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HomeExclusiveCan Menopause Cause Elevated Liver Enzymes

Can Menopause Cause Elevated Liver Enzymes

Physiologic Significance Of Estrogen

High Liver Enzymes – Causes and Dangers

Estrogen exhibits a number of beneficial roles in the body, as it has been shown to promote coagulation, aid in maintaining proper fluid balance, and foster increases in high density lipoproteins and decreases in low density lipoproteins that lead to favorable lipid profiles. Likewise, estrogen exerts a number of liver-related benefits .1). Within the liver, estrogen inhibits proliferation of stellate cells and fibrogenesis. Important steps in the development of fibrosis in the liver include activation of stellate cells, which transform into myofibroblast-like cells, and these cells then proliferate and express smooth muscle actin . They synthesize large amounts of extracellular matrix components such as typeIcollagen, type III collagen, type IV collagen, laminin, fibronectin and proteoglycans. In rat models in which hepatic fibrosis was induced with dimethylnitrosamine, treatment with estradiol led to reduced expression of typeIprocollagen as well as reduced deposition of typeIand type III collagens, reduced expression of -SMA and reduced stellate cell proliferation.

You Have Abnormal Heart Rhythm

High iron has been suggested as a risk factor for heart attacks as well as patients with atrial fibrillation. One study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology concluded that male participants who are considered regular blood donors have an 88% lower risk of a heart attack9. For women under 55, those that have had irregular life-long menstrual cycles had a higher risk for a heart attack10. Both studies indicate that regular blood loss, either from phlebotomy or menses, protects against heart attacks.

The Rise In Liver Enzymes

There are two basic types of elevated liver enzymes:

The first is a slight or subtle increase in AST and ALT which and the second is a massive increase in AST and ALT.

We are going to focus on the slight or subtle increase in AST and ALT because this usually indicates a chronic condition that results in low-grade inflammation and damage to the liver over time.

Massively elevated AST and ALT usually indicates an acute life-threatening condition such as liver failure from medication overdose, physical trauma to the liver or massive organ failure.

While massive elevations in liver enzymes are obviously important, the subtle increase is more relevant to most people because they can do something about it.

So what does it mean to have elevated liver enzymes?

Most laboratory reference ranges include a “range” of values to indicate that you are “normal”.

If you go outside this range then you are considered to have elevated liver enzymes.

The standard range largely depends on the laboratory but in general, is somewhere around 0-45 IU/l for ALT and 0-30 IU/l for AST.

If your AST and ALT are higher than the 45 and 35 then they are said to be “elevated”.

And this is a big issue because by definition that means that you are experiencing some sort of liver damage.

More important than just knowing that your liver function tests are elevated is figuring out why they are elevated, to begin with, and the picture behind their elevation.

For instance:

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Testing For Elevated Liver Enzymes

A blood test can show elevated liver enzymes. The blood test checks for raised levels of AST and ALT, which are enzymes that the liver releases when it becomes inflamed or damaged.

If a doctor finds that a person has raised AST or ALT levels, they are likely to carry out further tests to determine the underlying cause.

Different ratios of AST to ALT may indicate various underlying causes.

The treatment for elevated liver enzymes will focus on managing the underlying condition causing the increased levels.

The treatments for some common causes of raised AST or ALT levels include:

Tips To Lower Elevated Liver Enzymes

Pin on Menopause Health

A healthy diet can work wonders on the liver, just like how a bad diet can harm it. When we consume fatty foods and alcohol, these get processed in the liver, making it work harder. When we eat liver-friendly foods, the liver doesnt have to work as hard and can continue to keep us healthy.

If you want a healthy liver and want to reduce elevated liver enzymes, cut down on your alcohol intake, or eliminate it completely. Stay away from processed, fatty, and sugary food items as these weigh heavily on the liver. Red meat, spices, and oil should also be limited, as these, too, can impact the liver negatively.

You can also adjust your diet to help lower your liver enzymes. Make sure you drink enough water. Below is a list of foods you should incorporate into your diet in order to lower elevated liver enzymes.

  • Foods high in antioxidants
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Cruciferous vegetables

Avoid foods that can harm your liver. Instead, opt for fruits and vegetables and lean sources of protein. Eating healthy can help lower elevated liver enzymes and protect your liver in the long run.

Manage your diet: This often means eating a diet high in green vegetables, foods high in fiber, foods with antioxidant properties, and vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, Brussels sprouts, and even horseradish to help rebalance liver enzymes.

Drink water: Consuming at least eight glasses of water a day is the best way to aid your liver to flush out harm bodily toxins.

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Cirrhosis In Young Women

Surprisingly, women as young as their late teens and early 20s can develop cirrhosis due to a variety of autoimmune diseases that affect them at a young age, she says. These include:

  • Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy This is a liver disorder unique to young women, which begins in pregnancy. It can have consequences on the liver years down the road, including gallstones, complications from gallstones and cirrhosis.
  • Autoimmune hepatitis This liver disease is more common in women than men and can begin at a young age age. It may cause abdominal pain, jaundice, fatigue, weight loss and disabling joint pain. If left untreated or undiagnosed, autoimmune hepatitis may develop into cirrhosis.
  • Primary biliary cholangitis This is a relatively slow-progressing liver disease that affects women in their late 40s and 50s and is more common in women than men. It can have debilitating symptoms of itching and fatigue, and like autoimmune hepatitis can happen at a younger age in women than in men.

