GGT and ALP are also called cholestatic liver enzymes. Chloestasis is a term used for partial or full blockage of the bile ducts. Bile ducts bring bile from the liver into the gallbladder and the intestines. Bile is a green fluid produced in liver cells. Bile helps the body to break down fat, process cholesterol and get rid of toxins. If the bile duct is inflamed or damaged, GGT and ALP can get backed up and spill out from the liver into the bloodstream.
ALP metabolizes phosphorus and brings energy to the body. GGT brings oxygen to tissues.
Causes of elevated ALP and GGT levels include:
Scarring of the bile ducts (called primary biliary cirrhosis),
Fatty liver (steatosis),
Alcoholic liver disease,
Liver inflammation from medications and certain herbs,
Gallstones or gall bladder problems.
ALP (also called alkaline phosphatase) is found in the bones, intestines, kidneys and placenta as well as the liver. Abnormally high ALP can have many causes other than liver damage, including: bone disease, congestive heart failure, and hyperthyroidism. A rise in ALP levels can indicate liver trouble if GGT levels are also elevated. The normal range of ALP is from 30 IU/L to 115 IU/L.
GGT (gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase) is found in the liver. Obesity, PBC, heavy drinking, fatty liver, and certain medications or herbs that are toxic to the liver can cause GGT levels to rise the normal range of GGT is from 5 IU/L to 80 IU/L.
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