The doctor does different testing to check for a liver/biliary problem:
the liver enzymes (ALT,AST,GGT, ALP), the liver function tests
(Bilirubin, INR, PT, PTT, Albumin), the liver viral tests (for Hep A,B,C) and the
liver cancer blood test (alpha fetoprotein).
No one blood testing is 100% accurate. The doctor does more testings
later to determine what the cause may be. Many things can affect the
results of these tests also: an intramuscular injection, muscle injury,
even exercising before the test was done. It takes a combination of
different blood tests for the doctor to receive an "idea" of what the problem
is. Then proceed to other tests: like film tests such as an ultrasound, Ct scan,
or MRI to find out more.
Not all the liver enzymes are specific to the liver, though, the ALT is the most
specific because it is made mostly by the liver cells, whereas the others are
also made in other areas of the body.
When the cells become damaged, these enzymes tend to leak out and
go higher on the blood tests results. There really isn't much that can be
done to lower this unless the cause can be found and possibly stopped.
If there is a liver cell damage, this can be caused by different things:
alcohol consumption, medication toxification (never stop prescription
drugs unless notifying the doctor), chemical exposure,
mushroom poisoning, biliary obstruction/malformation/infection,
hereditary disease (like the body holding onto too much iron or copper),
metabolic disorders, viral infections (like hep A,B,C,ETC),
[parasite infections, cardiac/vascular problems, fatty liver disease,
cysts/tumors/growths/cancer, and others.
Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver cells cause by damage to them. There
are over 40+ reasons for this to happen.
Hepatitis with a letter after it (like HEP A,B,C) is a virus that uses the liver
cells to replicate itself
Cirrhosis of the liver is death of the liver cells and scar issue formation
inside the liver.
I hope this has been of some help to you. If you feel more comfortable
to get a second opinion on this...ask the doctor to refer you to a
gastroenterologist. Best wishes