13 Common Causes of Elevated Liver Enzymes You Shouldn’t Ignore

Elevated liver enzymes are a tell-tale sign of something wrong with the liver. But elevated liver enzymes can also be caused by other diseases and conditions, so you must see a doctor if you have them. Many diseases can contribute to elevated liver enzymes, including hepatitis, fatty liver disease, alcohol abuse, and certain medications. 

One common symptom of elevated liver enzymes is fatigue. Fatigue happens when the liver cannot produce enough energy for the body to function correctly. Another symptom of elevated liver enzymes is jaundice or yellowing of the skin and eyes. Jaundice happens when the liver cannot process bilirubin, a waste product produced when red blood cells break down. Elevated liver enzymes can also cause itching, dark urine, and pain in the upper right side of the abdomen. 

Treatment for elevated liver enzymes depends on the underlying cause. For example, if the cause is hepatitis or fatty liver disease, treatment may include medication, weight loss, and avoiding alcohol. Treatment may consist of detoxification and counseling if the reason is alcohol abuse. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent further damage to the liver and other organ systems. Here are the top causes of elevated liver enzymes.

Statins and acetaminophen

Elevated liver enzymes can be a side effect of taking statins or acetaminophen. Statins inhibit the enzyme that is needed for cholesterol synthesis, and this same enzyme is also involved in liver function. When too much acetaminophen is taken, it can overwhelm the liver and cause damage. The liver is responsible for metabolizing these medications, and enzymes are released into the bloodstream when it does. 

If the levels of these enzymes become elevated, it can indicate that the liver is not functioning correctly. In some cases, elevated liver enzymes can lead to liver damage or failure. 

To avoid this, it is crucial to take statins and acetaminophen as directed by a healthcare professional. Doing so will help ensure that the liver is not overloaded and that enzyme levels remain safe. In addition, regular monitoring by a healthcare provider can help to identify any potential problems early on. If a person takes statins or acetaminophen and has elevated liver enzymes, it is essential to talk to your doctor as soon as possible.