vulnerable to high enzyme level risk by a factor of two to three.
3. Alcoholics And Drug Abusers
Consuming large amounts of alcohol and drugs can be extremely harmful to the liver. Similarly, using other sorts of drugs on a bigger scale can result in the liver getting damaged at a drastic speed. People suffering from alcohol and drug abuse are the most vulnerable to liver diseases. Hence, these types of people are also asked to get checked for elevated levels of enzyme levels.
4. Diabetic Patients
Moreover, diabetic patients also have a high amount of liver enzymes present in their bodies. In the recently discovered rare type 2 of diabetes, patients have shown a drastic increase in enzyme levels. Getting them checked is now a step of the process by various doctors all over the world to make sure that enzyme levels aren’t harming diabetic patients.
5. Fatty Liver Disease
People suffering from fatty liver disease are also more likely to be instructed by doctors to get their enzyme levels checked. This is pretty much the same as alcoholics. The reason for the similarity between the two is that alcoholics tend to get a lot of fat on their liver which leads to this disease. With an increase of fat in certain parts of the liver, there are high chances of elevated liver enzyme levels.
6. Hepatitis Patients
Patients of hepatitis are also immediately checked for enzyme levels. They are the most vulnerable to a high level of enzymes in the body. There is also an increase in the enzyme levels of these people because, in such a disease, the liver is damaged the most. The liver is bound to malfunction in hepatitis since it is usually inflamed or there is swelling. This malfunction leads to increased levels of liver enzymes.
What Can Cause Liver Enzymes To Be Elevated
There are tons of things that can cause an increase in liver enzyme levels. Since the liver is a very sensitive organ of the body, any sort of mishandling and mistreatment of it can result in liver damage and this consequently, liver enzymes increase at an astonishing rate.
Before you try to find a solution for it on its own, we would like to suggest you not to take any harsh steps. It is in your best interest to go to a doctor and find out the causes through a professional method instead of guessing them. This guessing of the causes can also turn into self-medication which is a serious no-no.
Now, let’s take a look at the main causes of liver enzymes to be elevated.
1. Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol is said to be the worst enemy of the liver. Since it is consumed on a huge scale by a majority of the population, it is important to know that consumption of alcohol on even a moderate scale can affect your liver in the long run as well. Various studies have proved that consuming alcohol and making it a part of your diet has shown an increase in the level of liver enzymes.
2. Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is when the body and the digestive system is extremely sensitive to gluten. IF there is an overdose in the intake of gluten then there can be a disruption in enzyme levels. This disruption is usually in the form of a drastic increase. A way sugge\sted to lessen these enzymes is by finding a solution for the gluten problem. The most evident and easy solution right now is to work on changing your diet and cutting out gluten.
3. Over The Counter Medications
In recent times, there has been an increase in people opting for over-the-counter medications to find a quick solution for their pains and aches. This quick solution, even though comes at a speedy rate but is still temporary and can have many adverse effects on the body and mainly on the liver. With recent studies, it has been proved that these drugs can cause an increase in liver enzymes and further make a contribution to destroying your liver and your body.
Hepatitis is a disease of the liver in which the liver becomes inflamed and there is a huge amount of swelling. Damage to the tissues causes the inflammation and swelling and hence there is lots of harm done to the liver. Now, when the liver is damaged because of tears in the tissues or inflammation, the liver cells spill out the enzymes into the blood. This blood when tested gets sparked up as full of enzymes. Hence, hepatitis is a huge factor in high levels of liver enzymes.
5. Wilson’s Disease
Wilson’s disease, even though not very common but still has caused major turbulence in the lives of the people who suffered from it. In Wilson’s disease, excessive amounts of copper are stored in various parts of the body, specifically in the liver. This excessive amount in turn results in a large number of liver enzymes also being produced simultaneously. This copper excretion can last more than 6 months for asymptomatic people.
What Medications Can Cause Liver Enzymes To Be Elevated?
As mentioned above, there are countless over the top medications which are easily found in stores. The easy availability of these medications means that a lot more people are opting for it to get a quick release. This quick release can harm a lot in the long term. We’ve made a list below of some drugs you should avoid taking excessively.
It is also important to know that antidepressants can have various side effects as well. Among many others, an increase in liver enzymes is also a side effect. Before you start on an antidepressant, your docs should know of all your personal health history. This way he will make sure not to suggest medicine which will be harmful to other areas of your body.
