6 Most Common Symptoms of High SGPT in Blood

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Written by Hexahealth Care Team, last updated on 5 September 2023| min read
6 Most Common Symptoms of High SGPT in Blood

Quick Summary

  • High SGPT (also known as ALT) is a sign of liver damage or dysfunction.
  • Symptoms of high SGPT can include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and jaundice.
  • If you have high SGPT, it's important to see a doctor to determine the cause and get treatment.

Are you worried about your liver health? Paying attention to signs and symptoms of high SGPT can provide valuable insights. SGPT (an enzyme found primarily in the liver) is an essential marker to consider to evaluate liver health. Elevated SGPT levels can indicate liver damage or dysfunction. 

This article will explore the high SGPT causes and symptoms, helping you understand when it's time to take action for your liver health.

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What is SGPT?

Serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT), also known as alanine transaminase (ALT), is an enzyme primarily found in liver cells. It plays a crucial role in various liver functions and is commonly measured in blood tests to assess liver health. 

SGPT levels are a valuable indicator of liver damage or dysfunction, allowing healthcare providers to evaluate the liver's overall condition.

The normal range of SGPT levels in the blood can vary slightly depending on the laboratory and testing methods used. However, generally accepted reference ranges for SGPT in adults are around 0 to 33 units per litre (U/L) for males and 0 and 25 U/L  for females. 

When liver cells are damaged or inflamed, SGPT is released into the bloodstream, leading to elevated levels. Recognizing the symptoms of high SGPT is crucial for early detection and timely intervention.

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Symptoms of High SGPT Levels in Blood

Symptoms of high SGPT levels in the blood are not specific to SGPT elevation alone, as they can vary depending on the underlying cause. Elevated levels may indicate liver damage or dysfunction

However, it's important to note that high SGPT levels do not always present noticeable symptoms and may only be detected through blood tests. Here are some potential symptoms that may be associated with high SGPT levels:

  1. Weakness and Fatigue: Feeling unusually tired or lacking energy can be a symptom of high SGPT levels, which significantly lowers the quality of life. Liver damage or dysfunction can affect the body's ability to metabolize nutrients and toxins, leading to fatigue.

  2. Nausea and Vomiting: Elevated SGPT levels can sometimes cause digestive disturbances, including nausea and vomiting. These symptoms may be more pronounced after eating fatty or greasy foods.

  3. Abdominal Pain: Notably, pain from liver cirrhosis usually starts in the upper right abdomen or under the lower right ribs. This can range from mild to severe and may be accompanied by bloating or a feeling of fullness.

  4. Jaundice: As liver function deteriorates and waste can no longer be removed from the body effectively, the bile pigment known as bilirubin can accumulate in the bloodstream resulting in jaundice, a condition characterized by yellowing of the skin and eyes. 

  5. Excessive Bleeding and Bruising: You may bleed and bruise more readily if your liver is damaged because it generates fewer of the proteins required for blood coagulation.

  6. Dark urine and Pale Stools: Liver dysfunction can affect the production and excretion of bile, leading to changes in urine and stool color. Dark urine and pale or clay-colored stools may be observed.

Causes of High SGPT in Blood

Elevated levels of SGPT in the blood can indicate liver damage or injury. Several factors can contribute to high SGPT levels. Here are some common elevated SGPT causes:

Liver-related Causes of High SGPT

Here are some common liver-related causes of high SGPT levels:

  1. Hepatitis: An ALT blood test is often done as part of a group of liver function tests. Viral infections are frequent causes of hepatitis. While hepatitis A and E cause acute viral hepatitis, viral hepatitis B, C, and D can result in chronic hepatitis.
    Hepatitis can also be brought on by a number of different viruses, such as HIV, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and cytomegalovirus (CMV).

  2. Hepatic Steatosis: The next stage of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) develops as a result of hepatic inflammation. Here, hepatic steatosis brought on by NAFLD has a typical biochemical pattern where SGPT levels are higher than aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels. 

  3. Ischemic Hepatitis: Acute viral hepatitis and ischemic hepatitis have many of the same clinical characteristics. Although prothrombin time, bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, and gamma-glutamyl transferase are only slightly abnormal, AST, SGPT, and LDH are significantly high.

  4. Fatty Liver Disease: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic liver disease (ALD) are conditions characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver. These conditions can lead to liver inflammation and injury, resulting in increased SGPT levels.

  5. Drug-induced liver injury: Certain medications, including some antibiotics, anti-seizure drugs, and cholesterol-lowering drugs, can cause liver damage and elevated SGPT levels in some individuals. It's essential to use medications as directed and be aware of any potential liver-related side effects.

  6. Liver Cancer: Malignant tumours in the liver can also lead to elevated SGPT levels. Liver cancer disrupts normal liver function and can cause SGPT to leak into the bloodstream.

Non-Liver Causes of High SGPT

Here are some common non-liver-related causes of high SGPT levels:

  1. Medications: Patients who were on salicylates in addition to methotrexate (MTX) and those on hydroxychloroquine usually had the most elevated SGPT values. Combining MTX and salicylates medications led to significantly higher cases of abnormal liver enzyme values. 

