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7 Key Facts on Importance of Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test - A Biomarker

Dr.Omair Ansar
April 15, 2022

GGT, or Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test, is a liver enzyme that helps detoxify ammonia. This test helps identify patients with liver disease. What should you know before taking this test?

GGT is a useful marker for detecting liver diseases. The normal range of GGT levels varies from person to person. If your levels are higher than normal, then you might have some form of liver damage. However, even though GGT levels are high, you don't necessarily have liver problems.

A high GGT level indicates the presence of certain toxins in the body. Gut bacteria usually produce these toxins. Therefore, a high GGT level can also mean that you have poor digestion. Other causes of a high GGT level include kidney failure, pancreatitis, gallbladder stones, and cancer.

What is a gamma-glutamyl transferase GGT test?

Gamma-glutamyltransferase (or GGT) is an enzyme in the liver that helps break down glutathione. Glutathione is a naturally occurring compound that protects cells against the damaging effects of free radicals. It is also involved in the production of coenzyme A, which plays a role in energy metabolism.

The GGT test measures how much GGT is present in your blood. Generally, a healthy person has less than 10 IU per liter of GGT. Normal values for adults are between 5 and 60 IU per liter.

Importance Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test

Since GGT is released into the bloodstream when there is tissue injury, increased amounts of GGT indicate a possible problem with the liver. For example, if there is liver cell damage, more GGT will be released into the bloodstream. Thus, a high GGT value may indicate the presence of liver disease.

7 Key Facts on the Importance of the Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test are below:

  1. Testing for alcohol abuse
  2. Detection of liver disease
  3. Monitoring therapy
  4. Assessing prognosis
  5. Assessing the effectiveness of Treatment
  6. To assess the severity of liver disease
  7. To evaluate response to Treatment

Indications for Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test

Suppose you have any signs or symptoms of liver disease, including abdominal pain, yellow skin coloration, dark urine, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, jaundice, bruising, or bleeding gums. In that case, you should contact your healthcare provider right away. You may also want to get tested for hepatitis B and C, which affect the liver.

How often should you get tested?

Your doctor will probably recommend getting a GGT test at least once every two years. Instead of measuring only GTT alone, Labme provides a much better package of baseline biomarker investigations for USD 99 only.

Our at-home Lab Me Baseline health test helps monitor your cardiovascular, liver, and kidney health & more. Online results 2-3 days after our lab receives your test.

GGT
LDL % of HDL
VLDL
Total Triglycerides
Lipids
Cholesterol
HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein)
LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein)
HDL % of Total Cholesterol
HS-CRP
hbA1C
Glucose
Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test

What happens during a GGT test?

During a GGT test, your blood sample is taken through a vein in your arm while sitting down or lying on your back. A needle is inserted in your upper arm so a tube can be placed to remove the blood. The site becomes red, swollen, and painful when the needle punctures the skin. The needle is removed from your arm when the blood collection process is completed.

Risk Factors Involved

You may feel sore or bruised after a GGT test. This typically goes away within 24 hours. Other side effects include headache, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, muscle aches, or stomach upset. Rarely do people who receive a GGT test develop a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. Symptoms of this allergy include difficulty breathing, itching, swelling around the mouth and throat, hives, and rash. Anaphylaxis occurs when someone receives a shot containing epinephrine or another medication. So before having a GGT test, make sure you tell your doctor about all your medications.

What do the results mean?

A normal result means you don't have any problems related to your liver. However, if your GGT level is above 50 IU, you might have a problem with your liver. A higher GGT level indicates greater liver damage. You may have liver cancer or cirrhosis if your GGT level is over 100 IU.

Should I be worried if my GGT is high?

No. Most of the time, a GGT level over 50 IU doesn't mean anything serious. But if your test result is high (over 100 IU), talk to your doctor immediately. It could point toward gallbladder inflammation, gallstones, or liver disease.

Possible Treatment for high GGT levels?

There's no treatment available for elevated GGT levels. One study suggests that taking vitamin E, folic acid, and selenium may help lower GGT levels in those with higher readings. Talk to your doctor about whether these supplements would be helpful for you. They may suggest a different approach, such as removing certain foods from your diet or using other drugs.

Many factors beyond our control contribute to our risk of developing liver disease. For example, some people inherit genetic traits that increase their chances of developing liver problems. Some forms of viral infection or alcohol use can cause liver damage. And even certain medical conditions can raise the chance of having liver problems.

The importance of gamma-glutamyl transferase testing cannot be understated. It has become one of the most important markers in detecting liver injury. It is not uncommon now for individuals to request a serum GGT before engaging in activities that may potentially harm them. Usually, it is not done because physicians believe it does not provide much information. In reality, though, as we will see, it can be very useful depending on what you are at risk for. 

Need for Biomarker GGT Test

The GGT test helps measure the amount of GGT in your blood. It's important because too little or too much GGT may cause problems. Too little GGT suggests liver disease, but too much GGT means you may have pancreatitis or other types of inflammation.

This test tells your doctor whether you have liver disease. If you have liver disease, your GGT level may be elevated. Your GGT level can help determine if you have liver disease caused by alcohol use, drugs, viral infections (e.g., hepatitis), or certain diseases such as hemochromatosis (iron overload).

How to prepare for the GGT test

Tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions and medications. Also, let him know if you've recently had surgery, been hospitalized, received radiation therapy, or had chemotherapy. These things could increase your risk of developing complications.

Key Takeaways

To sum up, If you have any signs or symptoms of liver disease, including yellow skin coloration, abdominal pain, dark urine, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and fever, it is recommended that you get tested for GGT, this test is used to detect the presence of abnormal levels of GGT enzyme in the blood. Labme offers fast and reliable testing services at an affordable price and provides quality laboratory services to patients across the United States.

Disclaimer: The information provided by LabMe is not meant to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or Treatment. Any content published here is solely intended as educational material. Please seek medical advice if you suspect yourself suffering from any health condition. For more information, please read our Terms & Conditions.

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