High liver count refers to the number of liver enzymes found in the blood. While this doesn’t sound too bad initially, it is when you take into account that these enzymes are supposed to be present in the walls of the liver—not in the blood stream. When the liver has sustained damage, the enzymes contained in its walls can slip out and enter into the blood stream. This is how they become detectable by a blood test. Unfortunately, a high liver count is often a tell-tale sign that a liver condition is at work. We are going to talk about the symptoms of different liver conditions that can cause a high liver enzyme count as well as the treatment methods used to relieve these symptoms.
Although an abnormal count of liver enzymes can be caused by taking medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, as well as prescription drugs, the presence of symptoms could point to a different diagnosis. The first liver condition we are going to discuss is called fatty liver. This condition is typically a result of drinking too much alcohol, but it can also be caused by diabetes and obesity. Fatty liver derives its name from a literal meaning, as this condition consists of fat cells accumulating in the liver. For most people, fatty liver doesn’t produce any symptoms and in most cases the high liver count is detected by happenstance while testing that was initially performed for other reasons.
Treatment for fatty liver is specific to what’s causing the condition. For instance, if the fat buildup in the liver is being cause by drinking too much alcohol, then the corresponding treatment would be to limit one’s alcohol intake. For obese individuals, treatment would likely involve switching to a healthy diet and maintaining an exercise routine. As for diabetics with fatty liver, the treatment is often to better control blood sugar levels.
Hepatitis is also known to cause an elevation in liver enzyme count. Hepatitis is a contagious viral infection that causes the liver to become inflamed. There are many different types of hepatitis, although most of us have only heard of the A, B, and C varieties. The symptoms of each are slightly different from one another. For instance, hepatitis A often produces flu-like symptoms as well as jaundice. Jaundice is a condition in which a person’s skin turns yellow. Most people who suffer from hepatitis A go on to a full recovery, while others may progress on to acute hepatitis. Once hepatitis A is overcome, the sufferer will not have to worry about having chronic bouts of hepatitis as this strand is not chronic.
Hepatitis B doesn’t produce symptoms in most of the people it infects. Some, however, may experience flu-like symptoms similar to hepatitis A. Only about five percent of the people who contract hepatitis B actually develop the chronic form of hepatitis. For some unknown reason, men are much more likely to contract the chronic variety of hepatitis B than women. In most cases, people have and overcome hepatitis B without even knowing about it, and those who have suffered from the virus in the past cannot contract it again in the future.
Treatment for both hepatitis A and B usually involves lots of bed rest as well as a healthy diet. Plenty of water is also recommended to prevent dehydration. Alcohol should be avoided altogether as it can put further strain on the already damaged liver. People who suffer from chronic hepatitis may be prescribed a protein-based medication that helps to improve the functioning of the liver; however there are some side effects associated with this method of treatment.
There are many other possible causes for high liver count, such as alcoholism, diabetes, gallstones, and infections. If you suspect that you may be suffering from liver damage, speak to your doctor about being tested. The test for high liver enzyme count consists of nothing more than drawing a bit of blood for laboratory analysis. If your test comes back negative, your doctor will be able to perform a more thorough examination and outline any concerns he or she may have.
Copyright © 2006 Liver Facts.