Personal Health

What is elevated liver function tests mean – and why two are particularly important

How healthy is the liver, the alcohol has left traces or the liver is surrounded by fat? A simple blood test shows how it is the liver and whether liver inflammation is present. Important two values.

If after the blood test, the doctor says your liver values are elevated, everyone is scared of something. But it is important what the values are and how strong the increase in fails. Because there are different liver values, strictly speaking, there are certain enzymes whose concentration in blood increases in diseases of the liver.

The best known value of gamma GT is often over-interpreted

“Many doctors, especially from the gamma GT and quickly closes back on alcohol,” reports Markus Cornberg, Medical Director of the German liver Foundation and Chief physician of the MHH-Department of gastroenterology, Hepatology and endocrinology.

GGT, an abbreviation, is particularly sensitive to strain on the Liver. Often, but not alcohol to blame for the increase, “but about a bile duct disease or a viral infection, such as a strong cold”, clarifies the expert.

Two liver values are especially important

Important information, however, especially these two liver values:

  • GOT, glutamate-Oxaloacetate-Transaminase
  • GPT, glutamate-pyruvate-Transaminase

The values of GOT and GPT should be for women under 35, men under the age of 50.

“Are increased, these values may something very Serious, Acute behind, such as acute Hepatitis,” warns the Professor. Then, in any case, an expert, such as a gastroenterologist or Hepatologist should be consulted.

However, even moderately elevated liver values should not be dismissed with a “you drink just every once in a while less alcohol”. You should always take seriously, warns Markus Cornberg. In any case, a follow-up is necessary, whether to determine if the liver values are down again.

If not, can always be a Hepatitis the cause, also, there is liver disease, says the expert, in which the values fluctuate. That means that the liver values are almost normal, then rise again, then fall again.

Increased liver values are usually due to fatty liver

The most common cause for elevated liver function tests fatty liver is, however, where medical professionals between

  • non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL, “nonalcoholic fatty liver”) due to lack of exercise and improper diet, and
  • alcoholic fatty liver (AFL)

distinguish. At least a quarter of the population in Germany are affected by a fatty liver.

Only liver fat, fatty liver hepatitis

The consequence of diseases, which arise on the Basis of a fatty liver, increased liver values, which are:

Fatty liver hepatitis, differences, again, depending on the trigger in a “non-alcoholic fatty liver inflammation” (NASH) and alcohol induced “alcoholic fatty liver inflammation” (ASH). Here, experts expect it to be two million Affected.

Liver function tests and viral Hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer

In addition to fatty liver and fatty liver hepatitis Virus are Hepatiden, such as Hepatitis B and C values of the most important reasons for an increase in the liver. Up to 800,000 patients in Germany with chronic viral hepatitis.

Finally, the liver are the values in case of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer increases, but also in many other liver diseases such as autoimmune hepatitis (rheumatism of the liver), Wilson’s disease (genetic disorder of copper metabolism in the liver) and the iron storage disease hemochromatosis (genetic disorder where iron in the liver is stored and cirrhosis)

Diseases of the liver, often without symptoms except for elevated liver values

By the way the dark figure is in the majority of liver diseases. Because the liver is not sensitive to pain, suffers, so to speak, mute. There is, therefore, up to the late stage often have no symptoms, even in acute Hepatitis the classic yellow occurs in only about 20 percent of searches. Many liver diseases are chronic and are often detected at a late stage, for example by a blood test or ultrasound examination of the upper abdomen.

Who let his liver values check should

In particular, fatty liver disease take with their consequences, fatty liver hepatitis, liver fibrosis, liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. It is, therefore, quite reasonable to have the blood test. However, he is not (yet) to the regular Check-up 35, even though he would be so important. The cost is not usually paid for by the funds, amounted to but a few euros. Recommended, the Test is for

  • all who drink often or regularly alcohol
  • Overweight
  • Diabetics
  • Smokers
  • all who received earlier (before 1992) blood transfusions
  • all, the earlier (or, of course, currently) drugs by injection consumed

The last two groups could have with a virus hepatitis.

The treatment of liver diseases has been greatly improved. Detected early, can be treated most of the patients well or even healed. An example is the hepatitis C virus, which can now be used with a two – to three-month low toxicity therapy with pills in about 95% healed.

Why many shy away from the liver test

The liver values check and in case you are slightly increased, the result after a few weeks, is quite important and can be life-saving. Nevertheless, many hesitate to make the little blood test.

This is certainly due to the fact that increased liver values still be placed in the first line incorrectly with too much alcohol (“drunkard’s liver”). But the fact is that there is often a lack of exercise and improper diet are the cause. And both of these risk factors relate to, in the meantime, at least every Second.

Heart attack is "gesellschaftsfähiger" as cirrhosis of the liver

Ultimately, it is the liver, however, has still the reputation of a “dirty organ”, although it is a vital Organ, like the heart. Liver disease may be perceived, nevertheless, unlike, for example, a heart disease. “A heart attack is accepted by society rather than a cirrhosis of the liver”, compares Markus Cornberg.

The heart attack is probably caused also by lack of exercise, poor diet, alcohol and Smoking – as well as the cirrhosis of the liver – however, Manager disease. Fatty liver, liver cirrhosis and other liver rather taboo, and therefore many do not want to know, if your liver is in order are diseases of the mind. They fail to detect liver disease early and increase the chances of cure solid.