What Are the Causes of Elevated Liver Enzymes in Teenagers?

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When liver enzymes are elevated, it indicates damaged liver cells or inflammation. Many diseases, conditions and medications can cause elevated liver enzymes in teenagers. It is important to determine the cause and correct it as soon as possible to avoid potential complications.

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Medications

Certain medications can cause elevated liver enzymes in teenagers. Statin drugs are a common cause. These drugs are used to control cholesterol. Certain over-the-counter medications can cause elevated liver enzymes as well. Aceteminophen, the generic form of Tylenol, is the most common one. If medication is the cause of elevated liver enzymes, the medication may need to be switched in order to prevent further elevation and to fully correct the situation.

Hepatitis

Certain forms of hepatitis can cause elevated liver enzymes in teenagers. Hepatitis is an infection of the liver that can lead to further complications such as chronic infection and even death. The types of hepatitis that can cause elevated liver enzymes in teenagers include hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Hepatitis A often requires no treatment and will go away on its own after a while. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are managed with medications and lifestyle changes. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C cannot be cured.

Obesity

Obesity can cause elevated liver enzymes in teenagers. Obesity tends to interfere with many body processes and through its interference can lead to elevated liver enzymes. Obesity is defined as being significantly overweight. Obesity can also lead to a fatty liver and fatty liver disease. This condition is most often treated with lifestyle changes, a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism can cause elevated liver enzymes in teenagers. This can occur due to the thyroid not working properly and not secreting enough thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism is a medical condition in which the thyroid is underactive. This condition is most often treated with prescription medications.

Mononucleosis

Mononucleosis can cause elevated liver enzymes in teenagers. Mononucleosis is a infectious virus often transmitted through kissing because it is passed through a person's saliva. This condition can lead to an enlarged spleen which may cause elevated liver enzymes. This condition is most often treated with plenty of fluids and rest.

Coeliac Disease

Coeliac disease can cause elevated liver enzymes in teenagers. Coeliac disease is a condition in which gluten causes an immune reaction in the small intestine, resulting in the inability for the small intestine to absorb nutrients and damage to the small intestine's surface. Coeliac disease can be treated with a gluten-free diet and, in some cases, medication.

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