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What Does My Lab Test Report Indicate?

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Posted on Tue, 10 Oct 2017
Question: Dear Dr. i was recently doing a comparison of some of my test results and found the following for ALT (SGPT) looks like it has been rising. should i be concerned. My Dr hasn't made any mention of it to me. But i don't like to see abnormal tests. So it is what i have seen. my latest test has me at 88
ALT (SGPT)     11/17/2011          35
ALT (SGPT)     2/21/2013          36
ALT (SGPT)     7/15/2015          56
ALT (SGPT)     8/25/2016          60
ALT (SGPT)     8/25/2017          88
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Information

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

Normal range for ALT is roughly 7-56 so yours is slightly elevated. It is not cause for alarm, but as you noted, there has been gradual increase and so I think the underlying cause should be addressed.

The most common causes of increasing ALT are alcohol use (some people's livers cannot tolerate any without spilling liver enzymes (ALT and AST) from inflammation; gaining weight; and medications.

There are other possible causes too, such as viral hepatitis.

I do think you should discuss this gradual increase with your doctor to find and eliminate the cause. As I mentioned, your levels aren't alarming, but an upward trend, and being past the lab norms should be looked into.

If you haven't had a Hepatitis C test, get one done, as all people in our age group should have this done once.

If you are overweight, the elevation may represent some fatty liver disease and treatment is to decrease refined carbohydrates and try to lose weight -gradually - and keep it off. Regaining/Losing weight cycles are actually harder on the liver. That's why it's best not to lose weight quickly.

Many medications are processed by the liver and can be a bit hard on it. Even some of the over the counter ones - in particular, Tylenol (acetaminophen) is hard on the liver. If you use Tylenol, try to eliminate that if possible, or minimize how much. And never drink alcohol within hours of taking it.

For some people, any alcohol use is tolerated poorly by the liver, and causes inflammation. Over time, that can lead to scarring/cirrhosis. So if you drink any alcohol, cut down on that.

I would recommend these things, and then request a follow up full liver enzyme panel in about 3-6 months after having made these lifestyle or medication changes. If the liver enzyme or enzymes are still going up, then the next step is an ultrasound.

I hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3134 Questions

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What Does My Lab Test Report Indicate?

Brief Answer: Information Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome, Normal range for ALT is roughly 7-56 so yours is slightly elevated. It is not cause for alarm, but as you noted, there has been gradual increase and so I think the underlying cause should be addressed. The most common causes of increasing ALT are alcohol use (some people's livers cannot tolerate any without spilling liver enzymes (ALT and AST) from inflammation; gaining weight; and medications. There are other possible causes too, such as viral hepatitis. I do think you should discuss this gradual increase with your doctor to find and eliminate the cause. As I mentioned, your levels aren't alarming, but an upward trend, and being past the lab norms should be looked into. If you haven't had a Hepatitis C test, get one done, as all people in our age group should have this done once. If you are overweight, the elevation may represent some fatty liver disease and treatment is to decrease refined carbohydrates and try to lose weight -gradually - and keep it off. Regaining/Losing weight cycles are actually harder on the liver. That's why it's best not to lose weight quickly. Many medications are processed by the liver and can be a bit hard on it. Even some of the over the counter ones - in particular, Tylenol (acetaminophen) is hard on the liver. If you use Tylenol, try to eliminate that if possible, or minimize how much. And never drink alcohol within hours of taking it. For some people, any alcohol use is tolerated poorly by the liver, and causes inflammation. Over time, that can lead to scarring/cirrhosis. So if you drink any alcohol, cut down on that. I would recommend these things, and then request a follow up full liver enzyme panel in about 3-6 months after having made these lifestyle or medication changes. If the liver enzyme or enzymes are still going up, then the next step is an ultrasound. I hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information.