Fatty Liver Disease Treatments, News and Developments
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The term "transaminitis" is used to mean elevated transaminases. Transaminases are
certain liver enzymes, and elevated transaminases, or elevated liver enzymes or transaminitis,
can indicate the presence of liver disease. Liver disease may be mild and asymptomatic
or it may be severe and life-
The liver produces a lot of different enzymes (thousands of them, in fact) that play important roles in digestion and metabolism, but two of them are particularly important for diagnostic purposes. These are aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT). In most occurrences of liver disease, ALT is more highly elevated than AST. The reverse is often the case with alcohol-
Many different conditions can cause transaminitis. Some of these causes are forms of liver disease, but others are not. Besides liver disease, possible causes of transaminitis are elevated triglycerides, a condition often accompanying high cholesterol levels. Some medications can also produce the symptom.
These include some antibiotics, anti-
When a blood test indicates elevated transaminases (transaminitis), further analysis to determine the ratio of blood AST to blood ALT, as well as a further test for alkaline phosphatase (ALP), allows "differential diagnosis." It's important to understand that these are not tests for liver function. Other tests can indicate that, but tests for blood levels of AST, ALT, and ALP do help detect problems with the liver. Differential diagnosis can help differentiate among various liver diseases that might be indicated by the mere fact that transaminases are elevated above normal level.
In fact, since transaminitis despite the form of the word isn't a disease, there's no treatment for it. What it is, however, is a possible indicator of liver disease, and treatments should certainly be recommended for that.
As transaminitis can indicate various liver diseases, as well as non-
When the cause of the test results is a prescription medication, another concern arises. Prescription drugs are used to treat medical conditions and are not something that can simply be ceased without consequences. One must weigh the benefits of the medication against any potential damage it may be causing to the liver, and also consider whether there are effective alternatives to the medication that could provide the same benefit without causing liver problems. Often there is no easy or cost-
Among the medications that can cause elevated liver enzymes, the statin family of drugs, used to treat high cholesterol, present an especially knotty trade-
In fact, clinical evidence of liver damage resulting from use of statins is very rare. It appears that while there is some evidence that the drugs can cause liver damage, the elevation of transaminases is not a secondary effect of liver damage but arises from another effect of the drugs, probably on liver activity itself. Because of this, and because high cholesterol is considered a very significant health risk, the medical community's consensus as of today is that high cholesterol should be treated aggressively using statins as well as lifestyle methods, and that moderate amounts of transaminitis -
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