Many diseases and conditions can contribute to elevated liver enzymes. Your doctor determines the specific cause of your elevated liver enzymes by reviewing your medications, your signs and symptoms and, in some cases, other tests and procedures.
More common causes of elevated liver enzymes include:
- Over-the-counter pain medications, particularly acetaminophen (Tylenol, others)
- Certain prescription medications, including statin drugs used to control cholesterol
- Drinking alcohol
- Heart failure
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Other causes of elevated liver enzymes may include:
- Alcoholic hepatitis (severe liver inflammation caused by excessive alcohol consumption)
- Autoimmune hepatitis (liver inflammation caused by an autoimmune disorder)
- Celiac disease (small intestine damage caused by gluten)
- Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection
- Epstein-Barr virus
- Hemochromatosis (too much iron stored in your body)
- Liver cancer
- Polymyositis (inflammatory disease that causes muscle weakness)
- Sepsis (an overwhelming bloodstream infection that uses up neutrophils faster than they can be produced)
- Thyroid disorders
- Toxic hepatitis (liver inflammation caused by drugs or toxins)
- Wilson's disease (too much copper stored in your body)
Jan. 11, 2018
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.
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- Friedman LS. Approach to the patient with abnormal liver and biochemical function tests. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 31, 2017.
- Miller's Anesthesia. Philadelphia, Pa.; Elsevier. Accessed Jan. 31, 2017.
- Tapper EB, et al. Extensive testing or focused testing of patients with elevated liver enzymes. Journal of Hepatology. 2017;66:313.
- Lee TH, et al. Evaluation of elevated liver enzymes. Clinics in Liver Disease. 2012;16:183.
- Wilkinson JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 21, 2015.