What is a high ALT level?
What does it mean if my alanine transaminase (ALT) is high? High levels of ALT in your blood can be due to damage or injury to the cells in your liver. An increased ALT level may indicate the following conditions: Alcohol-induced liver injury. Fatty liver disease (too much fat in your liver).
In general, high levels of ALT may be a sign of liver damage from hepatitis, infection, cirrhosis, liver cancer, or other liver diseases. The damage may also be from a lack of blood flow to the liver or certain medicines or poisons.
Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is an enzyme found mainly in the liver. High levels (>50) indicate damage to liver cells as a result of infection (hepatitis, infectious mononucleosis, etc.) or toxic levels of drugs (e.g. acetaminophen [Tylenol]) or chemicals (e.g. chloroform) or alcohol.
What ALT level is considered high? The upper limit of normal for ALT is 55 IU/L. When an ALT level is double to triple the upper limit of normal, it is considered mildly elevated. Severely elevated ALT levels found in liver disease are often 50 times the upper limit of normal.
People can lower their ALT levels by making lifestyle changes, such as taking regular exercise and changing their diet. Increasing fiber intake, reducing saturated fats and processed foods, as well as consuming a range of nutrients from fruits and vegetables may all help to lower levels.
Can Stress Cause Elevated Liver Enzymes? Stress and anxiety are proven to contribute to high liver enzyme levels since they can reduce blood flow to the liver.
Over-the-counter pain medications, particularly acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) Certain prescription medications, including statin drugs used to control cholesterol. Drinking alcohol.
Typically the range for normal AST is reported between 10 to 40 units per liter and ALT between 7 to 56 units per liter. Mild elevations are generally considered to be 2-3 times higher than the normal range. In some conditions, these enzymes can be severely elevated, in the 1000s range.
According to the American College of Gastroenterology, the normal value for ALT in blood for people without risk factors for liver disease ranges from 29 to 33 international units per liter (IU/L) for males and 19 to 25 IU/L for females.
How do you lower ALT in the liver?
Drink coffee. Several studies have found that coffee may have a protective effect on the liver and that drinking it can lower liver enzymes. A 2017 review found that drinking anywhere from 1 to 4 cups of coffee per day can help lower ALT levels and reduce the risk of liver disease and cancer.
However, patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease may have normal transaminase levels. The ratio of AST/ALT usually is less than 1 (in alcoholic liver disease, this ratio typically will be greater than 2) but may increase as the severity of the liver damage increases.
The alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is a specific marker for liver inflammation and is typically elevated in individuals with a fatty liver. If your ALT test results are elevated, your doctor may order additional blood tests to check for other conditions including viral hepatitis.
Sometimes, factors such as hormonal changes or reactions to medications can cause temporarily elevated liver enzyme levels. Elevated levels caused by these factors will generally return to normal in about 2 to 4 weeks without treatment.
Overall health improvement is seen in a person who exercises regularly, which means doing regular cardiovascular or aerobic exercise can improve health and reduce ALT levels. Studies indicated that a minimum of 150 minutes of regular activity per week can improve liver enzymes, such as ALT, in an adult.
Normal serum ALT is 7–56 U/ L . Any type of liver cell injury can reasonably increases ALT levels. Elevated values up to 300 U/L are considered nonspecific.
Both the unfiltered and boiled coffee caused significant increases in plasma ALT and AST.
- Abdominal swelling (ascites)
- Enlarged blood vessels just beneath the skin's surface.
- Enlarged spleen.
- Red palms.
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
An ALT test result of >100 IU/l is a clear indicator of serious liver disease, but a mildly elevated ALT result (30–100 IU/l) is often ascribed to the use of medication (for example statins) or alcohol, obesity, or, for lower ALT levels (<50 IU/l), considered as part of the normal distribution of test results.
Avoid certain supplements: Excess iron, niacin, and vitamin A (the retinol form, not beta carotene) tend to stress an unhealthy liver.
Should I worry about ALT?
A high ALT level is usually a sign of some type of liver issue. It's important to work with your doctor to find the underlying cause of your elevated ALT, even if you don't have any symptoms. Lowering your ALT will require treating the cause, but certain dietary changes can help.
10–40 IU/L. High. >36 U/L. >1,000 U/L are very high levels and may be a sign of liver injury or hepatitis. >40 IU/L which may be a sign of liver inflammation.
Persistent mild elevation of ALT and AST in asymptomatic persons should be followed up and if the levels go above 2 times the normal range, further evaluation is necessary.