When the liver is stressed in any way, such as inflammation, acute viral infection, cancer, hepatitis B or C, etc., certain enzymes leak into the blood stream. Pharmaceutical and herbal drugs can cause liver disease with very high levels of AST and ALT. An overdose of acetaminophen (Tylenol) can lead to liver failure. Antibiotics, antiseizure medication, statins, and other medication can lead to drug-induced liver enzyme elevation. Certain herbal supplements, such as kava and comfrey, can raise liver enzymes as well.
In AI diseases, the most common cause is inflammation.
There are certain muscle enzymes that are often measured when a liver enzyme elevation is suspected. Doctors will draw blood to measure the level of ALT and AST. If these are elevated it often indicates that they are leaking from from a damaged muscle, or muscles, often indicating a neuromuscular disorder (a disorder that affects the nervous system and the muscles). Doctors will also often check the levels of creatine kinase, another muscle enzyme that is found in the skeletal muscles, heart and brain.
Certain types of hepatitis (viral infection that affects the liver), A, B and C, can cause elevated muscle enzymes. Autoimmune hepatitis and alcoholic hepatitis can also cause this condition. Several other medical conditions can also cause elevated muscle enzymes, such as hypothyroidism, cirrhosis, hemochromatosis, celiac disease, muscular dystrophy, cytomegalovirus, mononucleosis, liver cancer, Epstein-Barr Virus, liver cancer, an inflamed gallbladder, dermatomyositis and heart attack.
As I mentioned earlier, trauma, medications, drugs and obesity can cause elevated muscle enzymes. Some medications that cause this condition include colchicine, nondepolarizing muscle relaxers with high doses of corticosteroids, antimalarials, niacin, penicillamine, fibrates, zidovudine and statins. Drugs that can cause elevated liver enzymes include cocaine and alcohol, particularly when they are abused.
Testing patients for elevated muscle enzymes helps doctors to determine the cause and can help to evaluate muscle pain, weakness and inflammation. testing can also help doctors to determine how a patient is responding to treatment for certain diseases. Muscle enzyme tests are used to check the blood levels of muscle enzymes, particularly specific muscle enzymes.
Elevated muscle enzymes often indicate muscle tissue damage. This damage can be in one area of the body or in several areas. However, having elevated muscle enzymes does not always mean that you are suffering from a disease or condition.
Perhaps you can ask your doctor what was his reason for testing the enzyme levels, what your results mean and what plan of action should you expect. I hope that this information was helpful, please let us know if you need anything further.
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