Danger Level of SGPT and SGOT: High Means & Treatment

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Medically Reviewed by Dr. Aman Priya Khanna
Written by Rajath R Prabhu, last updated on 9 September 2023| min read
Danger Level of SGPT and SGOT: High Means & Treatment

Quick Summary

SGOT and SGPT are enzymes that play a crucial role in maintaining the proper health of your liver.

Elevated levels of these enzymes can indicate liver damage, but it's not always a cause for alarm.

If your SGOT or SGPT levels are high, your doctor will likely order further tests to determine the cause and recommend treatment if necessary.

Have you recently had a blood test and been told that your SGOT (AST) or SGPT (ALT) levels are high? Are you worried about what this means for your health? ALT or AST are enzymes that play a crucial role in maintaining the proper health of your liver. Elevated levels of these enzymes can indicate liver damage, but it's not always a cause for alarm.

In this blog post, we will go over everything you need to know about SGOT and SGPT levels. We'll cover what they are, their normal ranges, the potential dangers associated with elevated levels, and their treatment. Keep reading!

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Understanding SGOT and SGPT

Serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT or alanine aminotransferase or ALT) and serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT or aspartate aminotransferase or AST) are two vital liver enzymes (a specific protein in the cells that functions as a catalyst and enables specific physiological processes) that are responsible for carrying out important metabolic functions.

When the hepatic cells are damaged or inflamed, these enzymes can leak into the bloodstream, causing their levels to rise. High levels of ALT and AST may indicate liver inflammation or injury, making them important markers for diagnosing liver diseases.

Liver function tests (LFT) measure these enzyme levels in the blood. Understanding SGOT and SGPT levels can provide valuable insights into the liver's health and help identify potential diseases.

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Normal Levels of SGOT and SGPT

The normal range for ALT and AST may vary slightly depending on the laboratory that conducted the blood test. However, in general, normal levels of SGOT and SGPT are.

Enzyme

Normal Value

SGOT

8 to 33 µ/ L

SGPT

7 to 56 µ /L

Several factors can impact the normal range of SGOT and SGPT levels in the body. Some of these factors include:

  1. Age: As one age, the liver function can naturally decline, causing slight variations in enzyme levels.

  2. Gender: The levels of these enzymes can vary among men and women. Research suggests that this difference is because of different types of hormones in men and women. 

  3. Medications and Supplements: Certain medications and supplements can affect hepatic function and enzyme levels. Antibiotics, statins, and pain relievers are examples of drugs that can increase these levels.

  4. Diet: Food also plays a role in altering levels of SGOT and SGPT. Thus, doctors might recommend an SGOT/SGPT test on an empty stomach. 

  5. Viral Infections: Viral infections like hepatitis A, B, or C can lead to liver inflammation and increased ALT and AST levels.

  6. Exercise: Intense or strenuous exercise may temporarily elevate SGOT and SGPT due to muscle damage.

  7. Body Mass Index: There is a correlation between SGPT levels and a person's body mass index. Excess body fat or obesity can alter the levels of SGPT.

  8. Alcohol Consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption can cause liver damage and elevate levels of liver enzymes.

The healthcare professional will consider all the above-mentioned variables while interpreting ALT and AST test results.

Causes of High SGOT and SGPT

High levels of AST and ALT can indicate potential liver damage or dysfunction. Some common causes include:

  1. Hepatitis: Viral infections, especially hepatitis A, B, or C, can cause inflammation in the liver and result in elevated ALT and AST.

  2. Alcohol Abuse: Excessive and prolonged alcohol consumption can lead to liver damage, known as alcoholic hepatitis, which can significantly increase the enzyme values.

  3. Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD): This condition occurs when fat accumulates in the liver due to factors such as obesity, insulin resistance, and high cholesterol levels. NAFLD can cause inflammation and liver damage, leading to elevated ALT and AST proportions.

  4. Medications: Certain medications, such as antibiotics, statins, and pain relievers, can cause hepatotoxicity and increase SGOT and SGPT levels.

  5. Autoimmune Hepatitis: In this condition, the immune system mistakenly attacks the liver, causing inflammation and high levels of SGOT and SGPT.

  6. Liver Cirrhosis: Long-term liver damage from conditions like acute viral hepatitis or alcohol abuse can lead to cirrhosis, a condition in which the liver becomes scarred and dysfunctional. As a result, ALT and AST levels can become elevated.

