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Causes of Elevated Liver Enzymes in Children

By Jessica Lietz ; Updated July 27, 2017

You may find out that your child has elevated liver enzymes after having routine blood work done during a doctor's visit. Liver function tests are not routinely done on children, although your pediatrician may order them if your child has symptoms of a liver disorder or a family history of liver problems. According to the Mayo Clinic and the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, causes of elevated liver enzymes in children include viral infections and overdose of certain medications.

Diet

If your child is obese or has a diet high in fatty foods, elevated liver enzymes may result and are an indication of fatty liver disease.

Infections

Infections with hepatitis A virus through contaminated food or water, or with the hepatitis B or C viruses at birth may cause your child to have elevated liver enzymes.

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Liver Disorders

A buildup of iron in the liver, which is a condition called hemochromatosis, can cause elevated liver enzymes in children and is a hereditary medical condition.

Medications

Giving your child too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) may cause elevated liver enzymes, which is a sign of liver damage.

Poisoning

Poisoning from common household chemicals or cleaners, pesticides or alcohol may result in elevated liver enzymes in your child and may be a life-threatening emergency.

Vitamins

An overdose of multivitamins or vitamin A supplements may cause elevated liver enzymes in children; vitamins should be treated as a medication and placed out of your child's reach.

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