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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index


There is NO ultrasound test with sufficient resolution to tell you ANYTHING about the condition of your coronary arteries. Your saving grance is that you have a decently high HDL (56.)

Your ALT may or may not be indicative of a liver problem with Lipitor:
[QUOTE]ALT levels are used to gauge inflammation and damage to theliver at any one point in time. Normal ALT levels, like “normal” val-ues for every lab test, vary some from lab to lab but are commonlyreported as 0-40 IU/L. Looking for a trend or pattern over time ismore important than any single value. For instance, a repeatedmeasure of 100 may be “normal” for someone who consistentlytests within this range. However, a measurement of 225 for thisperson would indicate that there may be increased inflammation orcell death that would warrant further evaluation[/QUOTE]

Do you have any OLD liver function tests, from before Lipitor in which you can look up your baseline ALT (formerly called SGPT.) WHat kind of number do you get NOW without the Lipitor?

From the Oklahoma Blood Institute:
[QUOTE]What is ALT?
ALT is an enzyme made in the liver and normally released in small amounts into the blood. [B]Elevated ALT levels indicate that the liver is stressed. Common causes of elevated ALT are obesity, alcoholic beverage, some medications, toxic chemicals, or damage by viruses such as hepatitis B or C[/B].

What does your ALT level mean?
Average level for men is 29; normal range 5 IU/L to 45 IU/L Average level for women is 19; normal range 5 IU/L to 45 IU/L

What types of medications elevate ALT?
Many medications will elevate the ALT level in your blood because of the stress placed on the liver to metabolize and excrete them. This is especially true for "Statin" drugs such as Lipitor, Zocor, Pravachol, Me****r, etc. which are taken to lower cholesterol levels. Individuals taking "Statin" drugs should have their ALT levels checked periodically. These results should be sent to your physician.

What should I do if my ALT is elevated?
If your ALT is consistently elevated (above 45) or elevated even once (above 120) you should have your ALT repeated by OBI or see your physician for evaluation and further testing. [/QUOTE]

If you've ruled out the other causes of higher than normal ALT and get repeatable results, you will have to discontinue the Lipitor. BUT you will need to find some way to lower your total cholesterol. Resist the normal human instinct to say "Since my results are bad, I'll assume they don't matter"...they do, whether we'd like to THINK they do or not.

What does your doctor say about your ALT level? Have you ever had hepatitis A, B or especially C? If you;ve never been tested for antibodies to them, do so at your next doctor's visit. Are you a heavy drinker? Do you frequently take Tylenol (acetamenophen?)

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