The Dangers of High SGOT and SGPT

When ALT and AST are high, it is important to understand the potential dangers associated with these elevated levels. While high levels alone do not necessarily indicate a specific disease or condition, they serve as warning signs that further investigation may be required.

  1. Liver Damage: Elevated AST and ALT levels indicate liver damage. If not treated, it can progress to more severe conditions like cirrhosis or hepatic failure.

  2. Impaired Liver Function: Elevated SGOT and SGPT indicate poor hepatic function. The liver is responsible for detoxification, protein production, and nutrient metabolism. Impaired hepatic function can cause fatigue, jaundice, digestive issues, and compromised immune function.

  3. Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: Studies have shown a correlation between high SGOT and SGPT levels and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Elevated hepatic enzymes may be associated with underlying metabolic disturbances such as obesity, insulin resistance, and high cholesterol levels, which are known risk factors for heart disease.

Prevention of High ALT and AST Levels

Danger levels of SGPT and SGOT due to liver disorders, unhealthy diet, and lifestyle can be prevented. The doctor may suggest the below-mentioned preventive measures if an individual is at risk of elevated liver enzymes due to a liver disorder.

  1. Ensure eating a healthy and balanced diet.

  2. Reduce the intake of fat in the diet.

  3. Include more of fibre-rich food in the diet.

  4. Follow a regular exercise routine.

  5. Maintain a healthy body weight.

  6. Keep the blood sugar under control.

  7. Limit alcohol consumption and quit smoking.

  8. Follow the doctor's advice.

  9. Get vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B.

  10. Do not share needles or any substance that has blood contact.

Diagnosis of High SGPT and SGOT

It requires a thorough assessment of hepatic function and the determination of the underlying reason to diagnose elevated ALT and AST values. The medical professional will perform several tests to confirm if the ALT and AST are elevated.

Some typical diagnostic methods are listed below:

  1. Liver Function Tests (LFT): LFTs are a group of blood tests that assess bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, albumin, SGPT, SGOT, and other markers of liver health. Elevated ALT and AST proportions signify injury or damage to the hepatic cells.

  2. Medical History and Physical Examination: The doctor will review the patient's medical records and inquire about their alcohol consumption, drug use, exposure to pollutants, and signs of hepatic failure. Additionally, a physical examination will be conducted to check for symptoms like jaundice or an enlarged liver.

  3. Liver Biopsy: This test can sometimes be carried out to determine the degree of liver damage, inflammation, and fibrosis. This aids in gauging the degree of liver disease and helping to direct therapy choices.

These tests will help identify the exact cause. The cause of the increased hepatic enzymes will determine the further course of treatment.

Treatment for High ALT and AST

Treatment options for high ALT and AST levels depend on the underlying cause. Here are common treatment options recommended by the doctors. 

  1. Medication: Doctors may prescribe antiviral medications for viral illnesses like hepatitis or chelating agents and for Wilson’s disease.

  2. Liver Transplant: It is the best treatment for liver diseases like cirrhosis or hepatic failure that cannot be treated with medicines. During the procedure, a portion of a healthy liver from a living or deceased donor is replaced with a damaged liver as the liver cells can regenerate and perform vital hepatic functions.

When to Consult a Doctor?

An individual must contact the healthcare provider if he/she has a liver problem or is exhibiting new symptoms. During the consultation, one must discuss the concerns regarding the danger level of SGPT and SGOT. 

Consult a doctor if you have any of the signs or symptoms of liver damage, such as :

  1. Jaundice

  2. Abdominal swelling

  3. Pain

  4. Nausea

  5. Vomiting 

Takeaway

In conclusion, it is crucial to understand the significance of SGOT and SGPT amount in the body. Elevated levels of these hepatic enzymes can indicate potential dangers and underlying health issues.

Identifying and addressing the causes behind increased ALT and AST proportions is important to prevent further possible complications. Lowering high levels can be achieved through lifestyle changes, proper medication, and regular monitoring.

If you experience persistently high SGOT and SGPT levels, it is advisable to consult a doctor for a comprehensive diagnosis and appropriate treatment. You can also contact HexaHealth expert, who will help you guide get the right treatment at the right time and at an affordable cost. So why wait?? Contact HexaHealth TODAY!

