The LIVER is a largest organ in our body, weighing between 3 to 5 pounds, is located in the right upper portion of the abdomen under the rib cage. Major functions of the liver include filtration and metabolism, digestion of food, and detoxification of blood, protein synthesis, production of glucose and storage of vitamins, fat, cholesterol or minerals. Liver function tests are used to measure the levels of blood proteins,bilirubin, liver enzymes and hepatocellular integrities. Abnormalities in liver function tests is a common problem faced by clinical physicians. Not all persons who have one or more ailments shown in these test reports actually have liver disabilities. There are various biochemical tests, their pathophysiologies or an approach to the analyses of abnormal liver function test and they shows different purpose of liver like to excrete bilirubin, protein synthesis, formation and subsequent free flow of bile and hepatocellular integrities. In this article we are going to discuss Liver enzymes, their increased and decreased states and how to get them in normal states.
Liver panels or liver function tests or liver profile or hepatic function panel or LFT all are the same and are used to measure different liver functions or liver injuries, enzymes, proteins, bilirubin, albumin and other substances made by the liver. These substances can be tested at the same time on single blood sample and here are some most common widely used liver enzymes tests are –
- Aspartate aminotransferases or serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (AST or SGOT).
- Alanine aminotransferase or serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (ALT or SGPT).
These are the enzymes that are normally present within the liver cells and barely in the muscle cells. If the liver is damaged or injured due to any cause then the liver cells leak these enzymes into the bloodstream which results in the rise of SGOT and SGPT enzymes.
Normal level of SGOT – 5-40 Units/lt.
Normal level of SGPT – 7-56 Units/lt.
If any of these enzymes are outside of normal range, it may be the sign of Liver disease. It must be spotlighted that higher-than-normal levels of these liver enzymes should not be directly associated with liver diseases only. These can be due to liver issues or can’t be, like they can be higher due to muscle damage it always depends on clinical evaluation of an individual. Even, the correct levels of liver enzymes don’t correspond well with the expanse of liver issues or its prognosis. For example, patients with acute viral hepatitis A may go with higher extent of SGOT or SGPT levels but they recover fully without surplus liver disease and conversely, patients with chronic hepatitis C shows typical elevation in SGPT or SGOT levels while having considerable liver injury and even advanced liver cirrhosis.
Some Common Reasons behind Abnormal LFTs
- One of the most common causes of mild to moderate elevations of these liver tests is Fatty liver or hepatic steatosis that is commonly caused due to alcohol consumption, obesity and diabetes mellitus can also cause fatty liver.
- Chronic Hepatitis B
- Chronic Hepatitis C
- Chronic use of Alcohol
- Some of the common medications that shows liver toxicity –
- Pain relief medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, diclofenac etc.
- Antibiotics like tetracyclines, sulfonamides, isoniazid, fluconazole etc.
- Cholesterol lowering drugs like atorvastatin, pravastatin etc.
- Anti-seizure medications like phenytoin, valproic acid etc.
- Cardiovascular drugs
- Highest level of SGOT and SGPT are found in Acute Viral hepatitis A and B
- Over dose of acetaminophen
- Wilson’s disease
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Celiac diseases
- Ulcerative colitis
- Liver cancers.
Signs and Symptoms of High SGPT and SGOT are
- Nausea nd Vomiting
- Easy bruising
- Weakness and Fatigue
- Poor appetite
- Yellowish skin
- Abdominal discomfort
- Muscle injuries
- Gallbladder diseases
How Ayurveda Can help
Not everyone will develop liver diseases in their life. With adaptation of proper lifestyle and right kind of treatment for any underlying pathology that may lead to liver pathologies, one can prevent the development of liver diseases.
Ayurveda is an ancient traditional system of medicine that believes in balance between body, mind, spirit and environment. Ayurvedic treatment consists of herbal remedies, effective diet plans, yoga and meditation.
Ayurveda believes that liver (Yakrit) diseases are mainly developed due to the vitiation of Pitta dosha. The main cause behind the Pitta dushti is Atikatu and atilavana rasa sevana that leads to indigestion and results in formation of ama in the body and may develop Yakrit roga.
Ayurveda not only controls the symptoms of developing disease but also finds the root cause of the problem and gives long term impact in restoring the health by pure herbal remedies. In today’s fast- paced world, everyone wants instant options to manage the time. This process is also applied when we talk about our diet. Healthy homemade meals are replaced by packaged foods, snacks that are majorly responsible for our liver related diseases.
Recommended some most Effective Herbs in High SGOT and SGPT
Some common herbs that can give effective results by controlling SGOT and SGPT levels are
- Amla (Emblica officinalis) – Balances all tridoshas and maintains the dhatus in sama avastha. It helps by detoxifying the liver by removing all the toxins in the bloodstream. It also regenerates the liver cells and aids in prevention of liver cirrhosis. This herb has various benefits in certain disease conditions such as Jaundice, hepatitis B, Fatty Liver, Liver failure.
- Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)- Those patients who have highly increased levels of transaminase enzymes have many benefits with this herb. It is a highly effective astringent which is widely used in liver related disorders. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancerous, anti-microbial and hepatoprotective effects that can reduce liver injuries and improve muscle damage too.
- Bhumi Amla (Phyllanthus niruri) – It is effective in Kapha and Pitta dosha and has beneficial properties like it is astringent in nature, hepatoprotective, anti-viral, analgesic, relieves digestive disorders. Mainly indicated in Liver disorders, jaundice, Hepatitis viruses, hepatomegaly, liver carcinomas.
- Katuki (Picrorhiza kurroa) – Katuki is a herb that balances Pitta and Kapha dosha. It provides strength to the liver, has an immuno-modulatory effect, and hepatoprotective properties. It also rejuvenates liver cells and is highly beneficial in liver disorders.
- Kakmachi (Solanum nigrum) – Fresh leaves or fruits of Kakmachi are used in this herb. It reduces all the doshas and shows anti-inflammatory, antiseptic properties and acts as hepatotonic in nature.
Some Major Lifestyle Modification
- Try to control your weight: Obese people are likely to have more chances of having liver disorder. One of the most effective lifestyle modifications is by losing weight.
- Do Regular exercise: Be consistent and exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.
- Eat healthy food: Include fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products and whole grains in your daily diet.
- Decrease the sodium intake: Don’t add extra salt during dining time.
- Limit the intake of alcohol: It has various adverse effects in our body and one of the most common is Liver disease.
- Stop Smoking: Stop smoking and modify your lifestyle so as to avoid risk of Liver disorders.
- Low Caffeine intake
- Don’t take stress.
As we have discussed in the above article Liver diseases are more of a lifestyle disorder which can be easily treated by adopting a healthy lifestyle and taking good food, by avoiding intake of junk foods, snacks, doing yoga daily, exercise and meditation and cutting down the intake of heavy and oily foods. Ayurveda is the safest way to treat our body with effective methods by using herbal solutions and these medications don’t cause any side effects. Herbs that are used to normalise the increased SGOT and SGPT levels according to Ayurvedic principles are totally pure and highly effective.