Tests showing elevated liver enzymes may indicate a serious liver issue or be the result of certain medications such as antibiotics or over-the-counter pain relief medication.
Your liver enzymes are proteins vital to the functioning of the liver. If the liver cells are damaged or inflamed, the liver enzymes reading will be high.
To maintain good overall health, it is important to understand how to lower liver enzymes if they become elevated.
Your liver, gallbladder, and pancreas work together to maintain absorption, digestion, and the processing of food. As the bodycessing ot organ, the liver is responsible for filtering toxins from the blood stream, producing bile, and storing glucose for our energy. In fact, our liver is involved in hundreds of functions within our body.
Why Should We Keep Liver Enzymes Low?
The functioning of our liver depends on the protein enzymes in it. There are two main types, ALT and AST. Med Health reports ALT, or alanine aminotransferase, levels should be at seven to 56 units per liter of serum with aspartate aminotransferase, or AST, at five to 40 units per liter of serum. Normal ranges may vary based on the lab, but in general, these ranges indicate a healthy liver with no damage. Elevated levels of these enzymes are passed through the bloodstream and affect other areas of our system, leading to serious health conditions.
High Liver Enzymes Causes and Symptoms
Elevated liver enzymes can lead to various serious health conditions. In turn, high liver enzyme levels can also be attributed to the following causes.
- Medications such as cholesterol drugs, pain relievers, and certain antibiotic, anti-seizure, cardiovascular, and antidepressant prescriptions
- Alcohol use
- Heart failure
- Hepatitis A, B, C
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- Celiac disease
- Wilson diseaseat
- Liver cancer
- Epstein-Barr virus
- Inflammation of any organ
Symptoms of elevated enzyme levels can mimic other health issues, and it is vital to seek medical attention if you suffer from any one of these symptoms.
- Pain in upper or lower right region of chest
- Brown patches on skin
- Urine color change
- Loss of sex drive
- Mental health changes
How to Lower Liver Enzymes
There are various natural treatments as options if you have been diagnosed with elevated enzyme levels. . However, please talk to your doctor before adding any herbs or supplements to your diet. We will discuss 10 of the more effective and common lifestyle changes.
1. Limit Alcohol Intake
In order to process alcohol, your liver has to work overtime to filter the toxin from your system.
If you drink excessively, it could lead to liver damage as it secretes high liver enzymes into the bloodstream.
While the best solution is to avoid alcohol, those who enjoy a drink should limit themselves to eight glasses per week.
2. Be Drug Cautious
Over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs can increase the enzyme levels in your liver. Certain pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen taken over an extended period of time can damage the liver. The pain blockers in these medications can hide liver damage symptoms. If you also consume alcohol, the damage can be more severe and appear quicker. Certain prescribed medications can also cause liver damage.
3. Avoid Harmful Environments
Aside from the usual suspects of tobacco and pollution, there are various toxins your body encounters on a daily basis. Coming in contact with perfumes, chemical cleaning supplies, paint, and even some hygiene products can affect your liver. Use natural products whenever possible to avoid exposure to dangerous ingredients.
4. No Processed Food Consumption
We all love to treat ourselves with processed meats, box meals, salty treats, and sugar snacks from time to time. It’s when it becomes part of our regular diet that it can endanger our liver enzymes count. Consume fresh vegetables and fruit to cleanse your liver and avoid foods of chemical processing.
5. Eat Organic
It may be a little more costly at the cash register, but in the long run, it can not only save your prescription medication costs but also your life. Shop along the outer wall in your local store to choose the fresh produce. Avoid any food with added preservatives. By eating healthy, your liver enzymes count will lower as will your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Take daily supplements such as coenzyme Q10 and vitamin B12 to flush the toxins out of the liver. You can also use over-the-counter prebiotics.
7. Add Fish Oils to Your Diet
We all know by now we need to incorporate omega-3 fatty acids into our daily diet. Our liver produces triglycerides; however, too much of this substance can cause inflammation and disease of our liver. Salmon, tuna, and flaxseed oil contain the fatty acids we need to maintain lower liver enzyme levels as well as triglycerides.
8. Use Herbs
Like us, our liver needs a time out break occasionally and the best way to lower liver enzymes levels is to detoxify the liver. Milk thistle and dandelion have been said to aid in this process. Milk thistle may even repair and protect the liver from toxins.
9. Choose White Meat
We need protein; however, the liver must again work overtime when it comes to red meat due to its high protein count. If there is an abundant amount of protein, the body stores what the liver cannot process, leading to an array of diseases. Chicken, turkey, and fish are the best sources for protein.
10. Talk with a Nutritionist
To get off to a great start with your healthy lifestyle, talk to a professional who can help guide you. There are so many choices when it comes to knowing what to eat to lower liver enzymes levels and maintain good health.
As the body’s main filtering organ, the liver protects us from harmful toxic substances. In turn, we must do what we can to protect it. Our liver enzymes are responsible for the normal functioning process of our liver. There are many ways to make changes in your everyday lifestyle to ensure healthy liver enzyme levels. Seek professional help through a nutritionist to make dietary changes smooth. If you are concerned about your liver health, talk to your doctor. Checking your liver enzyme levels requires a few simple tests and can ensure a healthy lifestyle for you and your loved ones.
- How to Lower Liver Enzymes
- Home Remedies for Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
- Top 10 Foods to Cleanse Your Liver
“How to Lower Liver Enzymes,” Med Health; http://www.med-health.net/How-to-Lower-Liver-Enzymes.html, last accessed January 31, 2017.
“Elevated Liver Enzymes,” Mayo Clinic; http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/elevated-liver-enzymes/basics/causes/sym-20050830, last accessed January 31, 2017.