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Frequently Asked Questions

The levels of hepatic enzymes that are above normal level are considered to be danger levels of SGPT and SGOT. That means SGOT high above 33 µ /L [1] and SGPT high above 56 µ /L [2] are abnormal and need further investigation.

ALT and AST high means hepatic injury that needs medication. Rarely, it is due to other tissues like the heart, and muscles, but mostly, the liver is involved. The treatment for the danger level of SGPT and SGOT includes

  1. Lifestyle changes

  2. Dietary changes

  3. Medications

  4. Liver transplant

SGOT (AST) and SGPT (ALT) are enzymes present in the body. They are important to measure because 

  1. AST is a strong indicator of liver health. 

  2. AST is present in the muscles, liver, heart, and other tissues, indicating damage to these tissues.

  3. Liver damage or disease may be hinted at by the danger level of SGPT and SGOT in the blood.

The normal range for SGOT (AST) and SGPT (ALT) in the blood is as follows:

  1. AST range is between 8 to 33 µ /L 

  2. ALT normal range is 7 to 56 µ /L

Although, ALT and AST high means some level of liver injury. However, certain factors also affect the levels of these enzymes:

  1. Age

  2. Gender

  3. Race

  4. Ethnicity

  5. Diet

  6. Exercise

  7. Medications

  8. Menstruation

  9. Body mass index

SGPT (ALT) and SGOT (AST) are high meaning some underlying liver damage needs attention. ALT and AST high levels could be due to a

  1. Alcoholic liver disease

  2. Liver cirrhosis

  3. Liver cancer

  4. Viral Hepatitis 

  5. Wilson disease

  6. Autoimmune hepatitis

  7. Non-alcoholic liver diseases

High SGPT and SGOT levels can be dangerous to human body. A rise in these enzymes indicates liver injury or damage, which should not be ignored. If left untreated, it can lead to serious complications such as cirrhosis, liver cancer, or even hepatic failure.

Therefore, it is important to address the underlying cause of high ALT and AST levels and seek appropriate medical treatment to prevent further harm to the liver. Prompt intervention can improve the chances of reversing or managing the condition effectively.

The enzymes ALT and AST are indicators of liver function. Thus, when levels rise, it is likely that the symptoms are of some underlying liver disease causing liver injury. 

The danger levels of SGPT and SGOT symptoms include:

  1. Swelling of the abdomen

  2. Nausea

  3. Vomiting

  4. Loss of appetite

  5. Jaundice

  6. Fatigue

  7. Urine with a darker shade

  8. Light-coloured faeces 

  9. Swelling in legs and ankles

Yes. SGPT and SGOT high levels can be treated by addressing the underlying hepatic disorder. Doctors advise consuming less alcohol and maintaining a healthy weight.

Also, they advise consuming less sugar and fat and shifting to a diet high in fiber. Depending on how severe the disease is, the doctor may advise some medications or liver transplants for the danger level of SGPT and SGOT.

A high AST indicates a hepatic disorder. However, SGOT's high levels can also be due to cell destruction in other parts of your body. Most likely, AST high means, there could be:

  1. Liver cirrhosis

  2. Hepatitis

  3. Alcoholic liver disease

  4. Liver tumour or cancer

  5. Muscle disorders

  6. Inflammation in pancreas

  7. Myocardial infarction

  8. Hemochromatosis

ALT alone cannot determine hepatic failure. However, ALT high indicates liver damage or injury. Hepatic failure is the last stage, where the liver fails to perform its functions like protein synthesis, transport of nutrients, production of bile juice, etc.

To precisely diagnose hepatic failure, doctors need to perform other tests, some urine tests, and abdominal scans like ultrasound.

Lifestyle changes for the danger level of SGPT and SGOT depend upon the underlying cause of the liver disorder. Lifestyle modifications that help with some liver diseases are:

  1. Reducing fatty food

  2. Consuming lesser calories

  3. Increasing fibre intake

  4. Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight

  5. Avoiding food with trans-fat and red meat

  6. Reducing alcohol intake

  7. Monitoring your medications

Yes, certain medications can cause dangerous levels of ALT and AST. For instance

  1. Acetaminophen or paracetamol (a common cold and flu medicine)

  2. Statin- the cholesterol-lowering medications

  3. Dietary supplements for weight loss, muscle gain, excess iron or vitamin A

  4. Herbal medicines like chaparral, kava, skullcap, comfrey tea, and yohimbe

Some natural methods can help treat liver disorders and lower SGPT and SGOT levels.

