Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is an enzyme found in your liver, bones and intestines. It plays an important role in liver metabolism and bone ossification and development. Level of Alkaline phosphatase in the blood is checked by Alkaline phosphatase test also known as ALP Test which is used to diagnose hepatitis or osteomalacia. Many factors including age,sex and blood type influence Alkaline phosphatase level in your body. Low ALP level or deficiency of ALP in your blood will lead to liver or skeletal diseases. If you have a low level of Alkaline phosphatase in your body you should consult with the doctor for proper medication and treatment. Taking good fats in your diet or supplements will raise your alkaline phosphatase levels in your body.
Testing Your Alkaline Phosphatase:
- Evaluate your risk factors for low ALP: Low ALP level is very rare and some people have low levels of Alkaline phosphatase. If someone recently had blood transfusion or heart bypass surgery then he or she is likely to have a low level of Alkaline phosphatase. Malnutrition also causes chronic low ALP levels in your body. People suffering from Wilson’s disease or Hypophosphatasia (a rare bone metabolism disorder) also have low levels of Alkaline phosphatase. If you have undergone a heart surgery or blood transfusion then you should consult a doctor to check your ALP level in your body. It is a normal condition, it doesn’t require any medical intervention or lifestyle changes.
- Get a standard blood test: Standard blood test is a type of test that a doctor will suggest you to check ALP level and other enzyme levels in your body. If you are suffering from malnutrition or pre existing medical conditions and have concerns about the ALP then you should consult with the doctor to check ALP levels through standard blood tests. It’s better to do a standard blood test for physical checkup every month to check ALP levels in your blood.
- Discuss your results with your doctor to understand why your ALP is low: If you have low levels of Alkaline phosphatase in your body, you should consult your doctor because low ALP level is very rare and only seen in those patients who are suffering from major serious diseases like Wilson’s disease or Hypophosphatasia. If you already know the reason behind low ALP level then maybe your doctor will suggest you some tests for further diagnosis according to your symptoms. Your doctor may also refer you to a specialist if you have a severe disease like Hypophosphatasia.
2. Making Dietary Adjustments:
- Make sure you’re getting sufficient calories: Malnutrition is the very main reason which decreases ALP level in your body. Malnutrition is the most common cause of chronic low levels of ALP. It’s necessary to get enough calories to fulfill the requirements in the body. Eat healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, whole grains etc. to get high amounts of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Include these food groups to your daily meal to overcome the deficiencies of vitamins and other nutrients. If you’re suffering from malnutrition, you have to take at least 2000 calories daily to overcome malnutrition. Use online calorie meters to check your daily calorie intake. You can also consult a dietitian or nutritionist to get guidelines.
- Increase your healthy fat intake: Apart from sufficient calories, healthy fats are very important to increase Alkaline phosphatase levels in your body. Take healthy fats in your meal daily to increase the amount of ALP. The foods containing healthy fats are cod liver oil, coconut oil, and corn oil. These foods help you recover from low ALP levels. You can also take fats supplements like steroids to overcome ALP deficiency. But make sure to consult a doctor before taking any fat supplements because it might affect your heart and cardiovascular system and lead to CVDs such as heart strokes. To prevent overdose of fats intake use online fat calculators to check and balance your fats intake on a daily basis.
- Take a daily zinc supplement: Low zinc levels in your body will cause low ALP levels in your body. Take a zinc rich diet to get sufficient zinc and maintain your ALP levels. Take at least 30-40 mg zinc daily in your diet to increase and maintain zinc levels in your body. 40 mg per day is the limit for zinc intake. Take zinc rich foods such as seafoods, beans and nuts to overcome zinc deficiency. You can also take zinc supplements to complete the daily requirement of zinc in your body. Consult with the doctor before taking any zinc supplements.
- Use iron supplements to treat underlying anemia: Low ALP levels will lead to low iron levels in your body and cause anemia. Maintain ALP levels in your body to prevent anemia. Include iron rich foods in your diet such as red meat, sea foods, beans, green vegetables etc. Daily requirement of iron for male is 8 mg while for females it is 18 mg. You can also take iron supplements to overcome iron deficiency in your body and treat anemia. If you’re anemic then you should consult with the doctor before taking any supplements.
3. Seeking Professional Help:
- Work with your doctor to treat the underlying cause: Low alkaline phosphatase levels in your blood is a symptom of many severe diseases like hypophosphatasia, Wilson’s disease etc. If you notice a reduction in ALP levels then tell your doctor to treat and increase ALP levels in your body. Make an appointment with your doctor for proper treatment and medication.
- Follow up with a specialist if your doctor recommends it: Your primary doctor will refer you to a specialist if you have any particular type of disease. If you have a specific disease like Wilson’s disease or hypophosphatasia caused by low ALP then specialists will help you treat this disease. Follow up the instructions given by a specialist to increase Alkaline phosphatase levels in your body.
- Speak help with a dietitian: As you know malnutrition is a common cause of low ALP levels in your body. Deficiency of vitamins or nutrients in your body will decrease ALP levels. It’s better to consult a dietitian to follow a diet plan for treating elevated ALP levels in your body. Dietitians will recommend a diet plan that helps to overcome nutrient deficiency. Your primary doctor or specialist will refer you to a good dietitian in your area.