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  • Liver test

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    Old 10-01-2015, 01:09 PM   #1
    jp01924
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    Liver test

    About a year ago, father passed away from COPD and I was worried about my health. I went to doctors and asked for a blood test and they gave me job lot. I knew I ate too much fatty food and also drank a bit too much alcohol, sometimes 3-4 glasses wine a night, sometimes nothing for a week. The results came back and I had total cholesterol of 5.5 (should be under 5) and I had a raised ALT only on a routine liver test of 77. Normal range 7 – 56 in that test. All other liver tests and Full blood count were perfect. Doctor wasn’t worried and said that I should return in 3 months. I drank a bit less and ate less but still drank. He said I could but in moderation. I drank not the night before test, but for a few nights before that each night.

    Dr google freaked me out worried I had cirrhosis and the lot.

    Anyway went back 3 months later and cholesterol was down to 4 and ALT was down at 30. Told me I was fine and it could be nothing. Said it could be more food than alcohol or a bit of both. Told me that it was less than +2 (ie not over 112) I think so not to worry. Also said it could be that I drank a couple days before test.

    Wasn’t convinced so had further 2 blood tests. All came back normal ALT was 30 again one occasions and 33 on next one. All FBC was okay and cholesterol was fine.

    Why do I still worry? I have read news and it banged on about that bloods are not always right and you could still have cirrhosis.

    I am 30, male, not over weight, exercise a bit and cut back on drink. Am I okay? Should I trust that the liver is ok? Could it be just one of those things.

    3 out of the 4 tests have been fine, should I worry? He told me that mild elevated liver enzymes are common and happens to a lot of people. Adamant I didn't need a scan or anymore tests seen as I had 4!

    Last edited by jp01924; 10-01-2015 at 01:10 PM.

     
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    Old 10-01-2015, 07:53 PM   #2
    BillinSD
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    Re: Liver test

    It's rare to see advanced alcoholic liver disease (ALD) in someone your age, even in heavy drinkers, so I'd trust your doctor. Enzymes typically associated with alcoholic liver disease are AST and GGT, with both usually remaining stubbornly elevated many months into sobriety. Drinking can pop ALT high briefly, but seeing it normalize swiftly is a good sign.

    Those with advanced disease and normal enzymes have usually been pretty sick for quite a while with a history of other alcohol related symptoms. Their enzymes usually don't normalize until they have put their drinking behind them for six months to a year.

    If you're really worried and you haven't had a GGT and/or AST ran, you might ask for these. They aren't expensive labs and your doc shouldn't mind. Any substantial amount of alcohol within a week or two of your blood draw will elevate GGT moderately, but when the liver is still healthy, this usually normalizes within a month of sobriety.

    An AST out of range is more concerning, particularly if it is floating substantially above ALT. An AST out of range and above ALT, along with a GGT that does not normalize swiftly (within a month of sobriety) is the most reliable red flag for ALD from blood labs alone.

    Hope this helps, and Stay Healthy!
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    Last edited by BillinSD; 10-01-2015 at 07:55 PM.

     
    Old 10-01-2015, 11:06 PM   #3
    jp01924
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    Re: Liver test

    Thanks For your reply. I live in the uk and they don't do AST routinely I don't think they only do the ALT, ALP total bib and albumin I think. I do know my GGT was fine as he did that on the last 2 tests and even thought u had still been drinking moderatey on and off it was still fine.

    I don't think google helps and to be fair at 30 there are people that hammer much more then me! Whilst I do enjoy a few drinks I've never been one to do 10 pints in a night.

    But no, GGT was fine so maybe I do need to chill and accept that enzymes do go up and down

     
    Old 10-02-2015, 12:11 AM   #4
    BillinSD
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    Re: Liver test

    Oh yes! A normal GGT = a happy liver. With alcoholic liver disease GGT is always stubbornly and substantially elevated, even many months into recovery.

    This is a remarkable sign you're not in serious trouble.

    Mind how you go, and Stay Healthy!
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