A study concluded that Elevated liver enzymes is found among people with Heartburn, especially people who are male, 60+ old, also have Acid reflux, and take medication Omeprazole.
Heartburn (a condition in which stomach contents leak backward from the stomach into the oesophagus)
Heartburn can be treated by Omeprazole, Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, Prilosec Otc.
Liver function tests may go abnormal especially when you tend to modify your stomach medication such as 300 mg of Zantac a day as well as half dose PPI. But LFT results come to normal soon as your doses become stable.
Heartburn that occurs frequently and interferes with your routine is considered gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD treatment may require prescription medications and, occasionally, surgery or other procedures. GERD can seriously damage your esophagus.
There are different blood testing the doctor can do
to check for a liver problem:
1) the liver enzymes (ALT,AST,GGT,and ALP) can
be done to see if the biliary/liver cells are damaged.
2) the liver function tests (Bilirubin, INR, Albumin, PT, PTT)
can be done to see how well the cells of the liver are
able to do their necessary functions. Bilirubin is converted
by the liver into a soluble form. The liver makes clotting
factors..so the INR, PT, PTT would show how well the
blood still clots. The liver also makes proteins, of which
Albumin is one of them.
3) the liver viral tests will show if a virus has entered
the body and is using the liver cells to replicate itself.
When the liver cells are damaged, the immune system
of the body responds and causes inflammation inside
the liver which will cause the liver to enlarge in size.
(having an ultrasound or Ct scan done would show this.)
The best test, is the liver biopsy. That is because they
are looking directly at the liver tissue and not just films
(pictures) of it.
The doctor may decide to do an endoscopy on you
to check your stomach area. This is where they sedate
you and numb your throat and ask you to swallow a
scope (that has a light and camera on it) and it is passed
down your esophagus and to the stomach and over
to the first part of the intestines, known as the
duodenum. This is know as a Gastroscopy.
They sometime may do a ERCP…it is exactly the
same tests as above, except they go over where the
bile ducts come down to the intestines, ( this is where
the bile flow through); they put dye in the ducts to be
sure they are open and the bile isn’t blocked from
flowing smoothly to the intestines.
When the tests is over, then you will be in the
recovery room. After you come to, they may show
you the exact pictures they took while inside you.
They will tell you exactly what was wrong.
They might still want the upper GI done.
Blood tests are not 100% accurate. Our blood work
fluctuates all the time and if the doctor sees something
on the test, he will confirm it by doing more blood work
just to be sure. Many things can cause a change in
the results of these tests, also…like exercising before
they are done, taking certain medications,
having an intramuscular injection and more.
There are many things that can cause liver cell damage:
alcohol consumption, medications toxification,
chemical exposure, viral infections (like hep A,B,C)
parasite infections, hereditary conditions,
metabolic disorders, cardiac/vascular problems,
auto immune disease, fatty liver disease,
and so many others.
This may not be a liver problem, it could be the
gallbladder or a stone moving from the gallbladder
over into the bile ducts and blocking the flow of
bile. ( A simple ultrasound would show if this
is it or not)
To determine if your heartburn is a symptom of GERD, your doctor may recommend:
X-ray, to view the shape and condition of your esophagus and stomach.
Endoscopy, to check for abnormalities in your esophagus. A tissue sample (biopsy) may be taken for analysis.
Ambulatory acid probe tests, to identify when, and for how long, stomach acid backs up into your esophagus. An acid monitor that is placed in your esophagus connects to a small computer that you wear around your waist or on a strap over your shoulder.
Esophageal motility testing, to measure movement and pressure in your esophagus.
For instance, avoid foods that trigger your heartburn and avoid eating at least two hours before bedtime.