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What causes GGT levels of 255 U/L when alcohol consumption is less?

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Dr. Grzegorz Stanko

General Surgeon

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 5770 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 5 Mar 2018 in General Health
Question: My GGT levels have gone to 255 U/L. My ALT is also on a higher side - its 50. I consume half a bottle of white wine every night and never exceed my limit. I am a bit surprised with my results and ofcourse worried as well. My friends and husband consume more alcohol then me and there results are far better - infact in control. BTW, I took half of a bottle of white wine (12% alcohol ratio) 16 hours before my test (In between I had no water and just 1 cup of black coffee and half grape fruit). I also took a pain killer for headache 6 hours before my tests. And just a day earlier, I had a CT Scan where they injected a liquid inside me for better results. Maybe one of the above is the reason for such high values? My liver ultra sound and recent stomach CT Scan does not show and thing wrong at all. Pancreas, veins, spleen, kidneys, liver size etc are all normal. All other LFT related values (such as Blubirin) are in normal range and other tests such as CBC are fine. Please advise?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 18 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Your results are not very high.

Detailed Answer:
Hello!

Thank you for the query.

First of all you can not compare yourself to any other person on this planet. Every human has a way different body, different body mass, different body ingredients and for sure different liver. Liver is a main aim of the alcohol. It changes it due to chemical reaction. Alcohol causes liver injury, liver cells destruction and liver enzymes secretion to the bloodstream. This is what we can detect. ALT, AST, GGTP are nothing more than a products of liver cells destruction. More alcohol you drink at once, more liver enzymes can be detected to the bloodstream. CT contrast and painkiller both can have some impact to liver.
And finally, your results are not very high. Just typical for regular alcohol drinker.

I suggest you to avoid alcohol for a month or so. I am pretty sure you will get much lower results.

Hope this helps.
Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 28 minutes later
Thanks Doc for your instant reply. I am much satisfied. I will certainly reduce alcohol consumption and I am also planning to start precautionary GNC medicine called Milk Thistle 500 MG/day. And one of the Doctor here in Pakistan has advised a medicine (1 Hapamerz XXXXXXX 3 Mg for 15 days) containing L-ornithine l-aspartate to improve my liver condition. I was concerned because use of Alcohol in Pakistan is not common and therefore Doctors here scared the hell out of me when they saw my result

I have a surgery next week (lumpectomy) as I have been diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma grade II but luckily the stage seems to 1. All these Scans, Tests, Ultra Sounds etc are being performed for correct diagnosis of the lump. During the process, we came across my GGT & ALT levels and my Doctor wa snot happy at all

I will have to quit drinking next week onwards for atleast 10-15 days due to surgery and all post surgery treatments. Based on your advise, I shall extend the break to 30 days

Since I am very fond of drinking, I dont want to quit drinking completely. But I can switch to 1 x Beer / night (5% alcohol - 500 ML) followed by 250 ML of Red Wine (11% Alcohol) instead of half of bottle of white wine? Indeed I will take a one month break as mentioned above due to my surgery and based on your advise. I know Doctors usually don't recommend consumption of Alcohol but since I am trying to bring my levels back to normal and yet I want to enjoy a bit of drinks too, I thought maybe you can advise if beer + red wine combination at such moderate levels would be OK after the my 30 days break? Sorry for a somewhat silly question but here in Pakistan, alcohol is a BIG NO so I need your advise and help

Waiting for your reply - Thanks and I hope I will not disturb you on this matter any further

Cheers
doctor
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 5 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Please see the answer below.

Detailed Answer:
Well, the worst thing for the liver is regular alcohol intake. Sooner or later (mostly after 20-30 years), liver will be cirrhotic and liver transplant will be the only option.
So much better for the liver is to drink(even in much higher dosages of the alcohol) and than make a break (even few days can make a great difference). Wine is always a better type of alcohol. It contains substances improving blood pressure and arteries condition. Beer seems to be less helpful (more harmful).
So in conclusion, 250 ml of Red Wine in regular usage (day by day) through many years will cause liver cirrhosis. No matter if you replace another 250 ml with beer or not.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 26 minutes later
OK I got it now - I certainly dont want to end up with liver cirrhosis. I will take a break of 30 days with medication (Milk Thistle + Hepamerz) followed by occasional drinking (say 3 days a week at max) in moderate quantity (say XXXXXXX 375 ML of Red Wine) - I will try to restrict myself to weekends (Fri/Sat/Sun) and detox for remaining 4 days

So glad I spoke to you in so much detail - I understand that I don't have to call it a day to drinking but just have to follow certain rules

Thanks again - will take suggestions from you related to my upcoming surgery and precautions etc
doctor
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
You are welcome.

Detailed Answer:
You are welcome.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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