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Old 11-17-2007, 04:22 PM   #1
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beaglebailey HB User
Very High Liver Enzymes

My husband was diagnosed with a fatty liver 4 1/2 years ago when his liver enzymes were at 130. It took 2 CT scans and an U/S to diagnose him. After a physical two weeks ago, he now has a liver enzyme level of 930. His cholesterol levels are through the roof so he can't be treated with medication at this time. We were so in shock by the numbers we forgot to ask how high. Hepatitis A, B, and C and Diabetes have been ruled out. He went for blood work today and will be going for a new U/S on Dec. 3. We won't be able to see the specialist until Dec. 23th. He is not a drinker other than an occasional glass of wine or beer at a special occasion and he is only about 10 lbs. over his ideal weight. We and our general practioner are completely at a loss. His skin is slightly yellow but his eyes are fine. He has been given a cream from the doctor to control the horrible itchiness he has to deal with which is apparently caused by the high liver enzymes. We're scared. Has anyone ever gone through anything like this? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

 
Old 11-18-2007, 03:20 PM   #2
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lori77 HB User
Re: Very High Liver Enzymes

Quote:
Originally Posted by beaglebailey View Post
My husband was diagnosed with a fatty liver 4 1/2 years ago when his liver enzymes were at 130. It took 2 CT scans and an U/S to diagnose him. After a physical two weeks ago, he now has a liver enzyme level of 930. His cholesterol levels are through the roof so he can't be treated with medication at this time. We were so in shock by the numbers we forgot to ask how high. Hepatitis A, B, and C and Diabetes have been ruled out. He went for blood work today and will be going for a new U/S on Dec. 3. We won't be able to see the specialist until Dec. 23th. He is not a drinker other than an occasional glass of wine or beer at a special occasion and he is only about 10 lbs. over his ideal weight. We and our general practioner are completely at a loss. His skin is slightly yellow but his eyes are fine. He has been given a cream from the doctor to control the horrible itchiness he has to deal with which is apparently caused by the high liver enzymes. We're scared. Has anyone ever gone through anything like this? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Because you mentioned fatty liver disease, I'll share this information. There are other liver illnesses that can cause these signs, but let's talk about fatty liver disease...Fatty liver disease can progress to NASH (nonalcoholic steatotic hepatitis - just means inflammation of the liver, not due to a virus like hepatitis A, B or C, but due to fatty liver) and then to liver cirrhosis (small percentage of people). A very small percentage of people can progress onto liver cancer. I had a family member who had this disease.

Your husband may be a candidate for a liver transplant. If it is liver cancer without spread to anywhere, he can be also be a candidate for a liver transplant. (Check out Cleveland Clinic)...

Things to watch for: Watch for irritability, fatigue, sleepiness and confusion. Signs of bleeding - dark black bowel movements, vomiting blood. This could be bleeding from the esophageal varices - kind of like varicose veins on the esophagus. These vessels can become very fragile and will bleed easily and profusely. If he is bleeding/vomiting bright red blood, call 911.

If he develops irritability, increased fatigue, sleepiness or confusion, contact your physician and describe these symptoms. Tell your physician that you are concerned about hepatic encephalopathy. If these develop, he should be admitted to the hospital and given lactulose, which is actually a laxative, but somehow it rids the body of high ammonia levels.

He may develop ascites which is a build up of fluid in the abdomen. He may also develop fluid build-up in his legs.

Jaudice usually first shows up in the whites of the eyes before the rest of his skin is jaundiced.

Keep calling the specialist's office to see if they have any cancellations so that your husband can be seen sooner. Ask if you could talk to a NURSE to explain the symptoms as the receptionist may not understand the significance of his signs and symptoms.

Is the specialist connected to a center that does a significant amount of liver transplants?

How old is your husband?

As I'm reading my reply, I hope that it is helpful, not cold and insensitive. It is very scarey when your loved one is ill. I wish you all the best. You will have to be a strong advocate. Keep reading so that you can continue to knowledgable!!! Good luck!!! I'll be thinking of you!

Hope this helps!

