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Old 04-26-2009, 07:23 PM   #1
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Unhappy Hep C scare... someone help me out.

ok so my history is this, in May 08 my liver enzymes just started to get high, another test in Oct 08 showed they were in the 120's and have never went back to normal as of yet, oct 08 negative hepatitis panel, i had a liver ultrasound that showed fatty liver, no cirrosis, April 09 blood test shows positive for cytomegalovirus, and my hep a and b were negative and my hep c was 1.0. my gastro told me I had Hep C, so i had a second set of blood tests done on Friday and awaiting results, I was told to go to my regular doctor and get vaccinated against hep a and hep b. i went today to do so and to show my regular doctor my results and he told me he never would have told me I was hep c positive because my 1.0 result was only one point higher than the negative norms and it was probably a false positive. i am worried, I have been with my same guy since I was 15, never did drugs and i do have tattoos and piercings which could be the cause but my tattooist has been my only tattooist for 10+ years and he has a OCD against germs so he sterilizes everything including his gun. he has also done my piercings, he also uses a autoclave machine. So i dont know what to think I am at a loss here...

 
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Old 04-27-2009, 07:11 AM   #2
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Re: Hep C scare... someone help me out.

Hi there,

I'm sorry that you've been having so much stress in the past few days. So when it comes to specialty things like this, go with the word of your gastroenterologist and NOT your family doctor. This is not an area your family doctor will be overly familiar with (except for rudimentary knowledge on testing). Hepatitis C screen testing is not based on a quantitative measure--it is either positive or negative. I'm not sure what this 1 is that you're talking; HOWEVER, once someone is diagnosed as Hepatitis C positive, the doctor can order a viral load which IS quantitative, but that means that there is for sure, virus in the blood. In other words, in order to make a quantitative measure (i.e. anything with a number) the qualitative test had to have been positive first.

Tattoos, yes, are a risk factor for Hepatitis C transmission, but so is: blood transfusions, IV drug use and intranasal cocaine use. Do any of those apply to you? Hepatitis C for all intents and purposes is NOT transmitted sexually and VERY VERY VERY rarely is transmitted from mother to child.

In terms of hepatic inflammation, while your GI doc seems to have found one cause, there are many more things that can cause this, and I'm sure he did a battery of bloodwork. If I may ask, how old are you?

PS I just realized you said your "hepatitis panel" was negative in Nov 2008. Hmmmmmm....have their been any possible exposures to Hep C since that time? Do you have a few tattoos or a LOT of tattoos? Also, that CMV+ thing doesn't really mean anything. More than 50% of the population by the time they reach 30 are CMV positive. Acute CMV can cause a mono-like syndrome which includes hepatitis, but it wouldn't cause low-grade hepatic inflammation for long periods of time.

Last edited by hb-mod; 04-29-2009 at 02:37 AM. Reason: Please don't "Quote Reply" an immediate prior post. Use "Quick Reply" instead. Thanks!

 
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Old 04-27-2009, 11:32 PM   #3
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Re: Hep C scare... someone help me out.

I am 29, I haven't had any work on my tattoos since sept 08, I have never used any drugs but i can say i was a really bad drinker ( because of past childhood trauma ) when i was 16 to 18, i did take 20 to 30 tylenol when I was younger as well all at once but not with alcohol. i also am positive for epstein barr virus as well. i go for my liver ultra sound tomorrow but keep in my i just had one done in Oct 08 and only showed a fatty liver and a granuloma, no cirrosis. I go back to the gastro this wednesday for my test results I think its the pcr test and riba test, So I will know for sure then but I hate the waiting game...

Last edited by hb-mod; 04-29-2009 at 02:38 AM. Reason: Please don't "Quote Reply" an immediate prior post. Use "Quick Reply" instead. Thanks!

 
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:58 PM   #4
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Re: Hep C scare... someone help me out.

I have some updated lab results,

Labs on 04-13-09

Cytomegalovirus - 10.8 (high)

HCV Antibody 1.0 ( high )

EBV ab VCA, IGC - >8.0 (High)

EBV Ab VCA, IGM - <0.2


Labs as of 04-26-09



(Metabolic Panel )

Carbon Dioxide Total - 19 ( low) Range is 20-32

AST ( SGOT ) 68 (High) Range is 0-40

ALT (SGPT) 103 (high) Range 0-40

Lipid Panel

Cholesterol total - 245 (High) range is 100-199
Triglycerides - 228 (High) Range is 0-149

VLDL Cholesterol CAL - 46 9 High range is 5-40
LDL Cholesterol CALC - 159 High range is 0-99


HCV RNA by PCR, QN Rfx Geno - Results not back yet.

HCV AB w/reflex to RIBA - <0.1 Negative


My ast and alt levels fluctuate monthly

 
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Old 04-30-2009, 07:33 AM   #5
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Re: Hep C scare... someone help me out.

