The liver is an organ in the human body with a number of functions, among which the most well-known are those related to the proper functioning of metabolism, food digestion, and detoxification, i.e. the removal of harmful toxins from the body.
Among the diagnostic tests that determine the proper functioning of the liver, the first blood test is certainly the first to find out the values of liver enzymes and their balance. Any values that deviate from the reference values may indicate some liver disease or inflammatory processes and it is important to recognize them in time, but also to treat them appropriately.
Liver enzymes The tests most often determine the values of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT), total and conjugated bilirubin values, as well as values used to assess the synthetic function of the liver, measurement of albumin and coagulation parameters, stated by Marušić et al. Values that are 5-15X elevated are considered mildly and moderately elevated, while values that are elevated more than 15X are considered markedly elevated.What are the reference values of individual liver enzymes? The limit or reference values of liver enzymes are as follows: ALT – men 12-14 U/L, women 10-36 U/L AST – men 11-38 U/L, women 8-30 U/L ALP – men 60-142 U/L, women 54-119 U/L GGT – men 11-55 U/L, women 9-35 U/L Total bilirubin – 5.1-17 mcmol/L Albumins – 40.6-51.4 g/L What can disturbed values of certain liver enzymes mean? Elevated values of ALT and AST enzymes are the first indicators of some liver disease. However, since AST, apart from liver cells, is also found in skeletal and cardiac muscle cells, kidneys, pancreas, erythrocytes and leukocytes, their elevated value alone does not necessarily mean a disturbance in the function and work of the liver. In the case of mild to moderate elevation, the most common cause of elevation is the so-called non-alcoholic liver disease (which includes obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes and hypertension). Among other possible causes of elevation of these enzymes are hepatitis, liver injuries caused by drugs, Wilson's disease, celiac disease, sepsis, mononucleosis, and in the case of a significantly elevated AST value, it is most often alcoholic liver disease and cirrhosis. Among the causes of slight increases in these values can be exercise, thyroid diseases, etc. diseases. Very high elevations of these enzymes can indicate ischemic liver injuries, acute viral causes and toxic liver injuries (paracetamol, mushroom poisoning, etc.). Elevated values of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), if they are present with an increase in other liver values, can be an indicator of a number of liver diseases. However, in the event that only this value of liver findings is elevated, the causes may be other, from pregnancy, metastases, but also a sign of bone growth in adolescents. An elevated value of gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT) also does not only indicate liver diseases, because this enzyme is also found in the kidney, pancreas, prostate, spleen, heart and brain. Therefore, its elevated values, in addition to liver diseases, can be a sign of pancreatic diseases, including diabetes, myocardial infarction, renal failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In the case of regular other liver findings, and elevated GT values, the cause can be any of the mentioned diseases, but also recent excessive consumption of alcohol or drugs. In the case of elevated bilirubin values, the causes can be different, from increased production and impaired absorption and conjugation, and there are a number of diseases and disorders that can be the causes of this. Symptoms of impaired liver enzymes There are a number of symptoms that can be indicators of the existence of some liver disease, and in the background there will be elevated liver enzymes. Among the most common symptoms are: Itching all over the body Fatigue Jaundice Cloudy dark colored urine Skin irregularities, such as acne Digestive problems such as diarrhea or constipation Lack of appetite Gaining weight Anxiety and worry In the case of slightly elevated values of liver enzymes, the doctor usually advises control after 3-6 months, and if necessary, directs further and more detailed diagnostic work-up, which may include abdominal ultrasound and liver biopsy. During the regular annual systematic examination, be sure to ask for a blood test, which will also include liver enzymes. In case of elevated values, consult a doctor, and if necessary, visit a specialist and perform a more detailed analysis and diagnosis. How to improve liver health? Among the natural preparations that stand out in their positive effect on the recovery of liver functions is silymarin, which is found in the extract of sikava seeds. It is considered a natural remedy for alleviating liver function disorders, and its action is such that it prevents the binding of toxic substances to the liver. As they say Féher o cheese. silymarin has been confirmed to have a positive effect in the prevention and treatment of liver disease and liver cancer, but also as a tool that helps prevent the spread of metastases in this type of cancer.
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