• 4 months ago

    Questions about blood test(AST levels)

    I have a few follow up questions about my lab results.

    1)could my AST levels rising from 23 to 76 over the year have anything to do with the fact that I did not fast for this blood test?
    2)I read that having a ratio of 2:1 AST to ALT could indicate serious liver damage and even possibly cirrhosis...I am curious as to what makes these results not alarming to you.
    3)Are these levels at all common? Do you ever see numbers like this in people my age? Among drinkers, or even non-drinkers? Could this rise in AST, in a sense, be innocent?
    4)Could this rise have anything to do with a possible over-doing of Milk thistle and dandelion complex the week prior to test?
    5)What levels would be needed for you to be concerned for my liver's well-being? What numbers would you see in a damaged liver or one on the path to being severely damaged? Would things other than my AST be going out of whack if there was real damage?
    6)In your educated opinion, is my drinking the sole cause of this rise in my AST level? It has gone up quite drastically since my last test.
    7)Could this rise in AST possibly explain the discomfort in ribcage?(which has very much subsided)
    8)Finally, am I still considered in good health. Does this happen to other people my age? Am I much more worried and concerned from these results than I should be?


  • 4 months ago

    RE: Questions about blood test(AST levels)

    Low levels of AST in the blood are expected and are normal.

    Very high levels of AST (more than 10 times normal) are usually due to acute hepatitis, sometimes due to a viral infection. With acute hepatitis, AST levels usually stay high for about 1-2 months but can take as long as 3-6 months to return to normal. Levels of AST may also be markedly elevated (often over 100 times normal) as a result of exposure to drugs or other substances that are toxic to the liver as well as in conditions that cause decreased blood flow (ischemia) to the liver.

    With chronic hepatitis, AST levels are usually not as high, often less than 4 times normal, and are more likely to be normal than are ALT levels. AST often varies between normal and slightly increased with chronic hepatitis, so the test may be ordered frequently to determine the pattern. Such moderate increases may also be seen in other diseases of the liver, especially when the bile ducts are blocked, or with cirrhosis or certain cancers of the liver. AST may also increase after heart attacks and with muscle injury, usually to a much greater degree than ALT.

    AST is often performed together with the ALT test or as part of a liver panel. For more about AST results in relation to other liver tests, see the Liver Panel article.

    In most types of liver disease, the ALT level is higher than AST and the AST/ALT ratio will be low (less than 1). There are a few exceptions; the AST/ALT ratio is usually increased in alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, hepatitis C virus-related chronic liver disease, and in the first day or two of acute hepatitis or injury from bile duct obstruction. With heart or muscle injury, AST is often much higher than ALT (often 3-5 times as high) and levels tend to stay higher than ALT for longer than with liver injury.