What are the common causes of an elevated sgot?

Alcohol. Sgot, also called AST is traditionally associated with liver function test along with SGPT (or alt).  it is raised in liver cell injury, but is not as specific to the liver as alt is. It is also present in red blood cells, cardiac and skeletal muscle. The ratio of AST to alt is sometimes useful in determining causes of liver damage. A classic example of elevated ast>alt is alcoholic liver disease.
Several. The most common nowadays is "metabolic syndrome" due largely to lack of exercise. If stopping alcohol and any meds you don't really need to be taking doesn't cause the SGOT to return to normal, you'll also be checked for hepatitis b and c, autoimmune hepatitis, hemochromatosis and wilson's. Good luck.