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One of the many ways a person can stay healthy and maintain general well-being is by routine health checkups. Those who are above the age of 40 must keep a close watch on their health by staying conscious of their diet, having a healthy lifestyle and by taking routine tests to ensure their body is doing well.
For those who are worried about their liver health, the SGOT and SGPT test is absolutely necessary as they help in checking on the two main enzymes that are released by the liver, namely AST and ALT. Both of these enzymes are crucial for the human body as they have important functions in the metabolism of food and the upkeep of cells and organs in the body.
Not only are these enzymes important, but their levels must also remain in a normal range in the body, higher or lower than that which is indicative of liver related issues in the patient. Only when the liver is damaged or if the liver is under excessive strain can the levels be higher or lower than normal, which indicates poor liver health in general.
AST, ALT, SGOT and SGPT | Introduction and Importance
AST and ALT, as explained above, are two kinds of enzymes that are released by the liver. AST refers to Aspartate Aminotransferase, and ALT refers to Alanine Aminotransferase.
Both of these enzymes are crucial and have a wide range of functions in the body, most importantly the production of glycogen. They help in making glucose which is the energy source in the body. The glucose that is not metabolised immediately is stored in the liver for further use.
AST and ALT can be identified in the bloodstream besides in the liver if there is any damage to the liver. When the levels are too high, it denotes that the enzyme has leaked from the liver into the blood. This is a cause of worry as it may signify liver issues.
The SGOT and SGPT tests are used to determine the level of AST and ALT enzymes in the blood. The normal levels are to be within 40 units per litre of serum for the SGOT test and within 55 units per litre of serum for the SGPT test.
Those who are at high risk of developing liver problems may be asked to take up SGOT and SGPT tests by their doctors. SGOT and SGPT price for test costs around Rs 800 in most cities and labs. These tests are recommended for people who may have symptoms of liver problems and especially those who have existing risk factors such as obesity, diabetes, heart condition, alcohol abuse, etc.
Reducing SGOT and SGPT levels
The level of the enzymes measured by SGPT and SGOT tests can be reduced by simple lifestyle changes. Those who have very high levels of ALT and AST in their blood serum may need to start taking medications, but it needs to be supported with lifestyle changes as well for prolonged and faster results.
Below are some tips to reduce the levels of these enzymes and repair the liver:
- Consume a diet with plenty of vitamin D
- Switch to a vegetarian diet and replace meat with healthy plant-based fats
- Choose low sodium-based diet and snacks
- Avoid greasy, oily, salty and sugary snacks or junk food
- Cut down on drinking and smoking
- Exercise regularly and reduce weight
- Maintain an active lifestyle