The norm of ALT in the blood
Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is the «twin brother», AST – aspartate aminotransferase. Both enzymes are «working» in the reactions of transfer of an amino group. These reactions are called transamination reaction. As evidenced by the result of biochemical analysis of blood to determine the concentration of ALT and what reasons capable to change the concentrations of ALT in the blood?
Alanine aminotransferase – what is it? This biological catalyst, the enzyme. He, like AST relates to the intracellular enzymes. This means that in the peripheral blood and its concentration is determined by the residual factor, namely, the destruction of cells, which is in the «normal pace.» But as soon as there is a massive their decay, alanine aminotransferase in the blood serum increases.
In our body the enzyme ALT is in a certain balance with the enzyme AST, but the bodies they are «divided» among themselves unequal. So, ALT is mostly liver and kidney, and its contents (unlike the AST) in the cardiac muscle is negligible. Therefore, the main depot in the body for this enzyme is the liver.
What are the normal (reference) values of this enzyme? Like AST, the amount and activity depend on sex and age. So, kids it’s value is maximal: the level of ALT is around 50 IU/liter. Then during the whole life, its concentration slowly decreases. The norm after the age of 18 is from 0 to 41 units/l in men and, respectively, from 0 to 33 units/l in women.
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Why increasing the concentration of ALT in blood plasma?
High levels of this enzyme may be a pathognomonic sign of liver damage. This means that the specificity of this enzyme allows you to make such a conclusion. For example, high levels of AST (aspartataminotransferase) does not allow to make unambiguous conclusion on the affected organ, as this enzyme is not only in the liver but also in cardiac muscle and can be elevated in myocardial infarction. A rise in ALT always suggests that the patient has liver problems. And it can increase several times, even dozens of times. The increase of ALT, especially sharp, tells about the massive destruction of liver cells. Diseases and conditions that lead to this laboratory phenomenon, the following:
- Acute viral hepatitis. Typically, this is the reason for the strong increase in the concentration of ALT. If its value is very high, it says the massive cytolysis the destruction of cells. In this case, a person will have signs or parenchymal hepatic jaundice, because together with the enzymes from the cells in the blood into bilirubin, causing jaundice.
Of acute hepatitis are the leaders of hepatitis a in children (epidemic of intestinal infection, occurring the type of «dirty hands», mostly by water transfer) and acute hepatitis b, transmitted through blood. In other forms (viral hepatitis b, chronic viral hepatitis) ALT increases not very much.
- In addition to viral hepatitis, a cause of increased ALT can be toxic and alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis of the liver.
- The use of drugs which may have hepatotoxic effect or exceeding the usual dosages of the drug.
- The reasons which can increase the concentration of ALT (on average, not more than 2 times) are mechanical causes: obstruction of the small intrahepatic bile ducts. It can happen in tumors of the liver, with cholangitis and cholangiohepatitis, and also in the growth of connective tissue that can impair the patency of the biliary tract. This fact is the cause of the increase in the concentration of ALT in liver cirrhosis in the later stages.
- Parasites that live in the intrahepatic ducts (e.g. opisthorchis) also may cause moderate increase in ALT.
- Poor circulation in the portal system and the hepatic system of veins and arteries. So, the disease Budd-Chiari, violation of the outflow of venous blood from the liver, stagnation of blood in the body also can trigger an increase in cytolysis and increase in the concentration of ALT.
In addition to these pathological States, it is also possible to increase the level of this enzyme in a healthy person. For example, intense physical activity during the day can lead to increased levels of the enzyme. Just a big load, respectively, and causes greater disintegration of the cells. So before you pass tests, you do not need to increase their physical activity during the day preceding delivery. In addition, taking certain supplements, called nutraceuticals (food supplements) can also increase metabolism in the liver, thus increasing the disintegration of the hepatic cells above the normal (reference) values.
During pregnancy that is proceeding normally, should not be boosting ALT. On the contrary, in 1 and 2 trimester maybe a slight decrease in its activity and by the third trimester, the performance of ALT are back to normal. In that case, if a pregnant ALT levels are elevated, it indicates the unfavourable processes in the liver or of late toxemia of pregnancy. If the analysis revealed elevated levels of ALT, you should take steps to reduce it. How to lower its value? Many people believe that you need to take some special measures, or even worse, drink special medicines. Everything is much simpler: take care of your liver enzyme levels will return to normal. In order to reduce ALT, should:
- to abandon the use of alcohol;
- to normalize your diet: limit fat, smoked, canned meals;
- you need to eat more easily digestible, simple plant and dairy foods, more fiber, drink more pure water;
- the enzyme works best in the presence of vitamin B6, so you need to take a multivitamin complex, for example, «Neuromultivit».
Medication is only needed when diagnosed with liver disease and started the corresponding treatment:
- in the presence of hepatitis and the symptoms of intoxication can be used sorbents, for example, «Enteros-gel»;
- in the case of pruritus, and jaundice accompanied by marked increase in ALT, need to take drugs golevyh acids, for example, «Ursosan»,»Ursofalk» or «she».
If you feel good, but ALT some reason does not want to return to normal, should conduct an in-depth study and to visit a doctor.
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