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What does it mean when your ALT is high?
Today we’ll be talking about ALT.
And in particular, what a high result means for you.
ALT (which stands for alanine aminotransferase), is an enzyme used to measure risks to the liver.
By running a blood test for it we can:
- Check for liver diseases. Cirrhosis and hepatitis in particular.
- Check for liver damage,?but not to what extent
- In the case of jaundice, determine whether its cause was from disease or blood disorder.
- Assess whether treatment for liver disease should take place
- Analyze the effects of potentially liver harming medicines
- Analyze if progress is being made in treatment for liver disease
- What exactly constitutes a high test level.
- What’s potentially causing the high blood levels for you.
- How to determine the severity of your results.
- What you can do next to help improve your condition.
What is considered?a high ALT level?
Basically, any reading above 55 units per liter (U/L).
When this shows up in your alt results there is probably an unhealthy amount of the enzyme present in your bloodstream.
Under normal conditions, these enzymes stay in liver cells. But when there’s damage in the liver the enzymes spill out into the bloodstream and circulate through the body.
|Low||Below 7 U/L|
|Normal||Between 7 – 55 U/L|
|High||Above 55 U/L|
Mildly-elevated levels range from two to three times the normal to high mark. If your levels are around 55 to 200 U/L it’s not a time to panic, but you should look into it further.
Very high levels in the blood can go as high as multiple thousands?of units per liter. As high as 2,000-20,000 U/L!
What could be causing your high alt levels?
There’s a broad range of potential causes for elevated ALT levels.
Some are more severe than others, with some results coming from acute liver damage and others from chronic liver conditions.
In any instance, all cases of the enzyme becoming an elevated point of?damage that has taken place. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be in the blood in high amounts.
But you should determine whether it’s a dangerous or more common, less threatening reason.
Moderate risk ALT Symptoms
This is the 55 to a few hundred U/L level and is not too serious (in most cases).
There aren’t many noticeable symptoms associated with slightly elevated ALT levels. When slightly elevated levels are present it can be an indicator that more risk could be on the horizon, though.
So if your numbers are ranging from 55 to a few hundred U/L you’re advised to read on and assess whether you could be at risk for more pronounced issues in future.
Because remember, once the markers get into the thousands we’re looking at something more serious.
Moderate to high-level ALT symptoms can include:
- General tiredness
- mild fever
- lack of appetite
- pain in the abdomen
- mild jaundice (when your skin gets yellow)
Possible causes for these moderately upped numbers may include:
- Reactions to medications
- Physical injury
- poor diet/lots of processed foods
- mild inflammation
- alcohol bingeing
- prolonged Tylenol/acetaminophen use
- antibiotic use
Higher risk ALT Levels (>1,000 U/L)
conditions?correlating with pronounced blood level elevation
If your levels are really high, there’s a lot of potential causes. Though some are very interrelated.
Below is a list of what might be ailing you:
- hepatitis of the liver (either acute – A or B – or chronic – C)
- cirrhosis of the liver
- liver tissue death (also called necrosis)
- Damage from alcohol abuse also called alcoholic fatty liver
- Iron buildup in the liver (genetic)
- Diminished blood flow to the liver
- liver tumors/cancer
- Severe drug overdose (often Tylenol, sometimes antibiotics, pain meds, psychiatric meds, seizure meds, wild mushroom poisoning etc…
- Wilson’s disease (copper buildup in the liver)
- autoimmune diseases
- IBD (Crohn’s & ulcerative colitis)
How to determine the severity of your ALT results
Whether you’re sick and likely to have a chronic disease or are a?healthy individual – if you have moderate to high aminotransferase results it’s important to investigate further what might be going wrong.?A thorough medical examination should?be conducted.
This would include letting your doctor know about any over-the-counter drugs or herbs you’ve taken recently.
For example, sometimes Chinese herbs that are widely prescribed can?cause cirrhosis in certain people.
Additionally, history of blood transfusion, drug use, sexual history (related to sexually derived hepatitis), alcohol consumption and potential foodborne illnesses should be investigated.
In addition to collecting that personal?data, more tests to screen the liver should be conduction.
This test can be ordered online and does not require a doctors note, but feel free to bring the results to your doctor for analysis.
In addition to directly testing the liver, it’s also suggested that you?get a Complete Blood Count (CBC) test ($39 at True Health Labs) to get more information.
What you can do to improve your high ALT condition
You’ll want to aid the body in boosting liver health. Luckily for us, the liver is an organ that is great for self-healing and regenerating.
Even more fortunate is that, in today’s world, we have easy access to liver tonics which help the body to heal rapidly.
Take Milk Thistle extract
Milk Thistle has been used for over 2,000 medicinally as a remedy for different ailments.
In particular, it’s anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities are known to soothe the liver, kidney, and gallbladder. It can even help the liver repair by stimulating new cell growth.
If you want to purchase Milk Thistle for your own use, you can find a quality source of it from Jarrow Formula’s?here on Amazon.
This compound is another powerful antioxidant that can prevent liver injury, oxidative stress, and inflammation. It’s found naturally in the turmeric root and has been used medicinally for thousands of years.
Before you go chomping down on turmeric roots (like I have in the past), it’s good to know that, in its natural form, curcumin isn’t very bioavailable – meaning that the body isn’t able to absorb the helpful compound from the root by itself.
It is possible to improve the bioavailability of curcumin, though. Viva Labs Curcumin with Bioperine boasts a high rate of absorption, which means your body can utilize the compound very well.
This is an anti-oxidant derived from black seed oil that prevents liver injury to relieving oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis. It has been shown to significantly prevent elevations of AST, ALT and LDH activity (liver enzymes), as well as bilirubin levels (also important for liver health.)
You can find highly concentrated forms of Thymoquinone in this Cold-Pressed Black Seed oil produced by AmazingHerbs.