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Misunderstandings about increasing liver enzymes – VnExpress


Only hepatitis can increase liver enzymes and this is not dangerous, being able to lower liver enzymes with home remedies is a common myth.

Liver enzymes are enzymes that catalyze metabolic reactions. The enzymes AST, ALT, ALP, GGT account for a high percentage in the liver. When liver cells are damaged excessively, they will release these enzymes into the blood, causing an increase in liver enzymes.

Dr. Le Van Diem (Department of General Surgery, Tam Anh General Hospital) said that the normal liver enzyme index is always at the threshold: AST: 20-40 UI/L; ALT: 20-40 UI/L; GGT: 20-40UI/L; Alkaline Phosphatase 30-110 UI/L. When the test shows that the indicators change, higher than the normal level is an increase in liver enzymes. A liver enzyme index that is twice the normal number is mild, from 2 to 5 times is moderate, more than 5 times is severe.

Dr. Diem shared, increasing liver enzymes is a warning sign that liver cells are inflamed or necrotic. If not well controlled, it will progress to hepatitis, cirrhosis, even liver cancer. However, misconceptions about elevated liver enzymes make it difficult to screen for and overlook a good timing of treatment.

Only hepatitis increases liver enzymes

There are 5 types of viruses that cause hepatitis: A, B, C, D, E. When these viruses enter the body, they will destroy liver cells, causing liver enzymes to rise, so many people think that only hepatitis increases the risk of hepatitis. liver enzymes. However, according to a study by the American Academy of Family Physicians, fatty liver accounts for 25-51% of the causes of elevated liver enzymes. Among them, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of elevated liver enzymes.

An increase in liver enzymes is a warning that liver cells are inflamed or necrotic. Image: Shutterstock .

Increased liver enzymes are also caused by excessive alcohol consumption, which damages and reduces liver function. The body tolerates too much food with residues of toxic chemicals, lean substances, bleach, growth drugs, pesticides… also create hepatitis reactions that increase liver enzymes. Patients are at increased risk of liver enzymes when there are diseases such as iron overload, autoimmune hepatitis, malaria or diseases related to the bile (cholecystitis, cholangitis, intrahepatic cholelithiasis, biliary atresia) congenital, biliary abscess)…

According to Dr. Diem, although the mechanism of increasing liver enzymes causing liver cell destruction is very complicated, there is still an important link that is the overactivity of kupffer cells. When kupffer cells are activated, they will produce many inflammatory substances, causing more liver cell death, accelerating the inflammatory process and hepatocellular necrosis, causing unstoppable damage to the liver and increasing liver enzymes.

Elevated liver enzymes are not dangerous

Many people believe that elevated liver enzymes are not dangerous and the body can adjust itself to normal liver enzymes. However, the higher the liver enzymes, the more severe the liver damage. High liver enzymes report mass destruction of liver cells, causing acute hepatitis, hepatic coma, chronic hepatitis, biliary obstruction, pancreatitis… If no timely adjustment measures are taken, high Too much liver enzymes can be life-threatening.

Liver enzymes that are twice higher than normal are not immediately dangerous, so they can be improved. During this period, if you drink a lot of alcohol, the amount of acetaldehyde in alcohol can destroy liver cells very strongly. The GGT enzyme in the blood is often elevated in people with alcoholic hepatitis, because it is directly proportional to the amount of alcohol the patient has consumed. If liver enzymes increase abnormally due to mass death of liver cells, it will increase the risk of spontaneous mutations leading to liver cancer.

Can lower liver enzymes with liver cooling products at home

Dr. Diem shared, when liver enzymes are increased, some people are worried about arbitrarily taking Oriental medicine, Southern medicine to cool the liver, purify and lower liver enzymes, which have not been proven, overshadowing the symptoms of the disease, making the disease worse. silently aggravating. When diagnosed with elevated liver enzymes, it means that liver cells have been damaged. Self-medication without a doctor’s prescription is counterproductive, increasing pressure on the liver, causing liver damage and weakness. Currently, there are more than 900 medicinal and toxic products that have been reported to cause liver damage.

Arbitrarily using unproven Ayurvedic medicines can cause more liver damage.  Photo: Shutterstock.

Arbitrarily using unproven Ayurvedic medicines can cause more liver damage. Image: Shutterstock.

“In order to safely and effectively lower liver enzymes, it is necessary to affect the pathogenesis of the disease, to solve the root cause of the disease. Well control kupffer cells within a safe threshold with natural herbs such as Wasabia and S. Marianum is considered a scientific solution to contribute to preventing agents that damage the liver, thereby helping damaged liver cells to recover,” said Dr.

Nguyen Diem

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