How to Lower ALT and AST Liver Enzymes

By Mark Wollacott

High levels of liver enzymes in the blood stream are a prime indicator of liver disease. Low levels of alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) in the blood are normal, but high levels require action. More ALT and AST enzymes are able to enter the blood if the liver’s membrane is deteriorating. This situation is not a time for panic, but it does indicate a problem, which requires changes to your lifestyle.

Patient sitting at doctor's office

High levels of liver enzymes in the blood stream are a prime indicator of liver disease. Low levels of alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) in the blood are normal, but high levels require action. More ALT and AST enzymes are able to enter the blood if the liver’s membrane is deteriorating. This situation is not a time for panic, but it does indicate a problem, which requires changes to your lifestyle.

Get a blood test

Test for hepatitis and other diseases and problems such as diabetes and heart disease, which can cause high levels of ALT and AST. Ask a doctor to test you for both of these conditions. It is important to rule out the big risks or to deal with them.

Cut back on drinking

Change your lifestyle. Cut back on liver busting products such as alcohol, cigarettes and junk food. You need to remove the toxins from your body to give your liver time to recover. Drink plenty of water and fruit juices. Pack more vegetables and fruits into your diet and limit red meats.

Get more exercise

Exercise more. By exercising more often you are burning off excess fat and cleaning out your system in another way. Fatty livers often cause elevated ALT/AST levels. Getting into shape really helps. Take it easy at first and slowly build up; even going for a walk makes a difference. However, avoid strenuous exercise prior to an enzyme blood test, as it will artificially raise your ALT/AST count.

Assess the medicine you take

Assess the medicine you take. Many antibiotics, cholesterol-reducing drugs, pain relief pills, anti-seizure medicine and cardiovascular drugs can cause elevated AST and ALT levels. Talk to your physician or pharmacist about other options.

Warning

Avoid exercise if you have damaged a muscle. Let the muscle rest and repair itself. Injured muscles can cause enzyme levels to rise if stressed through exercise.

References

About the Author

Mark Wollacott began writing professionally in 2009. He has freelanced for "Kansai Time Out" and "Kansai Scene" magazines and he has also worked for Travelocity and the Austin Post, writing about travel, business and technology. Wollacott has a Bachelor of Arts in ancient history and archaeology from the University of Wales.

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