My son recently lost his job, health benefits, 401k when his company declared bankruptcy in March, 2008. During the process of applying for a job, his blood screening revealed an ALT result of 240. Norm appears to be between 5 - 40. The first thing he did was to have a Hepatitus C test, which was negative. As an airline pilot, he avoided alcohol, since he never knew when he might be tested, so alcohol is definitely not the problem. He paid, out of pocket (since he lost his health benefits) for an ultrasound on his lower abdomen. He was told he has a healthy liver, gall bladder and pancreas. Prior to losing his job, he was training vigorously for a marathon and an Ironman event. We're told that vigorous exercise can cause an elevation in ALT levels, but not that much. He is trying to restrict niacin, because he was told that might affect his ALT result if he's sensitive to niacin. We're really grasping for straws at this point. Has anyone had a similar experience? What was the underlying reason for the high ALT result?
Any insight would be greatly appreciated. A hugh drawback is that he doesn't have a primary care doctor to to direct him to other telling tests. Again, all costs are out of pocket. He has had three liver functioin panels done. All results are within a few numbers of each other. Thank you for any ideas you may have.!
What do you mean when you say that all results are withing a few numbers of each other? In general, when there are elevated levels of ALT (more than 10 times the highest normal level) it usually mean acute hepatitis which is often due to a virus infection. In acute hepatitis, ALT levels usually stay high for about 1–2 months, but can take as long as 3–6 months to come back to normal. So have subsequent levels been checked?
ALT levels are usually not as high in chronic hepatitis, often less than 4 times the highest normal level, and in that case, ALT levels often vary between normal and slightly increased. So it's a matter of 'following' the levels by frequent testing to see if there is a pattern.
Thank you. Sorry I wasn't more clear. My son has had a hepatatic panel done four times in the past three weeks. The last one was today. He'll have the results tomorrow. The ALT #'s have been about 240 +/- each time. So they haven't been equal to 10 x the highest normal level established by the lab he's going to, but too high to secure a job with the company he's applying to. He's passed everything else, but they won't hire him unless he can bring the ALT #'s to the normal range. He's had a test for mono, hepatitis C and an ultrasound of his abdomen. The ultrasound indicates a healthy liver, pancreas and gall bladder. The research we've done on the internet indicates a multitude of reasons why the liver enzymes are high. He's paying out of pocket for all tests, since he has no insurance. We aren't sure which way to go at this point. We're told that, with all of these test results showing nothing, it's likely the enzymes might be back in the normal range if he waits a month or so and has another hepatatic panel done. The window of opportunity for employment is closing as he waits.
He doesn't take any meds, prescription or otherwise. He even stopped taking a multi vitamin and stopped using a shampoo that contains niacin because he saw a site on line that some people have a high sensitivity to niacin and it might be cause for the elevated enzymes. As you can see, CalGal, we're reaching for any insight someone out there might have.
Again, thank you for your input.
I am currently experiencing the same problem. I have went through numerous blood work this year. All results show a high level in ALT, levels between 100-170. Hepatitis C is negative. Gone through an ultrasound, liver appears to be normal in size. I'm not on any medication, stopped drinking, stopped taking whey protein after my workouts, and eased off my workouts, and the results in my blood work is still the same.
I was sent to a liver specialist, he said that my intense workout may have caused the spike in ALT. Right now I am going through another two bloodworks, one now and another in December. This time they are testing my lipids as well. I will see him again this coming January, and if my test results are still the same, and lipids are normal, I will go through a biopsy.
I'm not sure if I'm sensitive to vitamin B3 or not, but I will check with my family doctor.
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