  2. Thyroid Disorders: According to a recently released comprehensive study and meta-analysis by Scappaticcio et al., between 55% and 60% of patients with undiagnosed hyperthyroidism had at least one abnormal liver function test result. 

    1. Amongst the hyperthyroid patients, the prevalence of abnormal liver function test results for SGPT, aspartate transaminase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total bilirubin (BIL), and glutamyltransferase (GGT) was 33%, 23%, 44%, 12%, and 24%, respectively.

  3. Muscle Damage: SGPT is not only found in the liver but also in other tissues, particularly in muscle cells. Therefore, conditions that cause muscle damage, such as intense physical exercise, muscle trauma or injury, and certain muscle diseases, can result in elevated SGPT levels.

  4. Kidney Disease: Impaired kidney function can contribute to high SGPT levels. The kidneys are crucial in filtering waste products from the blood, including SGPT. When the kidneys are not functioning properly, SGPT levels can rise. 

    1. Conditions such as chronic kidney disease, kidney infections, and kidney damage can be associated with elevated SGPT levels.

Lifestyle Factors that Affect SGPT Levels

Lifestyle factors can have a significant impact on SGPT levels in the blood. Some lifestyle factors can affect SGPT levels:

  1. Alcohol Consumption: It is extremely predictive of patients with cirrhosis and alcoholic hepatitis to have an SGPT ratio of 2 or higher. However, only 26% of patients with postnecrotic cirrhosis, 8% of patients with chronic hepatitis, and 4% of patients with viral hepatitis experience it.

  2. Unhealthy diet: The damage to the liver and increased SGPT levels can be attributed to a diet high in processed foods, saturated fats, and refined sugars.

  3. Obesity: Increased SGPT levels are linked to a condition known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is brought on by too much body fat, especially in the area around the belly. 

  4. Smoking: Smoking harms the liver and the lungs by increasing inflammation and oxidative stress. Thus having negative impacts on the liver's health and raising SGPT levels. 

  5. Stress: Chronic stress and excessive emotional strain can impact liver health and contribute to elevated SGPT levels. Finding healthy coping mechanisms for stress, such as exercise, meditation, and relaxation techniques, can help support liver function.

Maintain Healthy SGPT Levels

Speaking with a healthcare professional is crucial to identify the underlying cause of high SGPT levels and receive proper care. Regular liver enzyme testing can also help early detection of liver diseases and mitigate long-term harm. 

Further, these are some of the lifestyle changes that need to be followed to maintain healthy SGPT levels:

  1. Increase the Consumption of Vitamin D: Increased vitamin D consumption lowers SGPT levels and aids in protecting the liver from harm. Excellent sources of vitamin D include soy milk, apples, oranges, mushrooms, tofu, eggs, fortified cereals, oysters, cod liver oil, dairy items, and green leafy vegetables.

  2. Consume a Balanced Diet: Plant-based and organic diets are ideal for your liver's health. Limit your intake of salty and high-sodium foods.

  3. Have Fruits and Vegetables Rich in Antioxidants: The liver benefits from foods high in antioxidants, such as spinach, carrots, pomegranates, papayas, kiwis, and bell peppers.

  4. Avoid Eating Fried and Junk Food: Avoid consuming junk food like pizza, burgers, and deep-fried items. Avoid excessive quantities of pork, chicken, cheese, bacon, or butter. 

  5. Consume Alcohol in Moderation and Quit Smoking: Alcohol is the most harmful substance for the liver. If your report suggests that “SGPT high in liver function test,” then overindulging in alcohol can harm the liver and create toxins, which increases the level of SGPT.
    Additionally, give up smoking because it can harm the liver.

  6. Exercise Regularly: Exercising is crucial for keeping the liver healthy. Also, it boosts energy levels while lessening the strain on the liver.
    Besides, obesity, one of the risk factors for liver problems, can be avoided by exercising regularly.

  7. Go for Routine Medical Examinations: Attend routine medical exams because liver impairment may not usually have symptoms.
    Don't let symptoms develop for too long. Routine preventive screening is one way to determine whether the liver is working well. 

When to See a Doctor?

Consult your doctor straight away if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above. If the reports reveal elevated SGPT levels, then this may be a sign of diseases such as hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and inflammation.

Therefore, you should immediately seek medical attention by consulting a doctor or other health care provider. The more healthy tissue you can save and the more likely your liver will be to regenerate, the sooner you can stop the course of liver disease.

Takeaway

SGPT or ALT is a vital liver enzyme that maintains healthy liver function. And SGPT blood tests help to assess the condition of your liver. It is important to consult a doctor if you experience any of the symptoms of high SGPT levels.

If you need any assistance with the diagnosis and treatment of liver issues, then you can contact the experts at HexaHealth. They will answer all your queries and help you find the right medical experts.