Hi there, you must be worried out your head. First of all, yes it is very hard for hep c to catch sexually, it is mostly through blood to blood contact etc etc, I do work in this kind of environment although I am no doctor nor nurse. Yes your tattoos and piercings can be a high risk but should not be if everything has been sterilised properly and your tattooist complies with the protocol. In my opinion it could be a false positive and it could only happen to you as you must be feeling, if you had hepatitis C I am sure this would read something like 1 million copies not just 1.0 and this would be abbreviated like 1,000,000 copies. I do not want to give you false hope over this as I said I am no doctor nor nurse but there could be an explanation for this. I know fatty changes in the liver would knock your liver function tests but no cirrhosis has developed which you would through time if you had hepatitis C and you said this already tested negative before and you have absolutely no reason why you should have this all of a sudden. I would not stress too much about this, lab errors are quite common but I would try and relax until the tests are complete and then go from there.

 
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Old 05-01-2009, 12:13 PM   #6
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Re: Hep C scare... someone help me out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by calt1 View Post
Hi there, you must be worried out your head. First of all, yes it is very hard for hep c to catch sexually, it is mostly through blood to blood contact etc etc, I do work in this kind of environment although I am no doctor nor nurse. Yes your tattoos and piercings can be a high risk but should not be if everything has been sterilised properly and your tattooist complies with the protocol. In my opinion it could be a false positive and it could only happen to you as you must be feeling, if you had hepatitis C I am sure this would read something like 1 million copies not just 1.0 and this would be abbreviated like 1,000,000 copies. I do not want to give you false hope over this as I said I am no doctor nor nurse but there could be an explanation for this. I know fatty changes in the liver would knock your liver function tests but no cirrhosis has developed which you would through time if you had hepatitis C and you said this already tested negative before and you have absolutely no reason why you should have this all of a sudden. I would not stress too much about this, lab errors are quite common but I would try and relax until the tests are complete and then go from there.
Thank you for replying, yesterday It was confirmed all my tests came back negative, I do not have hep c but yes I was really upset and scared, horrible feeling while you wait for the riba and pcr test, but I am back to square one, elevated liver enzymes with no cause, i do have a fatty liver but from what my doctor told me, it would cause a small jump but not as high as mine are which they do fluctuate, I have rib pain on my right side and it hurts to walk because the top of my feet hurt...sometimes my lower back hurts as well... I have started to lose weight so I am excited about that, hopefully I can get rid of some of that fatty liver! I was also told that having a fatty liver doesnt cause no symptoms, I've had elevated liver enzymes since May 08... never once have they went down to normal range. I hate mysteries!!!

 
Old 05-04-2009, 04:35 PM   #7
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Re: Hep C scare... someone help me out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjsaby View Post
Thank you for replying, yesterday It was confirmed all my tests came back negative, I do not have hep c but yes I was really upset and scared, horrible feeling while you wait for the riba and pcr test, but I am back to square one, elevated liver enzymes with no cause, i do have a fatty liver but from what my doctor told me, it would cause a small jump but not as high as mine are which they do fluctuate, I have rib pain on my right side and it hurts to walk because the top of my feet hurt...sometimes my lower back hurts as well... I have started to lose weight so I am excited about that, hopefully I can get rid of some of that fatty liver! I was also told that having a fatty liver doesnt cause no symptoms, I've had elevated liver enzymes since May 08... never once have they went down to normal range. I hate mysteries!!!

Thats great news I am pleased for you, thats one test out of the way, what is your doctor going to do now, has he planned to investigate this to rule out other liver diseases.

 
Old 05-04-2009, 05:38 PM   #8
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Re: Hep C scare... someone help me out.

Hi bj,

Glad to hear the news. So I guess that value from your first test really did say "1" eh? Weird. In any case, I'm glad your diagnosis is negative.

In terms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: it can definitely cause your liver enzymes to jump around. It can do anything. So if no cause is found for your liver problems, that might be the answer. I forget, who is doing all the testing for you right now? Your GP or a hepatologist?

 
Old 05-06-2009, 05:28 PM   #9
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Smile Re: Hep C scare... someone help me out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cgranulomatis View Post
Hi bj,

Glad to hear the news. So I guess that value from your first test really did say "1" eh? Weird. In any case, I'm glad your diagnosis is negative.

In terms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: it can definitely cause your liver enzymes to jump around. It can do anything. So if no cause is found for your liver problems, that might be the answer. I forget, who is doing all the testing for you right now? Your GP or a hepatologist?
I am seeing a Gastroenterologist. I know the riba test was 43 out of like 63 billion so I am unsure what that means. My regular doctor was testing me as well, he told me my riba is almost non existent. i dont see my gastro until June 19th. i did do another ultrasound for my liver again and he hasnt called so I am guessing its normal. I've been taking milk thistle and I haven't had a alcoholic drink in 3 weeks. I feel better other than this horrible cough I have at night, another thing is my peircings keep getting infected and as soon as I clear the infection, my other peircing will have one. Really weird, I lost one peircing to a bad infection already. I am a walking mystery, and even the docs can't figure me out

 
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