Fatty Liver Disease Treatments, News and Developments
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Transaminases are various enzymes produced by the liver. A diagnostic blood test can determine when transaminases, most commonly aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT), are in the blood at levels above normal and healthy, i.e. are elevated.
The liver produces literally thousands of enzymes; it is an extremely complex and vital organ with many functions in maintaining health. Elevated transaminases are of concern because they may (although they do not always) indicate that problems exist in liver functioning or that there is damage to the liver. However, there are many causes that can result in elevated transaminases, so if this diagnostic result occurs, further investigation is needed into precisely what is causing the condition.
A transaminase, also known as an aminotransaminase, is an enzyme that acts as a catalyst
for a chemical reaction between an amino acid and an alpha-
Elevated transaminases can occur for many different reasons, some of them having
little or nothing to do with liver disease. However, they are also a primary indication
of possible liver disease ranging from fatty liver (relatively harmless although
cause for further monitoring) to cirrhosis, hepatitis, and cancer of the liver (all
quite serious and potentially life-
Because of these possibilities, when transaminases are found to be elevated, further diagnostic testing and exploration of possible causes are always indicated.
The most important causes of elevated transaminases, the ones that are cause for serious concern, are liver damage. The liver is a crucial bodily organ responsible for a wide array of metabolic, digestive, and other vital functions. A human body cannot survive without a functioning liver, at least not for long. Liver disease is one of the most serious complications of alcoholism, as well as a likely consequence of obesity and diabetes.
The most serious liver diseases are cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis, and cancer, and all of these can produce elevated transaminases in different combinations depending on the extent of damage and the underlying causes.
Causes of elevated transaminases other than liver disease include reduced production
of hormones by the adrenal glands, thyroid disorders, side effects of various medications
including those used for treatment of high cholesterol levels and antibiotics as
well as some seizure-
Because of the existence of causes for elevated transaminases that have nothing to do with liver disease, as well as the number of possible disorders of the liver itself and of causes for any given liver disease, further diagnostic procedures are always indicated when elevated transaminases are detected.
Although elevation of some transaminases is normal during pregnancy, elevation of
the two most common symptoms of liver disease, AST and ALT, is a sign that something
is wrong. This occurs in roughly five percent of pregnant women. It may be a sign
of liver disease, or of something specific to the pregnancy itself.Pre-
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