What are liver enzymes?
The liver releases several substances when it is damaged. Two of these substances are enzymes called ALT (alanine transaminase) and aspartate transaminase (AST).
What causes high ALT+AST levels?
There are many factors that lead to a slight increase in ALT+AST levels. AST levels. The most common reasons are:
* Fatty liver disease (NAFLD) - a condition in which the liver has too much fatty tissue.
* Alcoholic liver disease - alcohol is known to cause short-term and long-term damage to the liver.
* Infectious diseases - such as hepatitis B or C
* Metabolic diseases - such as hemochromatosis in which there is excessive storage of iron in the liver.
* Medicines and food supplements without a prescription.
What are the symptoms?
In the case of a moderate increase in liver enzymes, there are usually no symptoms.
What will the doctor do?
Your doctor will ask you questions and perform a physical exam.
He may perform additional blood tests, and perform an ultrasound examination of the liver and upper abdomen.
What is the treatment?
The treatment depends on the cause of the increase in liver enzymes.
If it is a fatty liver - then a lifestyle change must be made - a healthy diet low in fat and carbohydrates, exercise, weight loss. Adhering to a healthy lifestyle often solves the fatty liver problem.
In the case of alcoholic liver - alcohol consumption must be avoided completely in order to prevent irreversible damage to the liver.
In certain situations, where no explanation is found for the increased levels of liver enzymes, and the laboratory picture does not change over time, it may be necessary to take a sample from the liver (biopsy).