High ALT and GGT (rarely drink alcohol)


I've recently had my blood tests results back from my GP and I'm worried about the results fed back. My ALT and GGT were both elevated. ALT at 81 and GGT at 170. I'm a male aged 33 and generally in good health and with very little alcohol consumption (average around two pints of beer a month). This is way I'm concerned about the liver test result as I have no idea what's caused it. 

I've always known for the past 8 years that my ALT were higher than normal range but only around 50 mark following a routine blood check. It's been monitored over the years but has been quite stable so no concerns until the this week. 

I went to doctors recently as I have been feeling fatigued and unwell but nothing specific. My GP ordered a blood test, testing various things such as kidney function, FBC, glandular fever and a few others I've forgotten about. All come back clear except ALT and GGT (ASL is normal).

After talking to my GP, she has sent me for an ultrasound on my abdomen which has been flagged as urgent so I'm just waiting for the appointment at the hospital. Also she has requested another blood test in 2 weeks (4 weeks after my previous test) for a comparison. 

I've been reading up on ALT and GGT and most if not all articles say this is a result of alcohol abuse. As for barely drink alcohol I find this confusing and I'm concerned. 

Should I be concerned by these results? Has anyone else has similar results where it's just ALT and GGT high and what was your outcome/diagnosis?

17 Replies

  • I have had high liver enzymes for 6+ years, way up in the many 100's, I never drink alcohol and despite all the tests including a  biopsy no cause as been found. Of course you should have the tests done but don't worry about your levels as they are only slightly elevated, do you take regular medication for anything as some can affect liver results.

  • Thanks for a reply

    No, I don't take any medication or supplements like vitamins or protein shakes. 

    My diet not too bad, plenty of vegetables, salad, meat and fish.  although my main drink throughout the day is coffee and I eat chocolate on a daily basis. 

    I'm slim build so not overweight. 

  • There are lots of things that can elevate liver function tests, your doctors will need to rule out most of the common causes.  Have a look at what the British Liver Trust list under tests and screening here: britishlivertrust.org.uk/li...

  • Please try not to worry, I agree with bantam.

  • Hi. I had been diagnosed with non alcoholic fatty liver in recent years. Being over weight, sedentary and on medications.  Not cauaed by any alcohol buthad similar experience to you. In January after routine blood test my alt was double its normal elevated result . so at 103, GP fast tracked me for tests scans etc. However, I'd been on a healthy eating life change since the November and had list weight. So Dr couldn't fathom this elevation and suspected something sinister.Scans came back clear, gastroscopy clear. The only thing was when I had January blood test I was getting over the worst cold I'd had in tears, complete with cold remedies paracetamol and ibuprofen.... I was told in some cases viruses and weight loss due to diet changes, can in fact, alter your liver enzyme results. After a fibroscan in March at liver clinic, they said that was probably why my initial results had dramatically elevated... Fibroscan and bloods done at liver clinic cane back totally normal, even the non alcoholic fatty liver diagnosis was then questioned as there wasn't evidence on fibroscan of damage... I'm not saying ignore your results, but they could be elevated for a good few reasons, depending on size, health, and health at time of blood tests, and its routine to fast track and follow up as you gave mentioned when readings are kind if unexplained. It's a worry as I was convinced I must be really I'll, with my initial symptoms and blood results, but gladly in my case all well. It was a wake up call though and made me aware of taking care of what goes in my body as the important e of liver is seldom mentioned in everyday life. Easy nit tibraje it for granted. Hope this  helps you 

  • There are other liver  diseases ....viral autoimmune e.g.primary biliary cirrhosis rarer in men but they can get it.problems with pancreas can cause usual lfts tests.

    Ask your doc to do some antibody blood tests as they may show up an autoimmune disorder.

    There is also a condition called fattu liver which can affect lfts.

    Make sure you tell your doc again that you dont drink a lot of us have suffered from the medical profession  assuming we are secret drinkers!!!!  There are lots of reasons for problems withliver.

    Hope you get some answers soon and hope this helps.best wishes cazer.

  • Hi

    Raised ggt and tiredness were my husband's early symptoms

    Usound then showed cirrhosis and he doesn't drink

    Discovered he had alpha 1 anti trypsin deficiency

    It' s hereditary make sure u r tested 4 this

    Good luck

  • labtestsonline.org/understa...


