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SGOT and SGPT Tests: Understanding Liver Health

Doctor holding dummy liver
Medically reviewed by Dr Rohan J Harsoda – MBBS, DNB(General Surgery)
Taking care of your liver is crucial for your overall well-being. As a vital organ, the liver plays a key role in detoxification, metabolism, and nutrient storage. To ensure your liver is functioning at its best, medical professionals often recommend SGOT and SGPT tests. In this article, we'll explore what these tests are, why they matter, and how they contribute to maintaining a healthy liver.

What are SGOT and SGPT Tests?

Let’s start by understanding liver enzymes. The liver produces enzymes to regulate various functions in the body. Serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT or AST) and Serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT or ALT) are enzymes found in liver cells. Their presence in the bloodstream serves as an indicator of liver health.

When liver cells are damaged or inflamed, SGOT and SGPT are released into the bloodstream. Monitoring their levels helps determine the extent of liver damage or inflammation.

Why SGOT and SGPT Tests Matter?

Balanced SGPT and SGOT levels are crucial indicators of organ health. Keeping these enzymes within a healthy range signals that your organs are functioning properly. Here’s why these tests are important:

  1. Evaluate Liver Health: High SGOT or SGPT levels often indicate potential issues with the liver. Monitoring these levels helps assess liver health, detect diseases or damage, and enables early intervention.
  2. Early Detection of Health Issues: If your SGOT or SGPT levels are off, it could be a sign of heart problems, muscle injuries, or other health issues. Keeping an eye on these levels regularly helps catch problems early, so you can get treatment sooner and manage your health better.
  3. Informed Health Choices: If your SGOT or SGPT levels are off, it might be because of the way you live or what you eat. Knowing this allows individuals to make healthier choices, reducing the risk of liver and heart diseases.
  4. Monitor Ongoing Treatment: For those on medications for liver or heart issues, tracking SGPT and SGOT levels helps assess treatment effectiveness, allowing adjustments if needed.

How is SGPT/SGOT Blood Test Performed?

The SGPT test involves obtaining a blood sample from a vein in the arm. This sample is then analyzed by a qualified technician, and the results are provided in units per liter of blood. The test is useful in detecting liver diseases, diagnosing hepatitis, and monitoring the effects of medications that may harm the liver.

Interpreting SGOT and SGPT Test Results

Results are measured in units per liter (U/L). While normal ranges may vary slightly, for adults, the typical range is:

  • SGOT(AST): 5-40 U/L
  • SGPT(ALT): 7-56 U/L

What do Elevated SGPT and SGOT levels Indicate?

If your SGOT and SGPT levels are higher than normal, it could mean different health issues:

  • Mild Increase: A small rise might be from intense workouts, certain meds, or a fatty liver without alcohol.
  • Moderate Increase: A middle-of-the-road bump could signal hepatitis, liver damage from alcohol, or side effects from medications.
  • Severe Increase: Big jumps may point to serious liver problems, like cirrhosis or sudden damage.

Because lots of things can cause high SGPT and SGOT levels, it’s crucial to talk to a healthcare provider. They can figure out why your levels are up. Checking these liver enzymes regularly can catch liver issues early, preventing lasting damage. Maintaining your health records by using Personal Health Record (PHR) apps helps keep tabs on these levels, spot changes, and take action if needed. This info is handy for healthcare providers in emergencies or when giving treatment.

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How Much Does the SGOT-SGPT Test Cost?

Getting the SGPT-SGOT test in India can start at INR 170 each. You can pick a health provider near you that offers home testing for accurate results.

How Can I Lower SGOT and SGPT Levels?

High SGPT levels signal liver damage, so bringing them down is crucial. To do that, follow these tips:

  1. Cut back on alcohol and quit smoking: Lower SGPT and SGOT levels by reducing alcohol intake and kicking the smoking habit.

  2. Eat healthy: Support your liver with a balanced diet rich in fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, and good fats.

  3. Ditch the junk: Say no to processed foods, saturated fats, and added sugars.

  4. Manage your weight: Shed excess pounds through a combination of diet and exercise.

  5. Get moving: Regular physical activity improves liver function.

  6. Drink up: Stay hydrated to support your liver and overall well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

No, they’re part of it. Liver tests also check other things like bilirubin and albumin for the full picture.
Usually not. But follow your doctor's advice just in case.
If your levels are high, your doctor might suggest more tests to see how your liver’s doing and if anything looks weird on scans.
There are many reasons—booze, viruses, weight issues, heart trouble, diabetes, and more.
Above 50 for guys and 45 for girls. High levels usually mean there’s some serious stuff going on.
It might mean something’s off with organs or muscles. More tests may be needed to figure out why.
Not always. Sometimes it’s not just about the liver; other things can mess with these levels.
Probably best to go easy on the booze or skip it. Too much can make liver issues worse.
Depends on your health. Ask your doc for the lowdown on when to check in.
Yep, some can. Tell your doc about all the stuff you’re taking for the real scoop.
Jigar Patel is the Founder of Health-e, a HealthTech app that simplifies health records management along with providing personalized and preventative healthcare solutions. Although he has 20+ years of operations and management experience in the EPC domain, Jigar’s true passion lies in making healthcare simpler, faster and more accessible for doctors and patients alike. He strongly believes that people need to be empowered to participate in their own healthcare and is constantly thinking of ways to build this into his app. He loves to keep things simple be it in life, product design, his work or the content he develops. Being married for 10 years and having 2 kids have taught him that perspective matters, so you can always count on him to share new perspectives on various topics.
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