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What does elevated GGT level indicate?

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Posted on Wed, 10 Sep 2014
Question: Hi, I am a white European female age 56 - I have polycistic liver disease and have recently had a blood test which gave me a GGT assessment if 61 which is outside the range - is this a problem? I have about 4 glasses of ref wine a week and eat a good diet .
doctor
Answered by Dr. Samir Patil (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Yes alcohol is probably is the cause

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
The GGT level rise is most likely to be a result of alcohol intake. It indicates damage to the liver. My advise is to get an SGOT and SGPT tests done.I would suggest you abstain from alcohol and repeat GGT after a month. Hope this Helps
Regards
Dr Samir Patil
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Follow up: Dr. Samir Patil (50 minutes later)
Ok but as i understand things, this is a small amount of alcohol and shouldnt have such an impact. Some weeks i dont have any alcohol. Is there any serious detriment to it being at this level? Also what are the other tests u r suggesting and what result should i be looking for from them?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Samir Patil (34 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Not a cause for alarm. But itsbetter to be careful

Detailed Answer:
Hello again , You are right in assuming that the amount of alcohol you consume is within the permissible limit and shouldn't usually have an impact in majority of cases. But the rise in GGT suggests that the damage is probably due to alcohol.( Which can happen even at less than prescribed levals)

In case the SGOT and SGPT ( which are liver enzymes) are also high then they indicate possibility of more serious damage to the liver in which case you will need evaluation for other causes of liver disease like hepatitis B and C as well.

There is no serious detriment for GGT being at this level. It isn't an cause for alarm.
If SGOT and SGPT are normal then you should probably space your drinks to allow time for the liver to recover.

Do Get back if you have further Queries
Regards
Dr Samir Patil
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Follow up: Dr. Samir Patil (27 hours later)
Hi again Doctor - perhaps you could advisee what level would be classed as unacceptable in terms of GGT for a person of my age that has polycystic liver disease? At least then if it is only a little over the normal range, I will not worry too much.Also, my albumin level is 51 which seems a little high too - is this related and again is there anything to worry about? My iron level is 18.5 which is apparently a little low. I am just wondering whether all these things are related?

The scan I had also showed some small calcifications in my lungs and some tiny diverticula in the sigmoid colon - can you explain what this means and again if there is anything I can do or need to be worried about?

Thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Samir Patil (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Advise to cut down alcohol, add fibre, stool test

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
There is no definite safe limit for GGT elevation. Generally 2 times upper limit is taken as high in clinical practice.( 30 is the upRper limit in most labs)
The only clinical utility of GGT is to check whether alcohol is responsible to liver problems. SGOT and SGPT or AST wand ALT as they are also known as are better markers of liver disease and their levels have better prognostic value.

So I would suggest in case SGOT SGPT levels are normal it is not a cause for alarm, but presence of raised GGT indicates that you should cut down on alcohol.

Albumin levels are XXXXXXX a cause for concern, intact albumin levels more than 35 indicate excellent liver synthetic function.

Your iron levels are indeed low. These are either due to poor intake of iron, blood loss or poor absorption. You will need iron supplementation which your doctor will prescribe for you. I would suggest a stool test for occult blood which if positive will indicate blood loss and will warrant further tests.

The calcification in the lungs could be since birth or the sequlae of old healed chest infection. In either case it is not a cause for worry and does not need treatment

Diverticulitis in the sigmoid colon mean outpouching of the inner lining of the sigmoid colon. Mostly these are harmless. The only treatment prescribed is fibre supplementation which helps prevent increase in diverticuli and help prevent complications.
Rarely diverticulitis can get infected in which case you might have pain, or you can have bleeding.(5 -15%). So I wouldn't worry too much about the diverticuli

Hope I have answered all you queries.
Regards
Dr Samir Patil
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Dr. Samir Patil

Gastroenterologist

Practicing since :1997

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What does elevated GGT level indicate?

Brief Answer: Yes alcohol is probably is the cause Detailed Answer: Hello, The GGT level rise is most likely to be a result of alcohol intake. It indicates damage to the liver. My advise is to get an SGOT and SGPT tests done.I would suggest you abstain from alcohol and repeat GGT after a month. Hope this Helps Regards Dr Samir Patil