I just had a question about my liver enzyme test---I have had higher than normal results for years, I guess it was about 4 1/2 years ago that I first found out that I was high on the ALT and AST tests, and from there, they tested me for Hep C, and it came out positive, but it ended up being a mistake in the lab because all subsequent tests came out negative, and the specialist finally sent my blood out for a Heptimax test, which is supposedely the most sensitive, and that was also negative. So, an ultrasound did detect a fatty liver, and it was diagnosed at that point that the reason for the elevated liver enzymes was the fatty liver. I figured I would just work on that myself, and haven't really done that good, but I did take more blood work recently for another reason, and my AST was normal, but my ALT was 45, which the range is supposed to be 0-40. Is it bad that I've had an elevated AST for a long time now? Does it matter that it's not that bad at 45? I don't know if the number correlates to the degree of damage or not. One other thing, I've been taking a regular mulit-vitamin lately, is that good or bad for your liver? I did vitamin E for a while, hearing that was good for fatty liver, but then the reports came out about how vitamin E isn't so good for you, so I stopped. There is some vitamin E in my mulit-vitamin, but not alot. Anyway, thanks so much for any info, you guys are always lifesavers! Thanks, Val
An ALT of 45 is very mildly elevated and whilst there's an underlying cause, 45 is definitely nothing to be stressed over. I was diagnosed with a fatty liver 4 months ago and my ALTs are still in the mid 70s - but they are dropping. At 45, I hardly expect you'd have any noticable symptoms at all.
Vitamin supplements will not hurt your liver at all as long as you're taking the recommended daily dosage. I cleared all my supplements with my heptologist (a liver specialist) and it's fine to take. At the moment I'm taking a multi vitamin in the morning, B1 supplement twice daily and a Magnesium/Calcium supplment once daily alone with Milk Thistle 3 times daily. The reason for this many supplements is because with my fatty liver, I've had an extended period of nausea which has limited my food intake. However, even taking all these supplements, my ALTs have been dropping steadily over the last several months.
Vitamin E isn't necessarily 'good' for liver. If you want to take any supplement for liver alone, I highly recommend Milk Thistle instead. I take it 3 times daily in capsule form and it's the only proven natural supplement that aids in the protection of liver from damage. If you're going to take any supplement for your liver, I recommend taking this. If you are not sure, speak with your doctor first. Since I have started taking it, I have noticed a significant reduction of symptoms associated with my fatty liver.
When it comes to a fatty liver, you also need to adjust 3 other things in your life.
Firstly, your diet. You need to get your fat intake as close to zero as possible, limit your sugars and eat more fibre and fruit and veg. Apart from the obvious other health benefits (I've lost over 20 kilos (42 pounds) in the last 3 months alone and feel great!), the low fat intake allows your liver to rest and recouperate. Your liver is a regenative organ and the less stress you put on it having to produce bile to break down fats, the better.
Secondly, get a regular excercise regime into your lifestyle! I walk for between 1 and 2 hours five days a week and combined with the diet, your general health improves remarkably. The exercise routine helps reduce fat in your body (and liver!) and also aids in muscle development, which increases your body's ability to handle insulin. For the treatment of fatty liver disease, it's recommended you shed between 10% and 15% of total body fat.
Third, if you drink alcohol, stop. Whilst you can safely get away with small amounts of the stuff, generally speaking you are better off without any intake at all. Alcohol is never good for your liver and is often associated with fatty liver disease (in fact, it's one of the most common causes). If you're drinking at the moment, stop.
I've been able to combine these three things into my lifestyle over the last several months and my ALTs are dropping on a regular basis (about 10-15 points a month at the moment).
The changes do require commitment and discipline, but it's really the only way to effectively treat fatty liver disease. Failure to do so leads to worse symptoms long term (like scarring), so for someone like me it was really a no brainer.
I'm 32 years old, male - non drinker/smoker. My fatty liver disease was caused by being overweight and having a high fat diet. There are a number of reasons for fatty liver, but sometimes it can be things you'd never expect.
But at least this experience has made me a lot more focused on my health and diet and I am slowly getting better.
Speak with your doctor for professional advice, but what I've given you from my own experience should help too. At ALTs of 45, I wouldn't be fretting too much at all and you should really only need a few minor modifications to get back to 'normal'