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What causes elevated ALT levels?

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Posted on Thu, 14 May 2015
Question: my doctor wants to run more tests on me because my alt levels were high. what tests do you think he'll run? I'm terrified of having hepatitis c.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta (2 hours later)
Brief answer....given below
Detailed answer...
Hello,
Thanks for the query.
I have read your query and understand your concern.
Mild rise of ALT levels is a very common occurrence in general population and many a time,one can not find the exact reason for the rise inspite of detailed investigations.
General causes for the rise of ALT are diabetes,obesity,high cholesterol levels,alcohol,junk food,use of medicines like painkillers,use of herbs etc.
If these causes have been excluded and there is a persistent rise of ALT levels ( 2-3 times of upper level of normal limit ) for more than 4 weeks,then one orders test like serological markers of hepatitis B and C.
At the moment your doctor may be ordering tests like lipid profile,blood sugar ( fasting and PP ) and ultrasound abdomen.
I hope it helps however you are most welcome to revert to me for any further query.
Best of luck
Thanks
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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Follow up: Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta (2 hours later)
my levels were 58 but i noticed that for each lab it's different. their cut off was 29. I was also on 20mg of prednisone prior to being tested and taking 20mg of ketolorac, 500 mg or tylenol each time, 500 mg of ibuprofen each time and also have taken sudafed. i do have a small pain in my upper right stomach and I've had gastritis before. I'm 5'2 200 lbs. I'm really nervous because I haven't been exposed to hepatitis at any time but I heard it could be on surfaces for 3 weeks.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta (5 hours later)
Hello,
These levels of 58 are not very high.
Consumption of pain killers,steroids and overweight can all cause ALT levels to be high.
If I were your treating doctor,I would simply ask you to stop the medicines,drink plenty of water,eat more of fresh fruits and green vegetables,avoid junk foods and do regular walk for 45 minutes a day and then get the ALT estimation done after a gap  of 4 weeks.
In case ALT is still high,then I would think of getting the serological markers of B and C done.
Thanks
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
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Follow up: Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta (13 minutes later)
Thank you. I've been a nervous wreck the past couple of days. This reassured me a little.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta (2 minutes later)
Hello,
You are most welcome to ask any query any time.
Thanks
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
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Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1978

Answered : 6704 Questions

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What causes elevated ALT levels?

Brief answer....given below Detailed answer... Hello, Thanks for the query. I have read your query and understand your concern. Mild rise of ALT levels is a very common occurrence in general population and many a time,one can not find the exact reason for the rise inspite of detailed investigations. General causes for the rise of ALT are diabetes,obesity,high cholesterol levels,alcohol,junk food,use of medicines like painkillers,use of herbs etc. If these causes have been excluded and there is a persistent rise of ALT levels ( 2-3 times of upper level of normal limit ) for more than 4 weeks,then one orders test like serological markers of hepatitis B and C. At the moment your doctor may be ordering tests like lipid profile,blood sugar ( fasting and PP ) and ultrasound abdomen. I hope it helps however you are most welcome to revert to me for any further query. Best of luck Thanks