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What do these ALT and AST levels indicate?

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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16701 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 10 Jun 2016 in General Health
Question: I just had some blood work done and my ALT was 78 and my AST was 60. They say this is not normal, but is this something I should be really worried about?
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 36 minutes later
Brief Answer:
not a dangerous increase but would need to be monitored

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

The normal range of lab tests can vary slightly from one lab to the next but in general, the upper limit of AST is approximately 40 and the upper limit for ALT is 56.

This means that both of these are above the upper limit but not dangerously high.
AST and ALT are called liver enzymes, there are produced in other parts of the body but they are mainly used to take a look at the liver.

One of the most common causes for increased liver enzymes at the moment in Non alcoholic fatty liver disease.
This means the build up of fat in the liver in persons who do not use alcohol excessively. If the fat build up continues it causes the liver to be inflamed and irritated.Diet changes , activity and medication , if needed, can help with this.

Other causes would be : alcohol use, infection, trauma, side effect of medication (eg statin).

Your doctor may be able to tell you the likely cause.

If it is non alcoholic fatty liver then the diet changes, activity mentioned above would help.

Your doctor will monitor your levels every few months to a year, if there is significant change imaging such as an ultrasound, would be needed.
I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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