Can Dehydration Cause Elevated Liver Enzymes?
Water is essential and is needed by our bodies if we want to survive. The survival of water is so crucial that lack of it can not only cause death because of thirst but there can be other various minor and major changes in the body. One such change can be in the level of enzymes of the liver. The need for the liver for water for smooth functioning has been highlighted to all of us since the beginning of time. Dehydration has been shown to result in higher levels of the liver enzyme in the blood.
Some Natural Ways To Bring down High Enzyme Levels
Through this article, it must have been made clear to you that high enzyme levels can be harmful to the body. One needs to make sure that they are taking all the precautions needed to lower these levels. In order to avoid a lot of complications and medical processes, it is smart to start with some home remedies. None of these home remedies have any drugs involved so you don’t have to worry about the dangers and uncertainties of self mediation.
1. Caffeine Intake
For all the coffee lovers out there, caffeine can be your best friend in this mission to work on lowering the liver enzyme. There have been many studies showing that the amount of all liver-based diseases have been lesser for coffee drinkers as opposed to those who don’t drink coffee. Furthermore to be more specific, coffee also helps in altering and lessening ALT levels.
2. Folic Acid Intake
Folic acid is said to be wonderful for the liver. It can help in strengthening the liver and chance to save you from any future diseases and problems related to lovers. There are lots of food items that you can consume to increase your folic acid intake. It is also advised to take it slow. Green vegetables such as lettuce, asparagus, spinach. It can also be found in excess in beef liver. Eat avocados, Brussel sprouts, and folic acid supplements of lower mg to lower your ALT levels.
3. Working On Weight
Being obese or even overweight can be harmful. As mentioned fatty liver diseases are one of the core causes of elevated liver enzymes. The best way to lessen the risk of ALt is by making sure that there is no excess fat in the body. This excess fat will also be removed and stripped from the liver and thus, consequently avoiding any liver issues.
4. Workout Diligently
After reading the above-mentioned point, it is easy to understand why working out can help lower ALT levels. Firstly, it will help you in keeping control of your weight, avoid getting overweight or obese, and thus stop any unnecessary fat from sabotaging your liver. Secondly, everyone is aware of how exercise is hugely beneficial to the body. Studies have shown that any sort of pf physical activity, even ones at a lower level can help those suffering from liver diseases.
5. Less Alcohol and Drug Consumption
Alcohol is the biggest item ever known to destroy the liver. For anyone already suffering from high levels of the enzyme, abstinence is the only sure-shot way of reducing them. Still though, for all those people who want to stay away from liver issues, less consumption is a great tip. Don’t worry, no one here is asking you to completely quit on these things. What you should know is that as mentioned above, anything excessive can be harmful. There is no doubt that these items are okay to consume but what one has to keep in mind is to make sure that they don’t opt for it every day.
This is not just limited to drinking but to smoking as well.
How Long Does It Take For Elevated Liver Enzymes To Return To Normal?
The amount of time taken by the body to lessen the levels of the liver enzyme depends on how the levels increased in the first place. For those people who have faced the issue of elevated liver enzymes because of alcohol consumption, it took around a continuous 2 to 6 weeks for the levels to lessen. BUT, it is important to know that this only happened because of abstinence. In a case where there is no abstinence from alcohol consumption, there are very thin chances of the levels lowering.
Moving to those people who faced elevating levels of liver enzymes because of hepatitis or other diseases, their time frame is a bit different. Since the reason behind the creation of so many enzymes and the treatment was different, the time taken for recovery or for the elevated liver enzymes to return to normal can take more time. Specifically, in the case of acute Hepatitis, it takes around 3-6 months for the levels to lessen. Furthermore, be warned that since the disease is of a bigger scale, they may stay high for 1-2 months.
The liver is an integral yet sensitive organ of the body. Any sort of careless behavior and mistreatment can lead to long term consequences. Get in touch with your doctor and try to get a detailed insight into the underlying cause of the higher enzyme levels. Once you have yourself diagnosed with something, then only you should proceed on working to make it better.
The tips mentioned above to work on lowering ALT levels will not be dangerous as there are no elements or tricks of self medication involved. All we have given you is a set of tips that can be helpful for you in daily life as well. For all those of you who do not have high ALT levels should still make dietary changes and try to stick to a healthier routine. This is the best and the easiest way to avoid any future mishaps.