Getting to Decreased ALT & AST Levels

One month ago one of my patients was diagnosed with hepatomegaly (enlarged liver) with fat. At that time, his liver function blood test showed ALT values of 133, and AST 57.

My recommendation to him was to start a fatty liver diet program, and mild physical activity, like walking for 1 hour for 3 times a week.

One month was passed, and now his blood test shows a decreased ALT level – 79, and a decreased AST level –  37. This is extremely good results for such short period of time.

This means that the treatment actually works. ALT and AST values are effected pretty fast when the body receives different, healthy type of food. In a matter of 2-3 month, a new blood test would hopefully reveal these enzymes at their normal levels.

It is extremely important to monitor your progress through taking a new blood test about about 3 weeks. It gives a lot of motivation and keeps you in track.

Keeping normal ALT and AST ratios

ALT (SGPT) Blood Test

Getting decreased ALT and AST levels to normal levels is one thing – but keeping at these levels are completely different task. There is a need to continue eating food with low fat, doing exercise, and generally watch your health and maintaining a healthy life-style.

Even if the blood test would show perfectly normal results, it can be deceiving, because your liver is still fatty. It doesn’t go away that soon. It takes few years at least. The best way to confirm if you still have a fatty liver is a combination of blood test AND a liver ultrasound.

Keep in mind that you will probably need to keep a healthy life-style all of your life, because your liver is vulnerable for fatty liver.

Click here for more information about fatty liver diet program.

Could ALT levels be lowered to normal range?

This letter is from Mike, who was diagnosed to have a fatty liver few years ago:

A few years back I was diagnosed with fatty liver disease (ultimately by way of liver ultrasound after blood test revealed elevated enzymes).

Since that time I have gained 30 pounds and am honestly overweight.

A recent blood test showed only one enzyme elevated, ALT, and the UL was 67.

My question is, is on ongoing ALT elevated above the normal limit of 45 to be expected since there is essentially no cure for fatty liver disease?

Said another way, from what I understand exercise and diet are used to “regulate” the disease as there is no cure.  Even with exercise and diet can it be expected that the ALT would go down to normal levels are still remain elevated above the limit of 45?  I have not exercised and my diet is not great. Thanks.

My answer to this question is short:

Even though fatty liver disease has no official “cure”, the fact is that with proper diet and exercise, fatty liver symptoms can be brought to minimum. Meaning, the ALT levels in the bloodstream would reach to normal if  a new life style is being adapted.

So yes, the ALT levels could be lowered to normal range if you are willing to take the necessary actions in your life.

Liver Enzymes and Exercise

In recent years, there are many indications that liver enzymes levels in the blood and exercise have some kind of association.

For example, taking a blood test close to the time you exercised, could result elevated levels of liver enzymes in the results.

The act of exercising has an affect on the level of liver enzymes, and when taking a blood test timed closely with the exercise, it could result with misleading outcome.

The physician will probably think the blood test results is because of viral infection, which is not true.

However, there is an easy workaround to this situation.

Before taking any blood test, make sure you haven’t exercised beforehand.

It will prevent any unnecessary conclusions regarding your conditions.

It is recommended to wait for about 3 hours after the initial exercise before going through a blood test; this will prevent any mistakes in the blood test related to liver enzymes and exercise.

Fatty Liver Treatment

Fatty liver is unique disease, as there are no conventional medications as other common diseases have. It’s develops due to bad eating habits, being overweight, and lack of physical activity.

Can Fatty Liver be Reversed?

For the treatment to be effective, we need to tackle two main factors. One  is a proper fatty liver diet plan to lose weight and change bad eating habits, and two (2) a physical activities and/or exercises to burn the fat in your body. If you do these two and do them properly, you have a real chance on reversing fatty liver.

Look at the following illustration. This is how you turn a “Fatty Liver” into a “Healthy Liver”.

How to treat a fatty liverWeight Loss

Being overweight is the #1 cause of having a fatty liver. There is no way around it – you must lose weight to treat the disease. And as mentioned above, it must include both changing your eating habits and by starting to do some physical activities.

But be careful – too much weight loss at an exaggerated rate might cause a side effect and can even make it worse. Take it all nice and slow, and you’ll be safe.

Get Physical

Whether its walking down the park, jogging, running, swimming, or any other type of activity that involves physical movement of your body, start doing it! Exercise will increase your metabolism, and thus will replace your body fat with muscles. Three times per week would do wonders.

Changing Your Eating Habits

Avoid foods with high levels of fat, cholesterol and sugar; in addition, try to avoid carbonated drinks. These foods are the main reason for fat build-up around the liver. Instead, start eating healthy food that has a high amount of dietary fiber and other beneficial nutrition. Learn more about the recommended foods for fatty liver.

Get a Personal Guide

If you are serious on treating fatty liver, you need all the help you can get. Instead of drugs we only got all you need is your attention and dedication. If you need a something to guide you through the treatment process, I highly recommend the fatty liver diet guide written by Dorothy Spencer BSN, RN. It is specifically designed to reverse a fatty liver. Click here to read more.