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Question About Liver Labs
Apr 10, 2012

Dr. Young,

You recently answered a question about liver labs being elevated. It got me wondering about mine and how I always get conflicting info. This sounds like a waste of time question, but I do get various opinions on what's really "normal." My liver labs are always in the normal range. Sometimes they are on the low end of normal, but most times they are at the higher end of normal on the lab reference. Of course, I would think they are in the normal range, so why even discuss them. However, I've had a few folks (even a doc) say being on the high end of normal means there is some irritation and you really want to be on the low end of normal. Is this true? Does it really matter? Is normal not really normal? I googled ALT and have been reading where many believe ALT needs to be revised to show normal being anything under 30, saying many labs show normal going all the way to 70, which they say is too high for normal.

Thanks!

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

I suspect that you're probably over-reading (or over "Googling") your lab results. The normal range of labs is established by looking at a population of healthy (and usually young) individuals. The reference range are those values that encompass 95% of these individuals, and is typically validated by clinical laboratory associations.

There's no credible data that I'm aware of that says that it's better to be on the low side of normal, or that the higher side of normal is something to be concerned about.

Hope that helps. BY



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