ALT Blood Test: Uses, Procedure, Risks

There are different liver blood tests and one of this is Alanine Aminotransferase Blood test or ALT Blood test. The ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase) test is a simple test to check and determine the development of the liver.

man wearing scrubs and surgical mask and gloves

Our liver can be found in the upper portion of the abdominal cavity near the rib cage. Our liver is the largest gland of the body. The liver has a vital role in the body such as making protein, removing toxin from the blood, producing vile that will help digestion and storing iron and vitamins which our body needs to function.

There are different liver blood tests and one of this is Alanine Aminotransferase Blood test or ALT Blood test. The ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase) test is a simple test to check and determine the development of the liver. ALT can be found in the liver but when the liver is damaged ALT will be released in the bloodstream, which is very dangerous because serum ALT will rise from its normal level that will result in a liver problem.

Uses of ALT Blood Test

ALT Blood Test is performed to determine if a person’s liver is functioning well or it’s injured. Your doctor may instruct you to undergo ALT Blood test if you have the symptoms of the following.

  • Jaundice: A disease where your skin and eyes become yellowish
  • Nausea
  • Darkening of urine
  • Feeling pain in the upper quadrant of the abdomen area
  • Vomiting

Other reasons why ALT test is performed are the following

  • Monitoring the progress of liver disease like hepatitis or even liver damage.
  • Evaluating and monitoring the effectivity of the treatment used for the liver condition of the patient.
  • ALT test use as bases if the doctor can start treating the liver problem of the patient.

The increase of ALT in the body is the main reason for liver failure. ALT test only evaluates the level of your ALT in the bloodstream and cannot show the percentage of the liver damage and fibrosis that is present to your liver.

Preparing for ALT blood test

ALT blood test preparation is simple just make sure that your doctor knows all the medicine you are taking if there is any because there are type of medicine that can affect the result of ALT blood test.

ALT Blood Test procedure

  1. Doctors or medical provider will use antiseptic such as alcohol to clean the area where they get blood sample by inserting needle.
  2. A medical provider or doctor will tie around your upper arm using elastic band to make your vein is visible so that they can get blood samples easily.
  3. When they will find your vein they will insert the clean needle and get a blood sample. The blood sample will be placed in a tube that is attached to the needle.
  4. After getting enough blood samples your doctor or health provider will remove the needle and elastic band in your arm.  A health practitioner will place a cotton or gauze pad to the area where the needle inserted to cover the puncture area.
  5. This time the blood sample is delivered to the laboratory for the actual test.
  6. If the test is done and the result is already there laboratory personnel will send your result to your doctor and your doctor will explain the result to you in detail.

ALT Blood Test results

The normal result of the ALT test of male patient’s blood should be in 29 to 33 units per liter (IU/L) while female patient’s blood should range from 19 to 25 IU/L. But this blood range can be affected by different factors such as age and gender.

But if your result is higher than the said normal result it’s an indication that you are a candidate of liver malfunction and liver damage. The increase of ALT in your bloodstream may result of the following factors and health conditions.

Hepatitis Cirrhosis
The tissue of the liver died Tumor in the liver
Liver cancer Blood flow is absent in the liver
Diabetes Pancreatitis
Hemochromatosis Mononucleosis

If you have lower ALT blood results do not worry because usually, it’s an indication that you have a healthy liver. But still, you need to ask your doctor for further explanation to make sure that you don’t have any problem with your liver.

Liver Problems: Who Are At Risk?

  • Alcoholic person: Those people who frequently consume alcohol beverages are candidates for developing liver cancer and other liver problem in the long run. The most common liver problem that an alcoholic person suffers is hepatitis.
  • Obesity: Being overweight will increase the possibility of damaging the liver since obesity is the product of the overeating of fats. When we consume too many fats our liver accumulates fats cells. The fatty acids from fats cells can destroy a healthy liver that may result in liver damage.
  • Age and sex: Sex and age are some of the factors of having a liver problem. Men ages 30-40 years old are high risk on primary sclerosing cholangitis while women who are at the age of 35-60 years old are a high risk of developing primary biliary cirrhosis.
  • Heredity: Liver function can be hereditary. If your immediate family members like parents suffer from liver failure there is a big chance that you will also suffer from the same disease.
  • Exposure to Industrial toxin: If you are working in a factory where toxics like chemicals are always present there is a big chance that your liver will be damage. Industrial toxic is generally dangerous to our health aside from liver damage your lungs will be damaged if you are always exposed in the industrial toxin.
  • Long term use of certain medications: Since our liver is responsible in getting rid of toxin from our body if we use medicine for a long period of time our liver will be at risk and can be damaged.

If you are one of those people who are at risk of liver problem and if you feel there is something wrong in your health have a medical check-up it might be liver failure.

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