New to the forums because, as you can probably guess, I have an issue that I would like to learn more about. Just had a blood test done and the only abnormality was an elevated AST level. I am a bit worried because the ratio of AST to ALT is 2:1, which I have read is indicative of alcoholic liver disease. First the numbers:
I am 29 years old and male.
AST: 72 (range of 15-39 is normal)
ALT: 36 (range of 7-52 is normal)
Alkaline Phosphatase: 47 (range of 25-125 is normal)
Bilirubin, Total: 0.5 (range of 0.3 - 1.4 is normal)
I am going for a follow up test with my doctor in about 3 weeks (not drinking during that time). I am certainly not an alcoholic, I drink 1-2 times per week (mostly just once) although on those nights its usually quite a bit. Also I exercise pretty strenuously 4 times per week (heavy weight lifting). Not sure that matters, but I have read elsewhere than it can increase AST levels.
So how worried should I be about this? Thank you for any insight, it is really appreciated.
The good thing after seeing your numbers is that your liver can certainly heal and seems to be in good working order although it is very irritated. If this irritation continues you may find yourself in trouble so for now lets figure out what may be causing it.
Many things can cause this irritation and from the information you provided it is a strong possibility that it is just the weight training. There are a lot more serious things that it could be so make sure to take it serious.
For the next three weeks take it a little easier with the weights, avoid alcohol and medications prescription or OTC.
Were you having any symptoms that prompted you to get tested?
Thank you so much for the response. No, no symptoms were being felt, just went in for a check-up after an admittedly stupid period of about 4 years where I did not go to the doctor.
I am abstaining from any alcohol until my next test and also am reducing my protein intake somewhat as I have read/heard that excess protein intake can tax the liver somewhat (this is something I may just do long term). I do plan on taking it a little easier at the gym and not working out at all 4 days prior to the test.
Thanks again for your help, Randy. Been driving myself crazy here the last couple of days. Do you think alcoholic liver disease is a possibility here? I have never been an alcoholic (the closest Ive come was generic frat-boy like activity in college). I know its almost impossible to tell from your perspective since there is a lot more info needed, but just wondering if you have any insight.
It is good to hear you are abstaining from alcohol, this will allow your liver a chance to heal replacing the damaged cells. From what you have said about drinking I wouldn't suspect this is the problem but it is certainly adding to the damage that the source of the problem is causing.
Once you get this problem figured out stick to going to the doctor every year for an annual physical just to make sure no further problems arise.
I know this waiting period is frustrating but hopefully your next labs will come back just fine if not your next step will be to see a gastroenterologist or hepatologist who will most likely send you for and ultra sound or CT scan.
Please let me know if there's anything else I can help you with as things develop, take care!
Just an update on my situation. I had a retest of my blood done about 2 weeks after the first test. During that time I did not drink, and about a week before the new test I did not work out at all. Unfortunately I still had elevated AST level (although it came down). My new results:
I am 29 years old and male.
AST: 44 (range of 15-39 is normal) - down from 72
ALT: 17 (range of 7-52 is normal) - down from 36
Alkaline Phosphatase: 47 (range of 25-125 is normal) - same
Bilirubin, Total: 0.4 (range of 0.3 - 1.4 is normal) - down from 0.5
GGT*: 16 (11-64 is normal)
* Didnt do GGT last time, was added in this test.
All negative for Hepatitis. My doctor says I shouldnt worry but recommends I get an ultrasound. Any thoughts would be helpful. Still a little worried, since I have luckily been generally healthy during my life.
It's great to hear your levels are returning to normal. I don't know what it could have been to cause the elevation/irritation. The ultra sound is a good idea to make sure you haven't experienced any permanent damage at some point but I think it's unlikely you have anything to worry about. Keep doing what you’re doing. I wish you all the best!
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