Here are some natural remedies, although they are not completely proven, to lower the danger level of SGPT and SGOT

  1. Silymarin or the milk thistle plant

  2. Holy basil leaves

  3. Long pepper

  4. Coffee

  5. Citrus fruits

  6. Apple

Timely diagnosis of most hepatic disorders makes them treatable. When hepatic disorders are treated, the danger level of SGPT and SGOT is reduced.

Many persons with hepatic illness can avoid major hepatic damage with early treatment and effective lifestyle adjustments.

The treatment of the danger level of SGPT and SGOT includes:

  1. Medications

  2. Lifestyle changes 

  3. Diet changes

  4. Exercises

  5. Surgery in serious conditions

The common question people with abnormal hepatic enzymes look for is, what if ALT is high and left untreated?

Not treating the underlying disease can have its consequences. If the cause of high ALT is due to a hepatic disease that is left untreated, the illness may progress to irreversible damage and a decline the liver function. 

Cirrhosis can develop from this illness over time. The liver can no longer function normally when more scar tissue replaces healthy tissue. Hepatic failure and cancer can result from untreated hepatic illness.

References

All the articles on HexaHealth are supported by verified medically-recognized sources such as; peer-reviewed academic research papers, research institutions, and medical journals. Our medical reviewers also check references of the articles to prioritize accuracy and relevance. Refer to our detailed editorial policy for more information.


  1. Cleveland Clinic. Aspartate Transferase (AST) Blood Test: What It Is, Procedure & Results [Internet]. Cleveland Clinic. 2021. link
  2. Cleveland Clinic. Alanine Transaminase (ALT) Blood Test: What It Is, Procedure & Results [Internet]. Cleveland Clinic. 2021. link
  3. MedlinePlus. AST Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information [Internet]. Medlineplus.gov. 2017. link
  4. Babb R, Alto P. The Clinical Significance of the SGOT Test [Internet]. [cited 2023 Aug 26]. link
  5. Lala V, Minter DA. Liver Function Tests [Internet]. Nih.gov. StatPearls Publishing; 2022. link
  6. Cleveland Clinic. Elevated Liver Enzymes | Cleveland Clinic [Internet]. Cleveland Clinic. 2018. link
  7. Cleveland Clinic. Liver Disease: Types [Internet]. Cleveland Clinic. 2021. link
  8. Cleveland Clinic. Liver Failure | Cleveland Clinic [Internet]. Cleveland Clinic. 2017. link
  9. Xiong F, Guan YS. Cautiously using natural medicine to treat liver problems. World Journal of Gastroenterology [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2019 Dec 1];23(19):3388.link
  10. Djakpo DK, Wang ZQ, Shrestha M. The significance of transaminase ratio (AST/ALT) in acute myocardial infarction. Archives of Medical Sciences Atherosclerotic Diseases [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2021 Nov 14];5:e279–83. link
  11. Cohen JA, Kaplan MM. The SGOT/SGPT ratio?An indicator of alcoholic liver disease. Digestive Diseases and Sciences. 1979 Nov;24(11):835–8.link
  12. Medications and the Liver - American College of Gastroenterology [Internet]. American College of Gastroenterology. 2011. link

Updated on : 9 September 2023

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational and learning purposes only. It doesn't cover every medical condition and might not be relevant to your personal situation. This information isn't medical advice, isn't meant for diagnosing any condition, and shouldn't replace talking to a certified medical or healthcare professional.

Reviewer

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

MBBS, DNB General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, FIAGES

12 Years Experience

Dr Aman Priya Khanna is a well-known General Surgeon, Proctologist and Bariatric Surgeon currently associated with HealthFort Clinic, Health First Multispecialty Clinic in Delhi. He has 12 years of experience in General Surgery and worke...View More

Author

Rajath R Prabhu

Rajath R Prabhu

MSc. Clinical Research I PG Diploma in Public Health Services Management

3 Years Experience

His work in medical content writing and proofreading is noteworthy. He has also contributed immensely to public health research and has authored four scientific manuscripts in international journals. He was assoc...View More

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