Symptoms of elevated liver enzymes

Updated April 17, 2017

Liver enzyme levels are often checked as part of a routine blood test. Elevated liver enzymes do not always indicate liver disease or injury. In cases where elevated liver enzymes may be indicative of liver disease, you doctor will likely order additional tests. In many cases, a blood test indicating elevated liver enzymes is the first indication a person is suffering liver disease.


Many medicines, including prescription, over-the-counter and herbal products, can cause increased liver enzymes. If a blood test reveals high liver enzymes and you are on medication, the doctor may have you take the test again without taking the medicine.

Autoimmune Disorders

Disorders including autoimmune hepatitis, primary billary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis can cause elevated liver enzymes. Disorders effecting the bile ducts can also cause the condition.

Metabolic Liver Disorders

An effect of several metabolic liver diseases, including hemochromatosis, is elevated liver enzymes.


Diabetics frequently have elevated liver enzymes as a result of the disease.


Heavy alcohol consumption can cause elevated liver enzymes. In fact, liver disease a serious health risk associated with alcoholism or heavy drinking.


People with gallstones often have elevated liver enzymes.


Tumours on the liver, bile ducts and pancreas can result in elevated liver enzymes.

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About the Author

Anna Aronson began working as a journalist in 2000 and spent six years at suburban Chicago newspapers before pursuing freelance work. She enjoys writing about health care topics, in particular obstetrics, pediatrics and nutrition. She received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Eastern Illinois University and is now studying for a Master of Science in medicine degree to become a physician's assistant.