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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can abnormal functioning of liver as indicated in the test be reversed by quitting Alcohol?

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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3585 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 2 Aug 2018 in Liver and Gall Bladder
Question: Hello, I am a 37 healthy male. I have suffered from depression after a divorce and have drank heavily, nearly everyday, for the past 2-3 years. My blood tests have been fine until last week I had an annual check up and my liver functions were high. This has been an awaking experience for me that I've decide to change my lifestyle and curb my drinking. My results from the labs were ALT 60 and AST 44 with a ratio of 0.73. The doctor obviously asked me to stop drinking and to get retested in 8 weeks. How concerned should I be about my ALT and AST results? Are they alarmingly high? Are they at a level that my liver can repair it's if I stop drinking?
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Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 40 minutes later
Brief Answer:
not very high

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

if the only abnormal tests were your ALT and AST (60/44) then you should be all right if you quit drinking. Irreversible liver damage may occur from protracted alcohol abuse but it usually requires many more than 2-3 years, more tests are expected to be out of range and symptoms should start to become evident. There are many symptoms related to liver dysfunction including loss of male hair, increased breast mass, white nail base, swollen legs, accumulation of fluid inside the abdominal cavity, yellow discoloration of the sclerae (white part of the eye), etc. Various tests may be abnormal like the INR, ALP, albumin, etc. Liver imaging tests may show signs of disordered liver anatomy (cirrhosis) or fibrosis (there is a scan to assess fibrosis).

In cases with biochemical findings alone, we usually repeat the tests a few weeks later (8 weeks sounds OK) to see how it goes. Testing for various types of hepatitis would go amiss also. Antinuclear antibodies and antibodies against infectious hepatitides can be ordered as well.

Quitting drinking usually makes the abnormal values return to normality.

I hope it helps!
Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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