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British Liver Trust
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Mixed up with tests

Hi all, I really get confused when I read about certain tests for the Liver? Some stories scare the life out of me, I end up thinking I may have liver failure at any time.

I have had liver function tests that were fine about 6 months ago, because I do drink red wine ( never been a spirit drinker), I did tell my GP, who said I should of had Gamma blood test which I had and was told it was a good low result I can't remember what it was now but I think it was low 20's???? I will have to speak to my GP again regards this. Should I have had any other tests?

I was in hospital 6 months ago and had a ultra sound and was told I had gallstones, and over heard the specialist mention fatty liver which I don't think they were going to mention until I asked if I'd heard right. When I asked my GP if there was anything else to worry about would it of shown on the scan? And she said yes it would of shown, then she suggested I have the gamma tests. I think she has told me wrong just to pasify me. Any thoughts would be welcome xxx

6 Replies

hi there, it's useful to note the various blood/enzyme tests down and people on this site can be very helpful. A slightly mixed message here. Your GGT levels at 20 if that's correct sound low. Normally with alcohol or gallstones they would be elevated. 40-45 is normal. I was drinking red wine for years and had GGt of 180-it has been as high as 250. Some people much higher. So it doesn't sound like there is significant damage here from drink at least. As for fatty liver this can elevate GGT levels too and would show up on an ultrasound at significant levels.

Why were you in hospital? I think you've been googling too much to be honest-don't worry we all do it. Do you actually have any symptoms?

The GP is correct -the ultrasound would show up most things although mine was clear and I had High GGT. I managed to reduce this with diet and abstinence.

Stick to moderate drinking patterns and keep a normal weight would be my message.



forgot to mention that if you're a woman normal drinking levels are less than a man-I presume you know that so how much were you drinking? 1 bottle a week? 2, 3 4? it's useful to know although your tests don't indicate that at present.


Hi Briccolone, thanks for your advice I really appreciate it. I am on and off with the wine. I went into hospital as an emergency with upper right side pain it was all over my right side and back and across my abdo. When the ambulance came they thought I was having a heart attack. My bloods in casualty showed deranged liver function, raised white blood count, at first they thought I had pancreatis (sorry spelling)

The pain left me after an hour or so, I must admit I was really anxious and I was hard to calm down.

I was fine then, but stayed in whilst waiting for a ultrasound, waited 4 days. Then was told I was overweight and I drink to much in no kind way.

My diagnosis was gallstones, the latter w as only mentioned as I was the one to raise the subject (wishing I hadn't)

I immediately stopped drinking, when on a low carb low fat eating plan, excercised every day, (treadmill with incline 2 miles).

My cholesterol went from 8.1 to 5.1 within 3months, I felt less tired etc.

Then I went on holiday and had my wine again. I would most definitely say I drink at least a half bottle of red wine whilst preparing the tea. Then I tend to not drink for the rest of the evening.

Over the last month it has been every evening, I've just stopped for a few days, and will gave a drink on NYE then will stop until my next holiday in May. I really would like to express how grateful I am for your listening, and wish you a healthy and happy new year🍀


no probs-it does sound originally like an attack of gallstones-fatty liver can cause pain but tends to be a dull ache although everyone's different. as far as diet is concerned it's sugar the liver doesn't appreciate in whatever form be that alcohol or whatever-if you have gallstones then high fat levels are problematic.

Going dry for a few months next year should sort out the fatty liver.

the cholesterol levels going down shows the diet's working and getting rid of excess weight certainly helps any fatty liver.

take it easy


I had high Gamma GT and ALT (the enzyme the liver gives out into the blood when it's under attack) and I don't drink. Although it took me a long time to convince anyone of this with such high results! Turns out it was NAFLD non alcoholic fatty liver disease. Once scanned my liver was confirmed as fatty and there is swelling. I also had 2 very small gallstones. This was diagnosed 7 years ago (the gallstones only this year). From memory at first I had monthly blood tests to monitor (as the liver can change) before anything was done but once diagnosed I'm now on a couple of different meds and my results are good. I was lucky my GP took me seriously and had (and still does) an interest in what was happening and sent me to a liver specialist and a bio chemist consultant to get my meds correct after the first lot I had stopped working. Good luck x


Thank you jbrking, that's very informative, I wouldn't know now that I had fatty liver only for my overhearing the conversation when I was being scanned. It's nice to know that you are listened to by your GP, instead of left in the dark. May your good health continue, and happy new year🍀

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