Autoimmune hepatitis and primary biliary cholangitis may also coexist or overlap in the same patient. Although theyre treatable, they are not curable. Over time patients may end up progressing into cirrhosis.

Its unclear why these autoimmune diseases are more common in young women than men, Dr. Wakim-Fleming says. But sex hormones like estrogen, genetics and environmental factors seem to play a role.

Primary Sources Of High Liver Enzymes

There are a lot of factors that can contribute to elevated liver enzymes, including:

  • alcohol consumption
  • non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • medications
  • If your doctor informs you that your medications are potentially the primary factors contributing to your increased liver enzymes, its best to take a look at what prescriptions you are on and see if you can change your regimen or if it is okay to stay on them.

    There is a wide variety of drugs that can contribute to high liver enzymes including over-the-counter pain medications, particularly acetaminophen , certain prescription medications, including non-steroidal pain relievers, antibiotics, cholesterol-lowering statins, anti-seizure medications, and drugs for tuberculosis.

    Below you can find different medication groups that can develop into increased liver enzymes.

    Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like acetaminophen and aspirin are common medications regularly used for pain relief, as well as ingredients used in a wide variety of other medications.

    While acetaminophen is known to be safe when using the recommended dose, overdosing can lead to liver damage that can unfold over 2 to 3 days. Sometimes, it is severe enough to be diagnosed as acute liver failure.

    Examples of NSAIDs

    • Niacin


    Examples of Antibiotics

    Other Drugs

    Antidepressants Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors


    Finding a Solution

    • jaundice
    • pain in the abdomen

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    You Have Type 2 Diabetes

    There are numerous studies that associate Iron overload and Type 2 diabetes. This doesnt mean that the high Ferritin value or Hemochromatosis is causing one to develop diabetes, but does indicate that it is a side effect and can accelerate inflammation and/or affect ones ability to control the diabetes naturally. The iron can deposit in the pancreas and can cause a decrease in insulin production. Data has shown that high ferritin approximately doubles the risk for metabolic syndrome after accounting for age, race, alcohol, and smoking7.

    TIP: Insulin sensitivity can improve when Iron levels are lowered. The findings in a study published by the American Diabetes Association suggests that bloodletting might contribute as an adjuvant treatment in patients who have type 2 diabetes with increased ferritin concentrations7. The effects of bloodletting in this study indicated that the changes in insulin sensitivity were maintained even 1 year after the procedure8.

    Case Study: What Does A Fatty Liver Have To Do With Hot Flashes

    The Main Causes of High Liver Enzymes & Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Dr.Berg

    Most people assume that hot flashes in a 50 year old woman are caused by menopause. This is not always the case, as you can see in this case study.

    Helen was a 50 year old school teacher who came to my clinic seeking help for several symptoms. She was approximately 40 pounds overweight and she carried most of the weight on her abdomen. She frequently suffered with indigestion and took the stomach acid blocking tablet Zantac with dinner every evening.

    However, the symptom that bothered Helen the most was overheating. She was extremely sensitive to heat and would regularly burst into a sweat while at work. She could not tolerate the air conditioning it was always too hot in the building for her, while others kept their cardigans on because they felt cold.

    Helen mainly felt the excess heat in her head her face would become red and flushed while beads of perspiration formed on her forehead and upper lip. On some occasions she sweated quite a lot, so that her hair became visibly damp. Apart from the extreme discomfort, Helen found this problem very embarrassing.

    Helen naturally assumed that her hormones must be responsible for these hot flashes. She was still menstruating regularly and would probably continue to do so for a few years, since her mother and sisters all experienced a rather late menopause. Helen visited her doctor about this problem and asked for hormone blood tests. Everything came back normal and her doctor said there is nothing wrong with her hormones.

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    Liver Disease Management In Menopause

    Therapy for NAFLD centers on control of the underlying metabolic features associated with NAFLD, including obesity, diabetes mellitus, hypertension and dyslipidemia. As the incidence and severity of NAFLD is increased among older women, particularly in those who have achieved menopause, these observations raise concern about the potential need for a heightened emphasis on weight loss and control of other associated metabolic factors in women who are peri-menopausal and in their early years of menopause so as to hopefully avoid development of advanced fatty liver disease in their older years of life.

    So How Can You Detox Your Liver

    You’re looking at doing this gently. I am not in favour of these really severe liver detoxes because very often, all that happens is they will make you feel ill, and you will end up giving up before you’ve even finished it. So, this is a very gentle detox that’s going to be kind to your liver. You’re looking at having plenty of liver-friendly foods.

    That would be things like your fresh foods plenty of vegetables and a little bit of fruit. Go for calming grains as things like wheat arent particularly good for the liver. You can look at things like quinoa, millet and brown rice too. Stay clear of the white foods – that’s things like your white bread, your white rice, and your white pasta because, as well as possibly causing bloating, these are a group of foods that can stress the liver as well.

