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From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: liver enzymes?
Date: 4 Mar 1999 11:25:40 GMT

In <> "Liselotte S." <>

>My girlfriend has very low liver enzymes, actually they fall
>below the normal. She has a bleeding problem,
>which has been attributed to a heavy intake of naproxen and other
>pains meds. for 10 years due to orthopedic surgery and problems. She
>doesn't drink alcohol. She is also on HRT and high blood pressure meds.
>We have never heard of liver enzymes that are below normal, so
>we assume she is just lucky.
>Does it mean anything that ggt and sgot are below normal?
>We would appriciate some imput.
>theresa and lise

   Liver enzymes are seen in the blood when they leak out of liver
cells.  People with badly damaged livers have higher levels than normal
as the liver is being damaged, but sometimes lower levels than normal
after the damage is done (and there are fewer cells).  Your friend is
not necessarily lucky, and needs to stay off all drugs which might
affect her liver.

From: "Steve Harris" <>
Subject: Re: Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT)
Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2002 10:59:23 -0600
Message-ID: <a8pu74$j72$>

"Richard John Cavell" <> wrote in message
> Mate,
> I'm a medical student.  Maybe I can help you.
> > what implication could be drawn from a Hepatic Function Panel (Quest
> > Diagnostics) with an ALT result of 83 (reference range 2-80) ?
> Just about nothing.  My own ALT is about 120, and that's because I have
> inflammatory bowel disease.  ALT is found in muscle, and any person who
> lifts weights will probably have a high ALT.  It's also consistent with
> anabolic steroid use.
> > based on the link below, ALT is more sensitive to liver damage than
> > AST, and is sensitive for heart failure.
> Not heart failure so much as damage to the heart.  It used to be a marker
> of a heart attack.  Liver cells will 'normally' get damaged, and a high
> ALT implies that they are being damaged more than usual.  But his ALT is
> probably coming from his skeletal muscle.
> > the link also mentions the possibility of hepatitis being the cause of
> > the elevation but it was not tested
> Yes it was.  ALT and AST are tests of hepatitis.  The word 'hepatitis'
> refers to any disease that inflames the liver.  Viral hepatitis can be
> separately tested for, but there is no evidence of it here.  If your mate
> had hepatitis his values would be higher.

Yes. But let us add that a slightly elevated ALT is the single most common
abnormality on screening liver profiles for your typical Westerner (unless
cholesterol is included). You see it in a large fraction of diabetics, in
many people taking several classes of drugs, and even in people who simply
have insulin resistance, high cholesterol, and obesity (syndrome X). It's
also the first thing to go up with heavy drinking, and you don't have to
drink at alcoholic levels to see it. Slightly elevated ones like this only
make the internist think about possible alcoholism, insulin resistance or
drug effect or cholesterol, but otherwise are ignored. Elevated A*S*T, a
mitochondrial enzyme which doesn't get out unless you have worse cell
damage, is a little more specific and worrysome than ALT.  ALT is so
nonspecific that I sometimes wonder if it weren't part of standard panels at


From: Steve Harris <>
Subject: Re: alkaline phosphotase
Date: 12 Aug 2005 11:42:47 -0700
Message-ID: <>

sirenityseekr wrote:
> My sister's Doctor says her alkaline phosphotase count or level is way
> up but cannot tell her why.  She is very sick and getting worse.  Any
> ideas out here?


It's quite easy for the lab to tell whether the enzyme is coming from
liver or bone (it indicates swelling in the liver and repairing of
damage in the bone), and that's the first thing you look at.

If you can't get access to ALL of your sister's medical information, it
won't do you any good to present bits of it here. Heck, there's little
change it will do you any good to present ALL of it here.


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