Ast Alt Alkaline Phosphatase High: Understanding The Causes And Treatment

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If you’ve recently got your blood test results back and found that your AST, ALT, and alkaline phosphatase levels are high, you might be wondering what it means. Elevated levels of these enzymes are often indicative of liver damage, but there can be other underlying causes as well. In this article, we’ll explore what AST, ALT, and alkaline phosphatase are, what causes them to rise, and how they can be treated.

What are AST, ALT, and Alkaline Phosphatase?

AST (aspartate aminotransferase) and ALT (alanine aminotransferase) are enzymes that are primarily found in the liver, but they are also present in muscles and other organs. Elevated levels of AST and ALT in the blood can be indicative of liver damage or inflammation. Alkaline phosphatase is an enzyme that is present in many tissues throughout the body, but it is particularly concentrated in the liver and bones. Elevated levels of alkaline phosphatase can indicate liver or bone disease.

Causes of Elevated AST, ALT, and Alkaline Phosphatase

There are many different factors that can cause AST, ALT, and alkaline phosphatase levels to rise. Some of the most common causes include:

Liver Disease

Liver disease is the most common cause of elevated AST and ALT levels. Conditions such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, and fatty liver disease can all lead to liver damage and inflammation, which can cause these enzymes to leak into the bloodstream.

Bone Disease

Elevated levels of alkaline phosphatase can be indicative of bone disease, such as osteoporosis or Paget’s disease. In these conditions, the bones are breaking down at a faster rate than they can be rebuilt, leading to increased levels of alkaline phosphatase in the blood.

Muscle Damage

Injury or damage to the muscles can cause AST and ALT levels to rise. This is because these enzymes are also present in muscle tissue, and if the muscle is damaged, they can leak into the bloodstream.

Other Causes

Other potential causes of elevated AST, ALT, and alkaline phosphatase levels include certain medications, alcohol abuse, and autoimmune disorders.

Treatment for Elevated AST, ALT, and Alkaline Phosphatase

The treatment for elevated AST, ALT, and alkaline phosphatase levels depends on the underlying cause. In cases of liver disease, the focus will be on treating the underlying condition and preventing further damage to the liver. This may involve lifestyle changes, such as quitting alcohol or losing weight, as well as medications to manage the disease. In cases of bone disease, treatment will focus on preventing further bone loss and rebuilding bone density. This may involve medications, such as bisphosphonates, as well as lifestyle changes, such as getting regular exercise and eating a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D.


Elevated levels of AST, ALT, and alkaline phosphatase can be indicative of a serious underlying condition, such as liver or bone disease. If you’ve received blood test results that show elevated levels of these enzymes, it’s important to follow up with your doctor to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan. With proper diagnosis and treatment, it’s possible to manage these conditions and prevent further damage to your health.