Among the large number of different tests that a pregnant woman has to take, it is important to determine the level of ALT in the blood. As a rule, it is measured simultaneously with an enzyme such as AST, both of which are endogenous. Their synthesis occurs inside the cell, and only a certain amount of these enzymes penetrates into the blood. According to medical practice, an increase in their concentration does not pose a threat to either the pregnant woman or the child. However, it is necessary to control their level, and if ALT is elevated during pregnancy, then it is necessary to take a blood test every two weeks.
What does the term ALT mean?
Trying to decipher the test results, many are faced with letter abbreviations, and the question often arises, what is ALT? As you know, this enzyme (alanine aminotransferase) is the main source for obtaining the energy necessary to maintain the activity of the whole organism. It is difficult to talk about him in the singular, since AST takes an active part in the work of the bodies along with him. These componentsparticipate in the synthesis of an amino acid such as alanine, which then becomes glucose.
ALT is involved in the work of not only the liver, but also the kidneys and heart. To obtain a reliable picture of the state of he alth, the indicators of both enzymes (AST and ALT) are taken into account. They are like indicators that signal a problem that has arisen. In addition, it may be necessary to assess the level of bilirubin, cholesterol, LDH, alkaline phosphatase. This will allow you to establish a more accurate picture of the disease. In practice, an increase in liver enzyme levels occurs in the second or third trimester of pregnancy.
If any organ is damaged, then the indicators of these enzymes increase several times. And then they talk about an increased ALT during pregnancy. This does not always immediately indicate a clear problem or developing pathology. To monitor the state of he alth, a control analysis is usually carried out after taking medications. Only a specialist can appoint them.
Risk factors that lead to deviation from the norm
It happens that a pregnant woman is prescribed certain medications, the intake of which leaves behind specific enzymes in the blood cells. They can also cause an increase in ALT during pregnancy. Or it may be the result of the introduction of a catheter that violates the integrity of the skin, and particles of the active substance of the drug remain in the blood.
Toxic components can easily provoke damage and death of liver cells. There is a specific listdrugs that adversely affect the body:
- hormonal drugs prescribed to maintain pregnancy;
- antibiotics, including those allowed during pregnancy;
- antifungal, antiepileptic, anticonvulsant;
- non-steroidal dosage forms that have an anti-inflammatory effect.
The growing fetus puts pressure on the internal organs, which leads to disruption of the liver. Usually at the end of the second - at the beginning of the third trimester, bile stagnation occurs due to compression of the gallbladder. Violation of its natural outflow can also provoke an increase in ALT in the blood. If a pregnant woman suffers from diabetes, then during the bearing of the baby, she is replaced with insulin medications.
If a woman's he alth does not change, but there is a deviation from the norm of this enzyme, then it is necessary to carry out weekly monitoring. However, when the opposite is observed and the woman's condition approaches critical, an emergency caesarean delivery may be required.
Sidelines of deviance
Many are afraid of serious complications that threaten to leave the problem without attention and, of course, you should not let any deviations from the norm during pregnancy take their course. Since the main organ that produces alanine is the liver, it is most likely that it has the prerequisites for the disease, this is what an increase in ALT means. This indicates the need for additional control over it.work, as the growing workload can lead to complications during childbearing.
From among the obvious diseases that occur with an increase in the level of ALT: cholestasis of pregnancy, preeclampsia, fatty liver in an acute form. If AST is measured simultaneously with this enzyme, signs of heart failure can be determined. In the presence of pathologies or chronic diseases, the indicators will be increased. However, it is worth making a reservation that the cause of the increase in ALT may be previously transferred hepatitis, or it is developing at the moment.
The side side of the increase in liver enzyme indicates the need to pay special attention to your diet and lifestyle. For many, giving up bad habits is stressful. It is advisable to get rid of them even during pregnancy planning or in the first trimester. In this case, the body will have time to restore vital functions.
Lack of vitamin B6 is also a reason for the increase in ALT during pregnancy. It is worth mentioning two unpleasant diagnoses that can be established in case of deviation from the norm: hepatitis and cirrhosis. If the titers of hepatitis A, B, C are tolerated with almost no obvious signs, then E is considered one of the most dangerous.
Reason for ordering the study
There are many terms in medicine, and it is not always immediately clear what ALT is and why its level needs to be controlled. In addition to the mandatory testing procedure during pregnancy, as a result of complaintsthe patient or according to screening data, the doctor may suspect the presence of one or another abnormality. Although most of the reasons for an extended blood test are common to many pregnant women, there are a number of symptoms that should alert:
- pain symptoms in the chest area;
- dizziness, bitter taste in the mouth;
- jaundice, increased blood bilirubin levels, edema;
- loss of appetite, frequent burping;
- high blood pressure, protein in urine;
- vomiting and nausea in last trimester;
- abdominal discomfort, fatigue.
It is not necessary to hush up the existence of these problems, writing them off as a special situation. They can become prerequisites for the development of a serious disease. Since not everyone knows what it means - an increase in ALT, it is necessary to get an explanation from a competent specialist. In short, this enzyme is found in several organs: skeletal muscles, heart, liver, kidneys.
How to prepare for analysis
Any medical procedures that a pregnant woman needs to undergo require preparation. The case with analyzes to determine the quality of metabolic processes is no exception. One of the most accessible ways to detect an increase in ALT during pregnancy is to donate blood for biochemical analysis. Even at an early stage, you can get information about how the body reacts and behaves during pregnancy, whether the internal organs cope with the increased load.