    Make sure you scroll down the pages and click on to the tabs on top to read more. Hope this helps. Sometimes taking certain drugs, such as paracetamol, can affect certain people more than others (it is toxic to liver in high doses and over time, with regular use,  can thin your blood)  so make sure you discuss even over the counter drugs you take or have taken recently with doctor.

          Also,  eating a diet high in  fatty foods and/or sugar over time, even though you are not overweight (and eat healthy foods as well) can reflect in your GGT's as it might be damaging your over worked bile duct. for example;  All fats are broken down in liver with release of bile before passing it on to your small intestine, where further absorption takes place. The remaining unused waste is excreted. Fats and sugars should make up a very small proportion of our daily diet. Sorry if you already know all this...

        So,  have another look at your lifestyle habits if your ultrasound scan comes back normal. I am sure you doctor will help you get to the bottom of this... your readings are not massively outside the normal range and you do not mention your ALP's.

     Good luck!

  • Thank you all for your replies, after a few days I'm not so tense about the whole situation. Although I am in more discomfort on right side just under my ribs and random itchy skin. With another blood test next week and a referral for an ultrasound, I'll update on results as and when I get them.

  • I had more bloods taken yesterday, total of 5 tubes full and was quite surprised on the list the phlebotomist had on what they were testing. I did ask but she was very vague and just replied "a lot". When I sat down with my GP going through my previous results all she asked permission was for hepatitis a b and c. All of which I agreed. I have a follow appointment next Friday to go through yesterday's bloods so hopefully have an idea what has caused elevated enzymes. I phoned up the hospital again today to check on my ultrasound appointment but was told I have to wait 6 weeks (been 3 now) even though it's flagged up as urgent by my GP. As for my symptoms, fatigue is less but still hits me a few times a day, at least I am managing a full day work unlike a couple weeks ago. And I'm getting a lot of discomfort on right side which seems to be getting worse. 

  • Got my results back today from 2nd blood test. ALT is slightly lower at 79, GGT has increased to 180. All clear on Hepatitis, autoimmune is clear too.

    What was picked up is my white blood count has dropped to 3.8, as this is just below normal range not sure if I should be concerned. My GP has asked for another blood test in two week to compare white blood count. 

    I'm still waiting for an ultrasound appointment which my GP is going to chase as it should of come through by now. In the mean time she has referred me to gastrologist for further investigations on LFT results and discomfort. 

  • Hi Zuleiko.

    Was wondering how you are doing after a year? I've got similar results, ALT 80, GGT 150-220. Currently 33 years old and have had these values for over 10 years... Doctors always stated, 'since you don't have any acute symptoms beside general fatigue, and we can't find anything, (hepatitis, auto immune, etc.) you're good to go so long as we keep it monitored'.

    As of this year I have increased fatigue, crazy itchiness, and since a few weeks... Grey poop... The doctors have ramped up my 'urgency level', but once again the tests show nothing, including echo and biopsy.

    Since a year ago I stopped drinking alcohol completely, (though I never had more than a pint a week) gone completely health food nuts, my weight is below average for my height... Have never even smoked a day in my life...

    Worried that they still won't find anything now that the symptoms are acting up... Hope you have found some answers by now.



  • Was it your gallbladder?

  • I would like to know the final diagnosis, I have the exact problem as you have, please if your there I would like to know how you're doing.

  • Hi Zuleiko28

    I was wondering what you have learned from all of this. I am a 37 year old female and have the exact same issues started 4 months ago when I went on an all plant diet. Messed up my digestion and now the liver enzymes are climbing and have sever itchy skin all over. What did they find was the problem?

    I have my ultrasound this tuesday. In generally good health.



  • Hi all.

    Just an update (or lack of it).

    I'm still undiagnosed but under 6 monthly reviews with my gastrologist. They are puzzled why my liver is constantly inflamed with high enzymes in blood tests. I have told they are considering liver biopsy to help diagnosis but not been scheduled in for it yet.

  • I'm 10+ years with high liver results and still no diagnosis, good luck with the biopsy if you have one, mine showed nothing !

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