• Producing important clotting factors, albumin, and many other proteins
• Processing medications and nutrients
• Processing of waste products of haemoglobin and other cells of the body
• Storage of vitamins, fat, cholesterol, and bile
• Production of glucose for functions of body
Liver function tests can be used to know about the liver functions or liver injury. The most common and widely used liver enzymes tests are the aminotransferases that include aspartate aminotransferase (AST or SGOT) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT or SGPT). These enzymes are normally present within liver cells and to a lesser extent in the muscle cells. If the liver is injured or damaged, the liver cells spill these enzymes into the blood, which causes the SGOT and SGPT enzyme blood levels to rise.
• Normal levels of SGPT: 7-56 units/liter of serum
• Normal levels of SGOT: 5-40 units/liter of serum.
SGPT is present predominantly in the liver and when it is produced in excess, it leaks into the bloodstream. The normal range of SGPT is about 7 to 56 units / liter of blood serum. A very high level of SGPT in the blood indicates some damage or issues related to the liver.
Following are few conditions and diseases causing increased SGPT levels:
• Drinking excess of alcohol
• Acute viral hepatitis A and B
• Celiac disease (Autoimmune disorder)
• Heart attack
• Hepatitis C
• Infectious mononucleosis Glandular fever caused by Epstein-Barr virus)
• Gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis)
• Dermatomyositis (Inflammation of skin and muscles)
The most common symptoms of high SGPT level include:
• Nausea and vomiting
• Weakness or fatigue
• Swelling in legs
• Shortness of breath
• Excessive bruising or bleeding
If you find these symptoms, you should immediately consult your doctor for further investigations.
The high SGOT levels can indicate the following disorders:
• heart damage, possibly from a heart attack
• muscle injuries
• kidney disease
• liver damage from toxins such as excess of alcohol
• acute hepatitis
• gallbladder disease
The most common diseases that causes abnormally high SGOT and SGPT are:
• hepatitis A or B or C
• chronic viral hepatitis,
• cirrhosis of the liver (fibrosis of liver because of prolonged inflammation of the liver),
• liver damage from alcohol,
• hemochromatosis (a genetic condition caused due to long-standing liver damage), and
• reduced blood flow to the liver (from shock or heart failure).
If the liver is healthy then our body is healthy too. Liver helps in many of body functions and also helps to flush out toxins by boosting the metabolism. One should take care of the liver by maintaining a healthy lifestyle or following healthy habits. Also, following a healthy lifestyle can keep you strong and keeps your liver away from various diseases.
Everything and anything we consume, such as medicines, food, alcohol, etc. is filtered by our liver. Therefore, it is very important for the body to function properly and take care of the liver that can help avoiding harsh treatments and complications of the certain diseases on the body.
SGPT and SGOT are certain enzymes that are produced by the liver and its cells. Elevated SGPT and SGOT levels are an indication of liver cell injury or damage and hence they should be detected through regular health check-ups.
There are few lifestyle habits that can keep your liver and body in their healthier state.
• Increase Vitamin D intake in diet: Vitamin D helps in preventing any damage happening to the liver and decreases the SGPT levels. Oranges, mushrooms, soy milk, apples, fortified cereals, tofu, eggs, dairy products, oysters cod liver oil, and green leafy vegetables are very good sources of vitamin D.
• Eat nutritious diet: Organic and plant-based diet is the best for your liver function. Avoid having too much salt and sodium-rich foods.
• Eat more vegetables and fruits: Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants, such as papaya, kiwi, pomegranate, carrot, spinach, bell pepper, etc. are good for liver.
• Avoid fried and junk foods: Try to avoid eating deep fried foods and junk food such as pizza, burgers, etc. Also, try to be away from chicken, meat, pork, cheese, carbonated drinks, bacon and butter.
• Limit alcohol and quit smoking: Alcohol is the most dangerous thing for the liver. Consuming excess of alcohol can produce toxins and damage the liver raising the SGOT and SGPT levels in your blood. Also quit smoking as it can also cause damage.
• Don’t try to self-medicate: Absorbing medicines is too much stress on the liver, therefore having medicines that are not prescribed by a qualified doctor can do more harm to the liver.
Doing regular exercise is important for maintaining a healthy liver. It decreases the stress on the liver and also increases the energy levels. Exercise helps in preventing obesity, which is one of the risk factors for liver diseases.
Regular health check-ups
Go for regular health check-ups, as liver dysfunctions do not always show symptoms. Hence, don’t wait for too long for symptoms to occur. Regular preventive screening is one way to know if the liver is functioning properly. High SGPT or SGOT is usually an indication of liver cell injury.
Implementing these healthy lifestyle modifications with a healthy diet is the best resolution to lower SGPT and SGOT levels.
Recipient of Padma Shri, Vishwa Hindi Samman, National Science Communication Award and Dr B C Roy National Award, Dr Aggarwal is a physician, cardiologist, spiritual writer and motivational speaker. He is the Past President of the Indian Medical Association and President of Heart Care Foundation of India. He is also the Editor in Chief of the IJCP Group, Medtalks and eMediNexus