Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) is an enzyme found in many organs throughout the body, with the highest concentrations in the liver. GGT plays a key role in the metabolism of glutathione, an important antioxidant. It's involved in the transfer of amino acids and peptides across cellular membranes and in glutathione metabolism. Elevated GGT levels are commonly used as a marker for liver damage, particularly in detecting bile duct obstructions and liver diseases related to alcohol consumption....


Who would benefit from testing their GGT value?

  • Individuals exhibiting signs of liver disease or damage, such as jaundice or abdominal pain.
  • Patients with a history of alcohol abuse, as GGT can be an indicator of alcohol-induced liver damage.
  • Those with known or suspected bile duct obstructions.
  • People with conditions that might impact the liver, such as hepatitis or fatty liver disease.
  • Individuals on medications known to affect the liver.

What are the common symptoms of too high GGT values?

  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes)
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Dark urine
  • Itchy skin

What can cause too high GGT values in blood?

High GGT levels can be caused by:

  • Liver diseases such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver cancer.
  • Bile duct obstructions.
  • Alcohol abuse leading to liver damage.
  • Use of certain medications or drugs toxic to the liver.
  • Pancreatic diseases.
  • Heart failure.

What can I do to improve GGT?

  • Limit alcohol intake or abstain entirely, especially if alcohol use is the underlying cause.
  • Follow a balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight to reduce the risk of fatty liver disease.
  • Exercise regularly to improve overall liver health and function.
  • Avoid unnecessary medications or substances that could harm the liver.
  • Regularly monitor and manage any underlying health conditions, especially those related to liver or heart health.
  • Consult with healthcare providers for specific treatments and lifestyle recommendations based on the underlying cause of elevated GGT.

Test(s) that measure/test for GGT

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