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Question:

Causes of Elevated liver enzymes

Dear Ask The Doctor:
Can chronic constipation cause elevated liver enzymes? what are the causes of elevated liver enzymes and How would you reccomned they be investigated?


Answer:

Typically chronic constipation cannot lead to elevated liver enzymes however it could signify the presence of a condition which is characterised by increased liver enzymes. The main liver enzymes are AST and ALT. These get elevated in different conditions which can either be prehepatic ( conditions leading to problems with bilirubin uptake by the liver), hepatic ( problems in the liver it self) or post hepatic ( conditions which lead to obstruction of flow of bilirubin from the liver )
Some of the conditions in which we see increased liver enzymes are viral hepatitis ( both acute and chronic), Blood disorders , Alcoholism which affets the liver cells, Drug induced liver problems,Biliary tract obsruction either due to stones or cancer etc.
It is important to further investigate the cause and this is done by carrying out tests keeping in mind what the patients symptoms are and thus what could be leading to the increased enzymes. Some of the tests that are done are viral serology, Serum bilirubin levels, Ultrasound of the abdomen etc. Hope this helps answer your query.


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