Causes And Methods Of Prevention Of High Levels Of Alkaline Phosphate In Children And Adults

Alkaline phosphatase is an enzyme found in all living tissues, and is concerned with the removal of the phosphate from protein and other molecules. It is found in a large amount in the liver and bones. This enzyme is also found in small amounts inside the bile duct, lining of the intestine, kidney and placenta. To perform its normal activities, the enzyme requires an alkaline pH. The level of alkaline phosphatase in blood can elevate due to a number of factors, ranging from some serious medical conditions to bone growth and pregnancy.


Causes of Elevated Alkaline Phosphatase Levels

The levels of alkaline phosphatase enzyme is usually examined in the diagnosis of liver and bone diseases. An examination of the level of this enzyme is a part of liver tests or elevated liver enzymes and alkaline phosphatase. Along with liver diseases and bile duct obstruction, gallbladder dysfunction can be another factor causing a significant rise in the level of alkaline phosphatase enzyme. Know more about:

  • Fatty Liver Disease
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
In many instances, a high level of alkaline phosphatase may not indicate problems with the liver, bile or gallbladder. Instead, it may be associated with certain bone diseases like Paget's disease, osteosarcoma (a type of bone cancer), bone fracture and bone metastases. However, an increase in alkaline phosphatase is not always associated with medical problems. Sometimes, it can be a part of the normal process of growth and development. This enzyme is produced by a type of bone forming cells, known as osteoblast and an increased level of alkaline phosphatase can be associated with bone growth, for which, its level is usually higher among the growing children than in the adults. So, elevated alkaline phosphatase in children may not be associated with liver or bone diseases. Find out more infromation about bone cancer.


Like growing children, women can experience this condition in their late pregnancies, as the placenta produces alkaline phosphatase in this stage. So, elevated alkaline phosphatase levels while pregnant can be a part of normal pregnancy. Other than pregnancy, the level of this enzyme can be raised by certain medications like antibiotics, birth control pills or hormonal contraception, androgenic steroids and phenytoin. Sometimes, diseases like kidney diseases.


How the Level of Alkaline Phosphatase is Determined?

The level of alkaline phosphatase is determined by examining a blood sample. It is very important to determine the exact reasons behind an increase its levels. But, it can be quite difficult at times to find out whether a rise in the level of this enzyme is caused by liver or bone diseases. If it is found to be elevated along with other liver enzymes, then liver diseases can be responsible for such a situation. So, proper diagnosis plays a crucial role in determining the root cause of elevated alkaline phosphatase levels and also in determining the treatment of the underlying causes.


To sum up, elevated alkaline phosphatase levels can be an indicator of a number diseases, including those associated with liver, bile duct and bone. However, growing children, expecting mothers and those taking certain medications can experience a rise in the level of alkaline phosphatase, even in the absence of any serious medical condition. But still, a considerable rise in its level should be consulted with an experienced physician, to rule out the possibility of some alarming medical problems.

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