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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Elevated levels of gamma GT. Due to alcohol consumption? What are the health risks?

A recent blood test showed I have 'elevated' levels of gamma gt. The results were provided to me by my doctor on the phone. He said it was likely due to alcohol but would not require retesting for 12 months. I am not an alcoholic. I didn't think to ask what the reading was. What are the health risks if the reading continues to be the same or higher? Are there any other causes apart from alcohol?
Thanking you in advance of your advice.
Thu, 2 May 2013
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General Surgeon 's  Response
Hi and welcome to HCM.
The most common cause of this is alcohol abuse, but it can be due to any kind of hepatitis,viral or autoimmune. So check your viral markers. Also some heart disease and some drugs can elevate GGT. The main question is is there significant liver damage but if ultrasounds is fine and ther is no other liver enzymes or bilirubin elevation the this is nothing serious. You should just follow some hepatoprotective diet and do frequent check ups. Wish you good health.
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General & Family Physician Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain's  Response
Hi and thanks for the query,
Elevated Gamma GT results is usually indicative of a liver lesion, but might arise from numerous causes. Alcohol is one of the causes too. Interpretation of the results actually depend on the actual value, to know whether it is a slight, moderate or intense elevation. These results must be interpreted in conjunction with the clinical picture, other liver function tests like ASAT, ALAT, and usually an abdominal ultrasound to determine the histologic structure of the liver.
I would strongly recommend an appointment with a gastroenterologist for a more detailed assessment and management. Thanks and best regards.
Luchuo, MD.
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General Surgeon Dr. Grzegorz Stanko's  Response

Thank you for the query.

GGTP is a very sensitive marker of bile ducts obstruction. It gets elevated due to stones in bile ducts, liver cancer, acute pancreatitis, bile ducts inflammation. Pancreas cancer can also give increased GGTP level. Alcohol can make it elevated as well, however other reasons should be ruled out at first.
I suggest you to have some more tests. Abdominal ultrasound, amylase, urine amylase, lipase, bilirubin should be done. To rule out pancreas cancer abdominal CT is necessary.
Liver diseases like viral infection should be also checked (HbSAg and Anti-HCV levels should be checked).

You should also avoid alcohol, fatty foods, fried foods.

Hope this will help.
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