Medical Minute: Liver Test Abnormalities in Eating Disorders

Medical Minute: Liver Test Abnormalities in Eating Disorders


Hi, I’m Dr. Jennifer Gaudiani. Today we’re
going to talk about liver test abnormalities and eating disorders, today
particularly, in anorexia nervosa. There are a number of liver tests one can
check, and if the bilirubin or the albumin levels are abnormal, those are
almost always due to another cause besides the eating disorder. In anorexia
nervosa, the liver can become so starved that it actually begins to consume
itself and markers called the AST and ALT can rise, a process called apoptosis
where the liver actually begins to eat itself. Nutritional rehabilitation almost
always will fix this, although it may take some time and liver function tests
greater than three times normal in the 150 range can actually be an independent
marker of low blood sugar. For more, go to www.gaudianiclinic.com.

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