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Old 04-16-2009, 01:21 PM   #1
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Are Liver Function Tests conclusive?

hi, I am new to this forum and have been feeling not that good for several years now with my facial and body skin palor looking jaundiced with a slight yellowish tinge in the corner of the eye-whites. This as well as nausea accompanied with episodic morning bilous headaches. I am not taking any drugs or medication, nor do I drink acholol.

Also, I have intermittent fluid retention around the upper stomach area as well as around the ankles, fluid of which accumulates by mid-day accompanied with extreme tiredness.

I had a full liver function test carried out some months back that revealed the enzymes were normal so what I need to know, is the liver function test conclusive enough if there was a liver condition, are there any liver diseases that still can produce normal enzymes?

What other tests, MRI for example, would be best for diagnosing liver disease that don't show up with the liver function test.

Your advice would be most appreciated as I have lived with these symptoms for long enough to the extent that when I go out I have to apply a pale rose tint all over my face to mask my yellow complexion as without makeup my palor looks just awful!

Many thanks for any further information you are able to give me and your advice.

Dee

 
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:03 AM   #2
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Re: Are Liver Function Tests conclusive?

the one thing that alot of people do not realize about labs, and i did not realize this at first either so you are not alone there, is that you will NOT actually see any real changes in any function numbers until the real actual damage or something impairing function reaches a "magic" threshhold level. so most people, by the time there IS actual number changes are well into some level of good impairment and or damage, you know what i mean?

just as an example? my kidneys and liver are currently covered both inside and out with humongous globs of cysts. my right kidney alone had gotten soo freaking huge that it was forced out of my back and into the front back in 2005,BUT,despite all that very real damage going on,believe it or not,all my kidney and liver labs are STILL within all normal ranges right now. unbelievable when i actually look at my ultrasounds,but that IS the nature of certain disease processes.

the one thing i would very highly recommend to you right now,is simply obtaining that 'look' at the liver with a simple ultrasound. an US can see alot of different things and quite frankly is the cheapest way to get not only a look at the organs, but it can also check bloodflow thru organs like the very important portal vein within your liver? they use the doppler tool for this. this is exactly how my kidneys and liver are monitored every year, just labs and the US.

you just cannot, in most cases only rely on labs to show or tell the whole story with any organs. but getting those labs, along with at least that US will give you and your doc a much clearer picture.

just curious, if you actually have your own lab sheet in your possession, something you should always obtain after ANY testing gets dne on your body,were your labs within the 'midrange' of the norms back then or were they more closer to the out of range mark? that too would indicate if there were possible issues but they just had not reached that out of range level yet too. just an FYI for ya.

but considering the symptoms you have mentioned here,i would seriously speak with your primary doc about all of them and ask if he can refer you for that US, and depending upon how those labs were sitting, maybe a repeat comparrative draw again? this is what i would do if i were in your current situation and displaying those particular symptoms. did they also check out your kidney functions too when they did the liver? have your doc just order a full abdominal US, NOT 'just" that liver aone. it will give you the full picture with all abdominal organs this way. i do hope everything is going okay in there, but you DO need that 'look' inside right now to be sure. please let me know just what you find out. marcia

 
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Old 04-18-2009, 03:10 AM   #3
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Re: Are Liver Function Tests conclusive?

Marcia, thanks so much for all your valuable knowledge and experience, that you have given me pointers to talk to my doctor about. Luckily, my GP is a good listener so I'm hopeful I can get an US with what you have just outlined. Feeling Bad is exactly how I'm most of time, in fact more than 5 years I reckon, especially lately and progressing.

Can I ask you a question about the symptoms you had, did you have similar to me, like all-over jaundiced hue with water retention around stomach area and ankles, nausea etc. Also out of curiousity, have you sorted these problems out with your liver or are you having treatment for the condition?

By the way I'm in the UK which fortunately still has reasonable access to free diagnostic and health treatment even though the system is not perfect but than the UK population is high in comparison to the little island I'm in!

