British Liver Trust

Worsening fatty liver?


I am now here and I wonder if anyone can share their wisdom. 2 years ago I went to my GP with upper right pain under my ribs and he sent me for an ultrasound in that general area. All was fine except it was noted I had a 'mild fatty liver'. On looking at my history and what alcohol I consume etc it was concluded I had a 'mild, non-alcoholic fatty liver'. No one seemed too bothered about it was my ALT level on the blood test was 24. 1 year ago the blood test was repeated and the ALT level was 20. All good I thought. No one seemed too concerned. I have again started to have abdominal pain and went to my GP last week. I was sent to have a routine blood test and I had to see my GP due to 'abnormal' result. I have now been told it is due to my ALT level being raised to 42 (max normal on their testing is 35) Below is my liver function results and to be honest I am very scared (booked in for another liver ultrasound this coming Friday afternoon)

Liver function tests

Serum total protein level 71 g/L [60.0 - 80.0]

Serum albumin level 45 g/L [35.0 - 50.0]

Serum globulin level 26 g/L [20.0 - 35.0]

Serum alkaline phosphatase level 46 u/L [30.0 - 130.0]

Serum total bilirubin level 8 umol/L [0.0 - 21.0]

Serum alanine aminotransferase level 42 u/L [0.0 - 35.0]

Above high reference limit

So the ALT is above normal range. I am now worried as I didn't really make any changes as it was dismissed at the time and I'm now worried I have a lot more damage than the previous fatty liver diagnosis a couple of years ago.

I drink alcohol - not that often, maybe once a month or so but it will be a binge when I do (night out, friends over etc)

I have takeaways perhaps twice a month, generally eat healthy(ish) but like a sweet treat in the evening.

I wondered if anyone knew about Alt levels and if mine as a female of 38 at 42 is really high and indicates damage over the diagnosis of mild fatty liver. Apparently though the ALT number doesn't mean a lot. 't is alarming that it has doubled in the last 12 months.

Thanks for any advice.

5 Replies

Dear Springy8

Thank you for joining our online liver community.

This forum is here to share experiences and provide support to each other and we ask that people do not post test results or ask for specific medical advice. This is not a medical forum.

Liver function tests vary from hospital to hospital and the results do vary according to the laboratory that analyses them.

Please see the following information on our website regarding liver function tests and Non-alcohol related fatty liver disease (NAFLD) which may help answer some of your questions:

As you are having another ultrasound on Friday this can be compared with the previous one to see if anything has changed.

NAFLD can be improved by having a low fat diet, watching your alcohol intake and taking regular exercise. There is information on this on our website at:

If you have any questions following your ultrasound on Friday please feel free to call our helpline next week on 0800 652 7330.

Best wishes




Welcome. I have similar symptoms. Bloods fine and have always been but that's not conclusive. My consultant wanted a biopsy - awaiting result for NAFLD. The ache is weird - seems to be neither rhyme or reason to when though when I eat carbs and bad food I feel bad. However ten years ago my GP said it looked from my blood results that I liked booze. I had equiv of a glass a month at that time and never anything more. I worry that it was due to fatty liver and inflamation that has not been picked up

Recommend you get yourself to a good teaching hospital and get a good consultant that is also in research. Mine is excellent and isn't leavin anything to chance.



Yes it is confusing isn't it which shows everyone is so individual and levels vary and damage varies with no rhyme or reason. My cholesterol is quite low which doesn't indicate a very unhealthy/fatty diet. I am partial to popping a paracetemol (bad back) booze-wise I like a drink but quite sporadically but when I do it's probably classed as a binge but nothing OTT. I'm alarmed my ALT has doubled in a year - obviously worried I have tipped over from fatty liver to something worse. I carried on as normal as my GP wasn't concerned at all by my 'mild fatty liver' 2 years ago.

I won't be fobbed off and will want to discuss with a consultant or someone and my pay privately to have a more in depth scan so I know what I'm dealing with.

Hope you get some answers too - no other results in my liver function test were raised which is a small comfort but of course the earlier diagnosis of a fatty liver has alarm bells ringing.

I have another ultrasound at 2pm tomorrow so will hope to find out more.

I so have a hereditary disease in my family which could damage the liver so might try and push to get tested for that (my Uncle died of it, my cousin has it)

Thanks for replying.


I think I have always been just over the reference. Hence I'm now worrying if it has progressed to fibrosis. I'm going on a low carb diet from next week to see if that helps. There's seems to be a lot of evidence that a low carb diet helps fatty liver.


Hope they run some more tests and put your mind at rest. It's a mine field isn't it...


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