What is an ALT test?
An ALT test is a blood test that measures the amount of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) in your blood. ALT is an enzyme that is found primarily in the liver. When liver cells are damaged, they release ALT into the bloodstream. High levels of ALT in your blood may be a sign of liver damage or disease.
Why is an ALT test done?
An ALT test may be done to:
- Check for liver damage or disease
- Monitor liver function in people with known liver disease
- Investigate symptoms of liver disease, such as jaundice, abdominal pain, or fatigue
- Evaluate the effects of certain medications on the liver
What are the normal results of an ALT test?
The normal range for ALT varies depending on the laboratory. However, the general normal range is between 7 and 55 units per liter (U/L).
What do abnormal ALT results mean?
A high ALT level may be a sign of liver damage or disease. However, it is important to note that an ALT test alone cannot diagnose liver disease. Your doctor will likely order other tests to confirm a diagnosis.
Here are some possible causes of high ALT levels:
- Alcohol abuse
- Fatty liver disease
- Drug-induced liver injury
- Other liver conditions, such as autoimmune hepatitis or hemochromatosis
A low ALT level is usually not a cause for concern. However, it may be a sign of certain liver conditions, such as liver cancer.
What can I do to improve my liver health?
There are a number of things you can do to improve your liver health, including:
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Eat a healthy diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Get regular exercise
- Avoid sharing needles
- Get vaccinated against hepatitis B
If you have any concerns about your ALT test results, talk to your doctor. They can help you determine the cause of your high ALT levels and recommend the best course of treatment.