Last edited by lori77; 11-18-2007 at 03:51 PM.

 
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Old 11-18-2007, 03:57 PM   #3
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Re: Very High Liver Enzymes

Quote:
Originally Posted by lori77 View Post
Because you mentioned fatty liver disease, I'll share this information. There are other liver illnesses that can cause these signs, but let's talk about fatty liver disease...Fatty liver disease can progress to NASH (nonalcoholic steatotic hepatitis - just means inflammation of the liver, not due to a virus like hepatitis A, B or C, but due to fatty liver) and then to liver cirrhosis (small percentage of people). A very small percentage of people can progress onto liver cancer. I had a family member who had this disease.

Your husband may be a candidate for a liver transplant. If it is liver cancer without spread to anywhere, he can be also be a candidate for a liver transplant. (Check out Cleveland Clinic)...

Things to watch for: Watch for irritability, fatigue, sleepiness and confusion. Signs of bleeding - dark black bowel movements, vomiting blood. This could be bleeding from the esophageal varices - kind of like varicose veins on the esophagus. These vessels can become very fragile and will bleed easily and profusely. If he is bleeding/vomiting bright red blood, call 911.

If he develops irritability, increased fatigue, sleepiness or confusion, contact your physician and describe these symptoms. Tell your physician that you are concerned about hepatic encephalopathy. If these develop, he should be admitted to the hospital and given lactulose, which is actually a laxative, but somehow it rids the body of high ammonia levels.

He may develop ascites which is a build up of fluid in the abdomen. He may also develop fluid build-up in his legs.

Jaudice usually first shows up in the whites of the eyes before the rest of his skin is jaundiced.

Keep calling the specialist's office to see if they have any cancellations so that your husband can be seen sooner. Ask if you could talk to a NURSE to explain the symptoms as the receptionist may not understand the significance of his signs and symptoms.

Is the specialist connected to a center that does a significant amount of liver transplants?

How old is your husband?

As I'm reading my reply, I hope that it is helpful, not cold and insensitive. It is very scarey when your loved one is ill. I wish you all the best. You will have to be a strong advocate. Keep reading so that you can continue to knowledgable!!! Good luck!!! I'll be thinking of you!

Hope this helps!
One more thing.... If he becomes uncomfortable with fluid building up in his abdomen, he can be "tapped". This removes fluid from the abdomen. It is a temporary comfort measure. There is a drain called a "Denver drain" that can be inserted and left in, similiar to folks that have peritoneal dialysis. It is a small tube that drains out the fluid. He MUST be on antibiotics if he is tapped. DEMAND this. Although, the treatment guidelines discuss using antibiotics if the patient requires frequent taps, the most recent conference that I attended at the University of Michigan recommend prophylactic antibiotics for all taps.

 
Old 11-18-2007, 04:22 PM   #4
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beaglebailey HB User
Re: Very High Liver Enzymes

Lori,

You are absolutely wonderful. I really appreciate the information. My husband is 53 years old. We were at our family physicians office yesterday and he is at an absolute loss as to what this is. The specialists office has my husband on the cancellation list. The only reason we were fortunate enough to get an appointment in under a month is because there was a cancellation. Our physician has indicated that he is 99.9% sure that Dave will have to go for a liver biopsy fairly quickly. As my husband tends to leave his care to the doctors, I will have to be his advocate. I feel like we're in a fight for his life. There were 3 small growths detected about 3 1/2 years ago but the specialist at that time was not concerned. He felt that they were only fluid pockets. I pray that cancer has not developed. I thank you for the information you have provided as it will help me seek the best possible treatment for him. I find that knowledge, although sometimes frightening, gives me strength. Thank you for your kind thoughts.

Angie

 
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Old 11-18-2007, 04:44 PM   #5
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lori77 HB User
Re: Very High Liver Enzymes

Angie,

You are SO welcome! Hope that it helps! Keep us posted.

Lori

 
Old 11-19-2007, 07:47 AM   #6
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beaglebailey HB User
Re: Very High Liver Enzymes

I will. Thanks Lori.

Angie

 
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