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Should I be concerned about high AST and ALT levels?

Monday, 16 January 2006
Answered by: Dr. Praveen J. Kumar
Hon. Consultant Physician and Gastroenterologist,
St.Bartholomews, The Royal London and Homerton Hospitals,
UK
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Q. 1 am 36 years old. I am 5 feet 10 inches tall and I weigh 150 lbs. I recently got a blood test done. Everything was normal except ALT and AST levels. My AST is 38 u/l and ALT is 66 u/l. Do I have to be concerned about these levels? Should I think twice before having a bottle of beer again?

A.  Liver tests such as AST and ALT can be raised without there being any symptoms. They are usually due to a fatty infiltration in the liver. The commonest causes of fat in the liver are overweight, diabetes or, of course, alcohol. Some drugs can also cause this, as can some viruses. However, if all the other tests are normal - then I suggest you try a period of losing weight and stop drinking. Also check the tablets you are taking. If the blood tests have not returned to normal in 3-6 months - then you should ask a doctor.

A.  Liver tests such as AST and ALT can be raised without there being any symptoms. They are usually due to a fatty infiltration in the liver. The commonest causes of fat in the liver are overweight, diabetes or, of course, alcohol. Some drugs can also cause this, as can some viruses. However, if all the other tests are normal - then I suggest you try a period of losing weight and stop drinking. Also check the tablets you are taking. If the blood tests have not returned to normal in 3-6 months - then you should ask a doctor.

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