mulberry handbags john lewis Causes of Elevated Alkaline Phosphatase
What is Alkaline Phosphatase?
Alkaline phosphatase is an enzyme commonly found in many human tissues, predominantly in the liver, bones, placenta, intestines and kidneys. Its function is to remove the phosphate group from proteins and other bio molecules, and is called ‘alkaline’ phosphatase as it required a basic pH for optimal activity. Its function is vital for our body’s health. There are many isoforms of this enzyme, with intestinal, placental, liver, and bone ALP being the important ones.
ALP levels are usually measured in blood, and the procedure is that of a routine blood test. No special preparation is necessary, though it is recommended to give blood after 8 10 hours of fasting, as food can cause transient increase in ALP levels. About 5 mL blood is sufficient for this test, though if multiple tests have been prescribed, the amount of blood drawn may be higher. Certain medications may interfere with test results, and hence it is recommended to inform your physician about every other medication being consumed before the test.
What causes Elevation in ALP levels?
Levels of ALP can increase due to both normal physiological conditions or in certain disease states.
In normal physiology:
ALP levels are high in the first three months of life. It again increases during puberty and reaches normal levels only by the age of 18 20 years. Men generally have a higher ALP levels till around the age of 50. After menopause,
the situation reverses and women tend to have higher ALP levels. Apart from puberty and post menopause, pregnancy also causes high placental ALP levels in women. Higher intestinal ALP levels are known to occur in persons having blood group B and O. Use of tobacco or an increase in blood sugar causes transient increase in ALP levels.
In disease states:
Liver and bile diseases: Elevated ALP levels are known to occur in conditions like liver cirrhosis, stone or tumor in the gall bladder, tumor in the liver, cholestasis, cholecystitis, cholangitis, hepatitis and fatty liver syndrome. Bone diseases: Diseases affecting the bones, like osteomalacia, fractures, Paget’s disease, Vitamin D deficiency or hyperparathyroidism can cause elevated ALP levels. Other syndromes: ALP levels get elevated during the healing phase of cardiac or splenic infarctions, or in cancers of the breast, colon, ovary, and cervix or prostrate.