After a blood test, my doctor said I had high liver
enzymes - 93. He said between 20 and 60 is normal.
Until now, I thought I was a moderate drinker - only
beer - 3 cans after work before diner. Then I drink ice water during and after dinner. Sometimes I go up to about 5 or 6 cans on a weekend day. I never had any other risk factor for liver problems (no drugs, hard liquor, etc.).
Does anyone know - if I give up the beer, will the liver enzymes return to normal levels?? Doctor did not give me an answer, he just told me I drink too much and should stop.
First of all, there are a few different enzymes that help to dictate a liver dysfunction. The liver is a place where it cleans the blood from toxic substances to the body, to make it simple. So, when there is a toxic substance present, the liver helps to move it from the blood and metabolize or dispose of it. In other words, liver enzymes will elevate everytime you have a glass of beer, wine, or mixed drink. Yes, even after only one, however, this is what is supposed to happen, that's what the liver does, among other things. Now the problem is when this is constant, it is constant stress on the liver and eventually damage can occur, e.g. cirrhosis. So they are just markers to let us know if there is anything going on. I don't know when the test was performed, but Mondays are a bad day to get a normal reading or level if there has been some partying over the weekend. Liver enzymes will remain elevated for a period of time after the "bender" is over. Because your levels were high, there should be a follow up with proper pre-test dieting, including not consuming any alcohol for a few days(and don't try yo make up for that by consuming heavily before your fast). This will help determine if this is more of a normal process or there is some other underlying pathology. The level that you listed is not that high, but still outside of normal range to warrant a re-test. To give you some comparison and to maybe ease your mind(I'm not saying there is nothing wrong because I don't know you, so take this for what it is worth), but I've seen college students tested on Monday morning after a weekend, of well, socializing, with liver enzyme levels from 150-350.
As far as the amount that you consume, most doctors will tell you the "optimal" health range is usually no more that two alcoholic drinks.
Oh those tricky enzymes! A few years ago, dh and I had to have a nurse come to our house one Saturday morning to take blood and weigh us because we were applying for new life insurance. Shouldn't have had two glasses of wine on Friday. Weeks later we received word that the insurance company denied me because my liver enzymes were high!
I followed up with my doctor who did a blood test. He said that my levels were FINE and that sometimes those test tubes of blood sit around too long before they're tested and the results aren't always dependable.
[This message has been edited by dogmom (edited 02-06-2002).]
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I'm curious if binge drinking is any better or worse than drinking daily? I usually drink 7 or 8 cans of beer over a 4 hour period once a week (bowling night), but I don't drink otherwise except perhaps a few on the weekend. Also, I regularly take acetaminophen. I know it is dangerous when taken in large amounts and with alcohol, but I usually take 1.5 grams every other day, but never when drinking (sometimes the day after). Is this amount of alcohol and acetaminophen a dangerous level for the liver? Also, are there early symptoms when liver emzymes become dangerously high?
Note: upon research, I read 7-10 grams of acetaminophen can cause acute liver failure. I never come close to that, but I don't know if there is danger to taken chronic low-doses.
topcash, thanks. I am concerned primarily because my father was an alcoholic who developed cirrosis. He drank about a case of beer a day. He had late-stage symptoms, but was able to fully recover only because he stopped drinking immediately and never restarted. The whole thing was actually quite miraculous. But, because of this, I'm very consciencious about drinking because I know alcoholism can run in the family and what it can do. I totally abstain from drinking at home just to keep myself in check. I learned a lot about the liver with my dad's situation. And I am actually more concerned about the aceteminophen more that the alcohol. I take that much more often due to frequent allergies and resulting symptoms I have (It actually NyQuil Gelcaps). Again, I don't combine the two, but I just wondered if anyone knew if 1.5-2 gram per day was enough to hurt a healthy liver.
my husband was a heavy drinker and took tylenol for arthritis. The bottle warns against this. He has cirrhosis now. Don't know if the alcohol alone would have done it. who knows, but the tylenol didn't help the situation any.
Hi everyone...I recently donated some blood. I received a letter saying that they could not accept my blood. They ran some test and said that my liver enzymes were too high. My questions are....what is the normal level? And how can I get it back to normal. I don't drink alcohol...I work out all the time. I don't have any form of hepatitis or any other virus or disease. I donated blood last year during the crisis and nothing was wrong with me then. I looked up the definition but couldn't find out what a normal level is. Any information that can be given would be greatly appreciated!!! Or, if anybody is going through the same thing that I am and have some advice or want to talk....that would work too. Thanks everyone.
Hi, I just wanted to let you know that the normal ALT level is from 0-40, and AST is from 0-37, however, this can vary a bit from lab to lab. My liver enzymes are high also, and the doctor seems to think it can be from a fatty liver. I've been learning alot about this, and liver enzymes can be raised for lots of reasons, they are apparantely very sensitive. Especially if any alchohol is consumed at all. You don't have to be overweight to have fatty liver, it seems to be a problem in the process of the metabolism or breakdown of fats. Fatty liver is associated with diabetes also. I have taken hepatitis tests, and one came out positive, but then I had two follow-ups come back negative, so now I just need to get back to my GI and find out what all this really means, I have only spoken to his nurse. But anyway, high liver enzymes seems to be a very common finding, and not usually anything serious. I never did have a biopsy, some doctors will do that to get a definite diagnosis, but I guess my GI just thinks it's pretty obvious. Good luck to you!! Val
Thank you so much for the reply. It's good to know that it could be nothing. But i know that i should get it checked out anyways. Again...thank you. I hope everything goes well with your liver. Take care!