Q. Even after giving up alcohol, my GGT levels are high. Why?

Answered by
Dr. A V Hussain Shihaz
and medically reviewed by Nithila A
Published on Aug 09, 2019

Hello doctor,

Serum GGT levels are elevated despite giving up alcohol. Even before, the frequency of drinking was maximum once in a week (90 ml). What does this imply? Please help.

Dr. A V Hussain Shihaz

Medical Gastroenterology


Welcome to icliniq.com.

There are a few questions regarding your health and lifestyle that would help in finding the answers to your query.

1. Have you had any jaundice recently or ever?

2. How long have you been taking alcohol?

3. Is there anyone in the family (siblings, parents) who has had liver problems?

4. Have you lost weight, how is your appetite?

The reports are from last month, do you have any reports from before this (attachment removed to protect patient identity)? Have you done viral markers, like hepatitis C and B? The report shows raised GGT, but in your query, you had mentioned about gall bladder stones, but the report of ultrasound is KUB, which does not mention anything about liver, gall bladder or bile ducts. There are no reports of CBC (complete blood count) as well. Please do a repeat CBC, full ultrasound of abdomen (to look for gall stones and bile duct) and send.

Thank you doctor,

Yes, I had jaundice in my childhood and have mild jaundice even now. I started drinking approximately 48 years ago (have taken breaks in between because of stomach ulcer). I gave it up entirely four months ago. No one in the family has liver problems. I have gained weight in the previous few months. My appetite is normal, but I suffer from acidity and digestion problems. I have attached my most recent reports, including ultrasound. Please help me in understanding why GGT is high and what to do about it.

Dr. A V Hussain Shihaz

Medical Gastroenterology


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

The reports were not photographed well, but still, from what I could make out it looks normal except for a few issues. I could not see what was the hemoglobin since the MCV is low. Gall bladder shows stones, so if the GGT persists (gamma-glutamyl transferase) to be high it would be advisable to do an MRCP (MRI of the liver) to rule out the possibility of tiny stones in the bile duct and check for other causes of liver injury by blood tests. I would advise being abstinent from alcohol.

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