High Liver Count - Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

High Liver Count

High Liver Count is a condition that occurs when your blood has high levels of the liver enzymes. Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT) and/or Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST). If these enzymes are found in high concentrations, then they are an indication that there is some damage to the liver, or some level of inflammations. When these are in moderate level, then it does not indicate anything addictive or serious damage, but when in high levels, then there is a problem that needs medical attention.

High liver count occurs when there is damage to the liver cells, and they begin leaking liver enzymes into the bloodstream. Tests are done to ascertain whether one has high liver count. The normal range for AST is 5 to 40 units per liter, and for ALT is 7 to 56 units per liter of blood serum. Even when the results come back as high, there is careful consideration before a diagnosis of damage t the liver or liver disease is given.

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Symptoms of High Liver Count

As mentioned earlier, even when one is found to be having high liver count, the doctor has to properly consider the results and observe for other signs before concluding that there is a disease or damage ravaging the liver cells. People who have high liver count do not necessarily exhibit symptoms of NASH, Chronic Hepatitis B and C, or Early Alcoholic Liver Disease. The signs that they look for include the following:

  • Jaundice – This is a yellowish color that is seen on the skin and in the whites of the eyes
  • Dark urine – The urine is usually dark brown in color
  • Ascites – this is when fluid accumulates in the abdomen
  • Weight loss
  • Low-grade fever
  • Clay-colored stools
  • The spleen and liver may feel bigger than they normally are

The actual symptoms that count indicate high liver count and damage to the liver include:

  • Loss of sex drive
  • Mental changes
  • Itching on the skin
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Tenderness and pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen

Causes of High Liver Count

High Liver Count can be caused by several conditions and diseases. The doctor will have to do more tests and observe the patient, before he can rule on the cause of the individual’s high liver count. The most common causes of high liver could include:

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  • Excessive drinking of alcohol
  • Hepatitis A, B or C
  • Certain medications, especially the Statin medications given for cholesterol control
  • Heart Failure
  • Over-the-counter pain medication such as Tylenol, which contains acetaminophen
  • Obesity
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

There are other less common causes of high liver count, and these are:

  • Alcoholic Hepatitis – hepatitis caused by excessive drinking
  • Autoimmune hepatitis – hepatitis caused by a problem with the immune system
  • Cirrhosis – this is the scarring of liver tissue
  • Celiac disease – this is damage to the small intestine brought about by gluten
  • Infection by the Cytomegalovirus
  • Infection by the Epstein-Barr virus
  • Inflammation of the gall bladder
  • Dermatomyositis – an inflammation that causes skin rash and muscle weakness
  • Polymyositis – an inflammation that caused muscle weakness alone
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Heart attack
  • Too much iron stored in the body (hemochromatosis)
  • Cancer of the liver
  • Inflammation of the pancreas
  • Mononucleosis
  • Wilson’s disease – too much copper in the blood
  • Toxic hepatitis – this is caused by drug abuse and other toxins


Having a moderate increase of liver enzymes in the blood will not affect your life so much, but when these enzymes are abnormally high, then medical attention must be sought. Statistics show that more than 39,000 deaths are attributed to liver disease and cirrhosis. Also more that 100,000 people are hospitalized each year due to the same reasons. There are certain steps that you must follow when you have high liver count

  • You should give your doctor full information of issues like the use of alcohol or/or drugs.
  • The use of corticosteroids and pentoxifylline will reduce the extent of the inflammation of the liver.
  • The use of Ursodeoxycholic acid will slow down the progression of any primary biliary cirrhosis.
  • The use of antibiotics is used for cirrhosis cases or liver issues caused by another infection.
  • In cases of hepatitis C, antiviral medication will be given to reduce the level of liver enzymes in the blood.
  • You should take diuretics as your doctor advises. These substances will help in the elimination of fluids in the body.
  • It is important that you stop taking alcohol as quickly as possible. Alcohol can cause liver disease and also aggravate it. You should not take alcohol after you have recovered from the high liver count, or what is causing it.
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