Liver is an integral part of the gastrointestinal system as it helps in digestion of lipids and fats. Liver also plays a vital role in elimination of various toxins from the blood and helps in purification of the blood. There can be several conditions that can lead to elevated liver enzymes, which in principle are indicative of poorly functioning liver.
What Causes High Levels Of Liver Enzymes?
There are a host of causes that are responsible for high liver enzymes. Some of the common causes include the following,
- Infective hepatitis namely Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C contribute to elevated liver enzymes.
- Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to fatty degeneration of liver tissues, leading to elevated liver enzymes.
- Over use of certain over the counter drugs like NSAIDs or long term usage of prescription medications like statins also contribute to the onset of this condition.
- Celiac disease which is characterized by damage to the small intestine due to gluten is another associated condition.
- Viral infections caused by Cytomegalovirus and Epstien- Barr virus also lead to elevated liver enzymes.
- Other associated conditions include dermatomyositis (condition characterized by muscular weakness), cholecystitis (inflammation of the gall bladder), hemochromatosis (condition associated with excessive storage of iron in the body), hypothyroidism, mononucleosis (infectious condition), muscular dystrophy (condition associated with degeneration of muscle tissue and muscular weakness) and pancreatitis.
Natural Ways To Lower Elevated Liver Enzymes?
Here are some useful tips that can help lower the levels of liver enzymes in the blood. While these tips are generally helpful, it is essential to consult your physician before attempting any of them,
- Limit the use of over the counter NSAIDs and other drugs that may impact the liver health. Alternatively use home remedies like turmeric and garlic, which are considered to have potent anti-inflammatory action and also act as natural pain relievers.
- Try to eat as much organic food as possible. Organic food implies that fruits and vegetables are grown naturally and free from chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers, while animal products include dairy, meat and eggs are free from artificial boosters like antibiotics and growth hormones.
- Eliminate refined sugars and processed foods from your diet. Avoid hydrogenated oils and instead use olive or coconut oil to cook food. Also limit the intake of proteins to simple foods like lean meat and chicken, which are easier to digest.
- Include flax seed in your diet which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and helps to improve liver function. Herbs like dandelion root and milk thistle are considered to help liver detoxify and improve its functioning. Vitamin B12 and Coenzyme Q10 can help strengthen and rebuild hepatic cells.
- Avoid the consumption of alcohol and stay away from cigarette smoke. It is also essential to stay away from environmental toxins like fumes, paints and perfumes.
- Use natural skin care products, especially since some of the chemicals or toxins can be absorbed through the pores of the skin and can result in additional strain on the liver.
These tips are helpful to lower the levels of liver enzymes; however it is essential to monitor the functioning of the hepatic system by undertaking liver function tests at least once in six months.