With best wishes
Dee

 
Old 04-18-2009, 10:03 AM   #4
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Re: Are Liver Function Tests conclusive?

no problem. one of the reasons i come here everyday is becasue of all the really insane things that myself and my son have had to go thru(experience IS the very best teacher,trust me). i figure god put us thru this crap for a good reason, so i just try and help other really confused people like i was, try and sort out their own medical problems.

unfortunetly. my particular type of kidney/liver disease is from whats called polycystic kidney disease. it can also affect other organs like the liver too. my youngest son also got this(we had NO clue we even had this in our family til he became deathly sick in 1999)but in his case,a gene mutated it and his liver was also growing these insane fibers since before he was even born. just did NOT have a freaking clue he was even sick til he vomited up blood at scholl one day. then it was a ride thru hell. the thing is,and this went totally against what i personally ALWAYS assumed? he had not one ounce of ANY jaundice at the time of Dx, another reason we did not know. the jaundice did not actually show til he developed pancreatitis about a month and a half later. unbelievable i know, and this was despite actually having only about 20% of his overall liver function left at the time of the Dx.i don't have any either yet and i wont til whatever actually creates that within the liver becomes affected.

the thing i have learned about jaundice even existing with certain liver problems is it all depends alot on just what is being affected and how bad. but that sure did blow my theory about any liver problems and you automatically get jaundice too. it just is not that way with every liver problem, trust me on that one. still seems really insane to me,but true.

the type of liver/kidney disease i have going on ends in only one way in most people, renal failure or possible liver failure. it is unfortuently a ongoing and progressive disease that simply has no true cure yet. all you can really do arew treat symptoms when they pop up. my kidneys are just way too big for my very small body size so i do have some pain crap i have to deal with.

tho i personally have not yet had your particular symptoms, my son did have what you described as this just progressed to failure over the next few months and he ended up on that damn list needing a transplant. things went amazingly miraculously well with that and he is doing really well still. we are coming up on year 9 in june. believe me,i am one grateful and thankful mom here,lol.

but i seriously would just make an appt with your doc and have him redo that bloodwork(both liver and kidney) just to see how that currently is. these types of symptoms could just also possibly be totally unrelated to your liver too ya know? you just wont really know what is actually going on in there til that US gets done. with your symptoms i really cannot imagine your doc denying that test at all. just make certain that it IS a FULL abdominal scan. it will give the most useful info this way.

by the way, the very best way to really know for certain that you DO have jaundice is taking a mirror outside in the daylight and look at your eyes then. unbelievably,when my sons jaundice first set in, for the life of me, i was looking right at his eyes right before we left for an appt and could not actually see(just passively talking and looking)it or notice it at all. but when we went outside and he turned to ask me a question while we were walking to the car, boom, i saw it right away. i just could not believe it was not as noticable in our kitchen light,ya know? very crazy. just thought i would mention that to ya.

i do wish you luck hon and hope that this is not what it could be. there are other possible reasons for things our bodies just do. but that US should at least show something if indeed something is going on there. please let me know how things go dee. i will be waiting to hear from you. marcia
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 04-19-2009, 05:14 AM   #5
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Re: Are Liver Function Tests conclusive?

hello Marcia, I really appreciate all your valuable input you have kindly given me and that of your time and energy.

Also it's great news that your son came through all this miraculously as you say, you both having a genetic presdisposition with this type of disease would indeed be a life's trial and in your case I hope your health remains steady so that you feel you can do the things you want.

Yes it is a strange that jaundice is not necessary a result from liver disease, my late partner had cancer of the liver and even that did not give him jaundice!

Actually, I normally do get diagnostic results from my doctor but this time I did'nt last time, but I will get the full breakdown of the seriology levels when I see her again this week.

And, I will get back to you Marcia when I have had the full abdominal US with the results but for now,
I wish you and your family the very best.

Dee x

 
Old 04-25-2009, 10:47 AM   #6
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Re: Are Liver Function Tests conclusive?

hi dee, just touching base with you to see if you have been able to get that US yet and how you are doing? Marcia
__________________
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 04-26-2009, 05:34 AM   #7
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Talking Re: Are Liver Function Tests conclusive?

hiya Marcia........not yet, I'm going to see my doctor this week so it will take a few weeks for the US appointment to come through on the NHS [I do not have to pay for that unless you have private insurance].

As soon as I know what the result is, I will ofcourse write to you.

Weather nice here today, clear sunny day that is in Brighton on the south coast! In the meantime, best wishes....
Dee

 
Old 04-26-2009, 05:42 AM   #8
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Re: Are Liver Function Tests conclusive?

hi again, Marcia I noticed that you had a herniated disc in 2001, I know that pain too!

In 1995 I had a herniated L4-5 disc and had a disectomy, removal of the fragmented disc. After a 5 hour operation the surgeon showed me the broken remnants of the disc that was removed, in a saline jar, which resembled a broken rice biscuit!

Occasionally, I get a bit of sciatica but most of the time I'm OK, and my floor exercises to loosen-up the facet joints in the lower spine.

Trust you are over this and get no more pain, in the end I could not walk because of the extreme pain until I had the operation which was a blessing.

Dee

 
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