On the eve of the test, it is necessary to exclude from the diet:
- carbonated drinks and coffee;
- sweet, overly s alty, fatty or spicy foods.
It is advisable to cook porridge or vegetable salad for dinner. They are easy to digest and do not burden the stomach.
The process of taking biomaterial for research and decoding the results
Before you come to a medical facility for an analysis, you need to prepare. On the eve, dairy products, plant foods, including legumes, eggs, and sausages should be excluded from the diet. On the day of delivery, you should refrain from eating so that the indicators are reliable.
The procedure for taking blood takes place by taking it from a vein, so we can say that it is not painful. In order to eliminate the risk of hematoma formation, the injection site must be sealed with a plaster or bandaged. The results are prepared almost immediately, but they can be received on hand the next day (if we are talking about a public clinic).
It happens that the norms in different clinics are different, so you should judge the results only after consulting a doctor. A 2-fold increase in ALT during pregnancy is considered non-critical, but if the numbers are increased by 5 or more times, then this is a reason for additional research (for example, ultrasound) and consultation with a specialist. In medical practice, a value has been established that clearly indicates the presence of pancreatitis or hepatitis, a deviation from the norm upwards by 20 times.
Diseases associated with increased ALT
Only a qualified doctor can answer the question: "If ALT is elevated during pregnancy, what should I do?". Initially, it is necessary to understand that medicines alone are not enough here. This deviation is not typical for pregnancy. Numerous factors influence the rate. Readings exceeding 32 IU/L are considered alarming.
When an upward discrepancy in ALT levels is detected, it is important to determine the causes and only then select a treatment regimen. The main signs of diseases that can show an increase in the level of the enzyme in the blood:
- Toxic hepatitis: can develop not only as a result of alcohol abuse and smoking, but also work in hazardous industries, long-term use of drugs.
- Viral hepatitis: one of the most difficult, transmitted by contact or through blood. It is insidious in that for a long time it may not show obvious signs of the disease. Hepatitis C is considered the most difficult form.
- Hepatic cirrhosis refers to the most neglected form of the disease, when irreversible consequences in the body are launched. Dead cells are no longer able to recover, and the prognosis in this case is not encouraging.
However, it is always necessary to evaluate the results of analyzes sensibly. Not a single case is taken into account, but the analysis is repeated to verify the accuracy of the data obtained. Also important is the gestational age. The duration of treatment is determinedreturn to normal ALT in a pregnant woman.
How to help a pregnant woman
The ALT norm in women in the first trimester of pregnancy is considered a good indicator. This is due to the fact that not only hormonal changes take place, but also an active exchange of blood cells between the mother and the growing fetus. Only a qualified specialist can give a specific assessment of a woman's he alth status.
If the reason for the increase in alanine aminotransferase is a lack of vitamin B, then restorative therapy is prescribed, which includes vitamins B and C, hepatoprotectors. It is also worth noting that the normalization of the diet is one of the main ways to normalize the ALT level in the blood. Eating brown rice, fruits and vegetables, green tea, or any herbal tea is believed to improve liver function.
The goal of the treatment is not to reduce the indicators, but to eliminate the inflammatory process that leads to an increase in ALT during pregnancy. Only in this case can we talk about the possible restoration of the organ and he alth in general.
Affordable third trimester treatment
If ALT is elevated during pregnancy in the 3rd trimester, then most likely the woman is accompanied by headaches, dizziness, nausea, and pain in the temporal region. These symptoms are characteristic of late gestosis and can cause quite noticeable discomfort. The load on the liver can be caused by the presence of suchdiseases such as pancreatitis, heart disease, thyroid gland, genitourinary system, untreated infectious and inflammatory processes in the body. Definitely, you should not leave this unattended.
Methods of treating elevated ALT in the blood during pregnancy boil down to helping the liver perform its functions and recover. Therefore, any toxic drugs are excluded. Moreover, during pregnancy, most of them are contraindicated for a woman. The choice of doctors falls on drugs that are produced on a plant basis. These include: "Essentiale N", "Tykveol", "Gelabene", "Legalon". They protect the cells of the body and restore it, and also perform functions that the liver cannot currently cope with. For example, it can be a secretory function, participation in metabolic processes, getting rid of toxic products.
If ALT is elevated during pregnancy, diet is one of the key points in restoring he alth. It is quite affordable and simple, for example, it is recommended to replace the usual tea with herbal tea. It is worth paying attention to the composition and give preference to dandelion, astragalus, thistle. As a seasoning, it is recommended to add turmeric, garlic. These simple components contribute to the launch of natural processes in the body that have antitumor and anti-inflammatory effects.
From among the dietary supplements, it is allowed to include antioxidants in the diet, which help the body rejuvenate cells and strengthen them.Nuts and avocados, mangoes and citrus fruits are quite affordable. Which also belong to the group of antioxidants. It is advisable to consume at least 50 g of dietary fiber per day, which serve as a natural "cleaner" from "bad" cholesterol.
The key is not only the intake of he althy food, but also clean water. It is advisable to adhere to the daily norm and replace it with coffee, tea. If a woman does not consume any vitamins during pregnancy, then this may cause an increase in ALT during pregnancy. Why is this issue given so much attention? Because during the period when a woman is carrying a child, the body undergoes great changes and experiences an increased load. It is important not to miss the moment when you can help and restore the working capacity of important organs, in particular the liver.