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How high is to high for liver enzymes I recently had a ...

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How high is to high for liver enzymes? I recently had a blood test where my ALT was 58. I drink usually two times a week. FRI, Sat. Also, how long does it take for the enzymes to drop to normal> The blood test was on a Monday, following a normal weekend.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Pam replied 8 years ago.
Hello and Welcome to Just Answer,


A lab test of increased liver enzymes is fairly common. It won't indicate or pinpoint a specific disease. It may be due to a liver problem even if you are not showing any signs or symptoms. Usually the doctor will order more tests to find out what the underlying cause is.

Liver function tests are a series of tests that show how your liver is working. The test will measure Total Protein, Cholesterol, bilirubin, prothrombin time, and liver enzymes that include ALT,AST,GGT, and ALP. These tests are performed at the same time generally.

Liver enzymes help with balancing a variety of chemical and metabolic processes going on in the liver. Only small amounts of these enzymes will show up in the blood normally.

Common Causes are:

1) Medications you are taking, including antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, cholesterol medication, seizure medication
2) Obesity
3) Diabetes
4) Drinking too much alcohol.
5) Autoimmune disorders
6) Infections
7) If you are taking too much herbal products or vitamins
8) Tumors in the liver

The treatment for elevated liver enzymes is to treat what is causing the elevation.


ALT and ASP are made in the liver. There function is to break down amino acids and to make protein. When the liver becomes damaged, these will leak out into the bloodstream

ALT is found in the liver only. Increased levels of ALT in the bloodstream mean that there may be liver inflammation or damage. This test can only measures the amount of ALT in the bloodstream. The normal range is from 5-60. Yours is at 58, so yours is still normal, but on the high end of normal.

After additonal tests are done, usually cessation of drinking, in which you say you do on occasion or if you are taking medication that increases this will lower these enzymes. Since yours is at 58 it shouldn't take much time.

I hope I have answered your questions. If you have anymore questions on this topic, please don't hesitate to ask. If I have helped you in anyway by answering your questions, could you please click the ACCEPT button and also leave me a short feedback so I know how I am doing.

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Pam Russell RN
Pam, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 313
Experience: 17 years of RN experience. Most of my experience has been Director of Nursing.
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Pam's Post: My concern cme form the lab test the upper end was stated at 40IU/L. Everything I have read states that levels of 2-20 times normal things are bad. That is why i was wondering how high is to high. Thanks
Expert:  Pam replied 8 years ago.
One site says the ranges are from 5-35. Another one is 15-45.

But someone who has an ALT level of 50 is not necessarily in better condition than someone with an ALT level of 250 ! This is because these blood tests measure inflammation and damage to the liver at an isolated point in time. For instance, if the liver is inflamed on the day that blood was drawn—let’s say if you consume an alcoholic drink a few hours prior to blood being drawn—the levels may be much higher than if the alcohol had not been consumed. Following the same reasoning, if the liver was damaged years before—by excessive alcohol use—the results of a blood test done today may be normal, but a damaged liver may still be present.

To confuse issues even further, there are many other factors besides liver injury or inflammation that could affect the levels of AST and ALT. For example, males have higher levels than females. And, African-American men have higher levels compared with Caucasian men. Even the time of day that a blood sample is drawn may influence the level of elevation. People appear to have higher levels in the morning and afternoon than in the evening. Food intake does not appear to have a significant effect on levels. Thus, levels do not significantly differ in the fasting and non-fasting state. Finally, levels may vary from day-to-day.

     The ratio of the ALT and AST may also provide useful information regarding the extent of damage or cause of liver disease. Most liver diseases are characterized by greater ALT elevations than AST elevations. Two exceptions to this rule exist. Both cirrhosis and alcohol abuse are associated with higher AST levels than ALT levels. So this can be rather confusing.

Alot of sources have different ranges. But the above paragraph explains it better. I would think that if you were to cut out the alcohol all together, your liver enzymes would decrease. If this is not the case, then there is something else going on and the doctor is going to have to take additional tests to find out.

I hope I have answered your questions. If you have anymore questions on this topic, please don't hesitate to ask. If I have helped you in anyway by answering your questions, could you please click the ACCEPT button and also leave me a short feedback so I know how I am doing.

Thank you for using Just Answer
Pam Russell RN
Pam, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 313
Experience: 17 years of RN experience. Most of my experience has been Director of Nursing.
Pam and 7 other Health Specialists are ready to help you

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