Suggested Reads

Danger level of SGPT and SGOt Best Medicine for High SGPT and SGOt
Difference Between SGPT and SGOT SGPT and SGOT Levels in Jaundice
How to Lower SGPT and SGOT quickly in 1 Week Side Effect of High SGPT SGOT during Pregnancy

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Frequently Asked Questions

The following are the symptoms of high SGPT in blood:

  1. Weakness

  2. Nausea

  3. Fatigue

  4. Vomiting

  5. Shortness of breath

  6. Swelling in legs

  7. Jaundice

  8. Excessive bleeding

  9. Excessive bruising

The following are the high SGPT causes:

  1. Hepatitis A, B and C infection

  2. Alcohol abuse

  3. Celiac disease 

  4. Heart attack 

  5. Diabetes

  6. Obesity

  7. Gallbladder inflammation 

  8. Mononucleosis 

  9. Glandular fever

  10. Dermatomyositis

Serum glutamic pyruvic transferase, often known as SGPT, is a vital liver enzyme that maintains healthy liver function. Elevated SGPT levels in your blood sample indicate liver damage or injury.

The range of serum SGPT concentration is 7-55 units/litre. If SGPT levels are greater than 55 units/litre, then it indicates liver damage.

The following medical conditions are associated with high SGPT levels:

  1. Hepatitis A and B

  2. Acute viral infections

  3. Celiac disease

  4. Heart diseases

  5. Obesity

  6. Diabetes

  7. Hepatitis C 

  8. Dermatomyositis

  9. Cholecystitis

SGPT test is performed as part of the liver function test to check for liver damage or diseases. The amount of SGPT released into the bloodstream rises when the liver is damaged or displays signs of an underlying ailment.
A routine SGPT blood test is also advised because people with elevated SGPT enzyme levels may not always show symptoms.

If you have high SGPT levels, then it's crucial to keep track of your symptoms and undergo routine testing to see if your levels are fluctuating. Getting medical help is crucial if you develop symptoms like stomach pain and jaundice. 

Additionally, it's crucial to undergo SGPT/ALT tests regularly to check your levels if you have been identified with high SGPT levels. This will enable you and your doctor to assess the efficacy of your lifestyle modifications and medical interventions.

These are some of the steps you may take to maintain a healthy liver and treat high SGPT levels:

  1. Avoid alcohol

  2. Have a balanced diet

  3. Get hepatitis A and B vaccines

  4. If you have diabetes, then control your blood sugar levels

  5. Maintain proper body weight

  6. Exercise regularly

Yes, high SGPT levels indicate liver damage. Reasons like excessive alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet, diabetes, obesity, etc., lead to an elevated SGPT level. Apart from that, some medications can also lead to an increase in SGPT levels in the liver. 

So, once the symptoms arrive, you must consult a doctor and get the necessary treatment started to avoid further deterioration of the same.

If you have been getting high levels of SGPT in your test reports, then it’s a sign of an underlying liver issue. Notably, liver cancer, liver cirrhosis, viral hepatitis, alcoholic liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or hepatitis can be a cause. 

Therefore, it is essential to talk to a healthcare professional to ascertain the underlying reason for elevated SGPT levels and check whether there are any chances of developing cancer or not.

In particular, acetaminophen (tylenol, amongst other OTC pain relievers) may raise SGPT levels. Some prescription drugs, notably cholesterol-lowering statins, may also cause high SGPT levels.

The complications that arise due to high SGPT levels are weakness, jaundice, fatigue, shortness of breath, swelling of the ankle and leg, etc. Once you start noticing any of these complications, you must contact a doctor to get it checked and then start the required treatment as soon as possible.

By adopting the following lifestyle changes, high SGPT levels may be prevented:

  1. Avoid drinking alcohol

  2. Adopt a diet that is balanced and healthy

  3. Get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B

  4. Manage your blood sugar level if you have diabetes

  5. Maintain a healthy weight

  6. Regularly exercise 

SGPT levels are advised to be checked once every year as a part of a routine check-up. However, if you experience the symptoms of high SGPT levels, then talk to a medical professional and get this test done as suggested.

Yes, a high SGPT level can lead to long-term health problems such as liver cancer, cirrhosis, viral hepatitis, alcoholic liver disease, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. So, if the recent SGPT test indicates a high secretion of this enzyme, then it is essential to consult a doctor and get the treatment started.

SGPT and SGOT are the two most typical categories of liver enzymes. These enzymes can leak into the bloodstream when liver cells are harmed or inflamed, leading to high levels of SGPT and SGOT in a blood test.
Most of the time, the symptoms of high SGPT and SGOT levels are not visible, but some people may experience:

  1. Constant exhaustion and fatigue

  2. Nausea and vomiting

  3. Abdominal discomfort

  4. Bruising quickly

  5. Jaundice

  6. Swelling in the abdomen and legs

  7. Dark coloured urine

  8. Pale stools

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. Robinson J. Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT) Test and Results (aka SGPT Test) [Internet]. WebMD. 2021.link
  2. Lala V, Minter DA. Liver Function Tests [Internet]. Nih.gov. StatPearls Publishing; 2022.link
  3. Moriles KE, Azer SA. Alanine Amino Transferase [Internet]. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. StatPearls Publishing; 2020.link
  4. Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs: Benefits & Side Effects [Internet]. Cleveland Clinic.link

Updated on : 5 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.
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