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Does alcohol consumption prior to testing lead to elevated liver enzymes?

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Posted on Fri, 20 May 2016
Question: I recently had some routine blood work done. Test results showed high cholesterol and high liver enzyme. I fasted for 12 hours but did not know that I should not have had alcohol for 12 hours. Would drinking wine affect the test results?
Correction. Meant to say 24 hours for alcohol consumption.
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (48 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Information on alcohol and elevated liver enzymes

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

The alcohol that you had within 24 hours of the test may have contributed to elevated liver enzymes somewhat, but more likely, if you drink on a regular basis, they are elevated from past inflammation caused by alcohol.

Elevated liver enzymes can happen as a result of inflammation from alcohol use (in excess usually) and can also increase from fat deposition in the liver from being overweight. This ties in to elevated cholesterol as well. "Fatty Liver" can happen from alcohol and from excessive intake of calories. High triglycerides are usually from excessive intake of refined carbohydrates.

So discontinuing alcohol, decreasing refined carbohydrates (things made with white flour in particular), and increasing exercise should help. Then repeat the lipid and liver function tests in 6-8 weeks.

If you have been drinking quite a bit for a long time, I would strongly recommend looking into an alcohol support group and talk with your doctor about help discontinuing alcohol. You may need medication to support your withdrawal from alcohol, such as benzodiazepines.

It is easy to not drink when the lab results are fresh in one's mind, but harder later on without having gone thru a treatment program. Alcohol becomes part of one's life both physically and emotionally and so it can be hard to just quit and stay quit.

I hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information or clarification.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3134 Questions

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Does alcohol consumption prior to testing lead to elevated liver enzymes?

Brief Answer: Information on alcohol and elevated liver enzymes Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome, The alcohol that you had within 24 hours of the test may have contributed to elevated liver enzymes somewhat, but more likely, if you drink on a regular basis, they are elevated from past inflammation caused by alcohol. Elevated liver enzymes can happen as a result of inflammation from alcohol use (in excess usually) and can also increase from fat deposition in the liver from being overweight. This ties in to elevated cholesterol as well. "Fatty Liver" can happen from alcohol and from excessive intake of calories. High triglycerides are usually from excessive intake of refined carbohydrates. So discontinuing alcohol, decreasing refined carbohydrates (things made with white flour in particular), and increasing exercise should help. Then repeat the lipid and liver function tests in 6-8 weeks. If you have been drinking quite a bit for a long time, I would strongly recommend looking into an alcohol support group and talk with your doctor about help discontinuing alcohol. You may need medication to support your withdrawal from alcohol, such as benzodiazepines. It is easy to not drink when the lab results are fresh in one's mind, but harder later on without having gone thru a treatment program. Alcohol becomes part of one's life both physically and emotionally and so it can be hard to just quit and stay quit. I hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information or clarification.