    Plenty of water because we want to keep things flushed out of the system, so remember your fluid intake here. I have got a little sheet on a nice weeklong detox for the liver that’s nice and gentle, so if any of you want to try it then please just click over to it and you can print it out.

    Please, take your time with this detox. Your liver will thank you and you might find that, as well as feeling better generally, you will have a bit more energy, you will sleep better, and your mind will be that little bit sharper as well. So, please let me know how you get on with this. Try the detox and then you can let me know if you feel better.

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    Liver Enzyme Made Easy

    What are liver enzymes and what do they mean?

    In the most simple sense liver enzymes is used to represent a series of test that can help to determine if your liver is functioning appropriately.

    The standard “liver function tests” include:

    • Alanine Transaminase : ALT is produced in the liver cells known as hepatocytes and is a very specific marker of liver cell damage.
    • Aspartate Transaminase : AST is not quite as specific as ALT for liver damage as it is also found in skeletal muscle, heart muscle, and kidney tissue. AST tends to rise with ALT if liver damage is present.
    • Alkaline Phosphatase : ALP is produced by the cells lining the bile ducts or the “plumbing” of the liver. A rise in ALT is commonly seen in conditions that caused blocked “ducts” such as bile stones or direct damage to the bile ducts.
    • Gamma-glutamyl transferase : GGT is found in liver, kidney, pancreatic and intestinal tissues. If GGT is elevated along with ALP this is highly indicative of an obstruction in the plumbing of the liver or may indicate gallbladder disease.

    If you are dealing with “elevated liver enzymes” you most likely have an issue with AST and ALT.

    While ALP and GGT are still important to assess what is happening in the liver most physicians refer to AST and ALT as the “liver enzymes”.

    So what do liver enzymes tell us?

    Liver enzymes help us determine if there is damage to the cells of the liver or direct damage to the liver tissue itself.

    And this is obviously less than ideal.

    Youve Reached Post Menopause

    Fatty Liver Symptoms Weight Gain

    Women may not experience symptoms of iron overload until after menopause. Data shows that inverse changes occur between iron and estrogen levels in during menopausal transition2. As estrogen levels decrease, iron levels will increase because it is no longer lost through menstruation and iron will then accumulate in the body. Levels have been shown to double and even triple during this period3. These increased Iron levels have been shown to increase risk of heart disease and breast cancer in postmenopausal women as well4. Women, at the start of menopause, may experience fatigue, joint pain, and loss of libido. Their doctor may underestimate these symptoms and just blame it on the menopause. These could actually be signs that you have Hemochromatosis or iron overload.

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    Do Vitamins Cause Liver Enzymes To Be Elevated

    Vitamins are often considered to be little units of magic that can do no wrong however like every other type of nutrient, too much or too little can be a bad thing. Vitamin deficiencies and high doses of certain vitamin supplements that raise liver enzymes are both bad.

    If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.


    Vitamins A and B3 are supplements that may raise liver enzymes if taken in high doses. Vitamin deficiencies can also affect the liver.

    Why Menopause May Put You At Risk For Liver Damage

    Health News, Hormone Replacement, Hormone Support, Liver support

    Theres a common misconception that liver disease is only a threat to people who drink a lot of alcohol or take a lot of medications. But thats not the case

    Sure, those factors put your liver in a much more precarious position, but anyone can develop liver disease. In fact, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease a type of liver disease that occurs in people who drink little to no alcohol is very common.

    It impacts one in four people worldwide and is the most common cause of liver damage. As you may know, liver damage can lead to liver cancer or liver failure, both of which can be deadly.

    There are a lot of well-known risk factors for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, sleep apnea, hypothyroidism. But theres a new, surprising risk factor for NAFLD that research has just uncovered menopause.

    A recent research review shows that postmenopausal women are much more likely to develop nonalcoholic fatty liver disease than premenopausal women. Why? It all comes down to hormones

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    How Does Menopause Affect Constipation

    There is a direct link between hormonal changes and bowel activity. Declining levels of estrogen and progesterone associated with menopause slow GI motility, meaning it takes longer for food to get through your GI tract. The longer food remains in your colon, the more water is reabsorbed back into your bloodstream, and the harder your stools get.

    Additionally, during peri-menopause and menopause, lower estrogen levels decrease bile levels. Bile is produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. It mixes with fats and helps to dissolve and absorb them. Bile salts help to promote bowel movements by softening stool, lubricating your intestines, and speeding up how fast stool moves through your colon. Decreased bile levels associated with menopause can make stools harder and more difficult to pass resulting in constipation, gas and bloating.

    Constipation related to menopause may also be exacerbated due to weakened pelvic floor muscles. Your risk for pelvic floor weakness and pelvic floor dysfunction increases with age.

    Finally, hypothyroidism and diabetes are more common as we age and with menopause. These conditions can contribute to and exacerbate constipation.

    Often post-menopausal women will have multiple risk factors for constipation. Addressing all of these issues thoroughly and comprehensively will help you to experience the best quality of life and alleviate your symptoms to the fullest extent possible.


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