I recently had some blood work done to screen me for a medical study. Everything went well but they told me to come back and redo one of the blood draws because I had elevated liver enzymes. I didn't really know what this meant but they told me to refrain from strenous exercise and alcohol for a week. No problem.
So I went and had that test redone and they tell me that my liver enzymes are even more abnormal than they were originally. They sent me the actual test results in the mail and a letter saying, "I am enclosing a copy of these results for you to take to your regular doctor, which you should do right away" and, "It would be very unwise, and possibly dangerous to ignore this."
But here's the thing: I haven't done any strenous exercise in over a month, I have never drank alcohol or taken any drugs and I don't take any painkillers or medication regularily. And there's this: I'm currently unemployed and don't have health insurance.
So my question is: are these tests worrisome enough that I should walk into an emergency room right now to make sure I'm not going to drop dead? I just recently moved to a new city so I don't have a regular doctor of any kind either. Also, the last two days I have been noticing some faint, but sharp, pains in my upper right abdomen.
Any guidance would appreciated. I'm pretty freaked out and not sure what to do. If possible I'd like to wait a few months until I have health insurance to get this checked out but I don't know if that's a horrible idea or not.
Your liver enzymes are quite elevated, 10X more than normal on ALT, so an ER isn't needed but a Dr visit is. Any chance of viral hepatitis exposure? There are many things that can cause this, so in meantime, avoid alcohol, Tylenol, and in case it is gallbladder related, low fat diet may help. I would seriously look for a job to get health insurance in case this is something serious. Also, until known, take precautions with urine, stool, (good handwashing after) and safe sex (condoms) until hepatitis is ruled out.
The Following User Says Thank You to ladybud For This Useful Post: dustin44444 (02-21-2013)
Thanks for your reply. I've been looking for work for a few months so hopefully something will pan out soon. In the meantime I've applied for a publicly assisted health insurance program run by the state I live in.
Hepatitis is pretty unlikely but I suppose one never knows. Greasy foods are definitely a weakness of mine but I've cut back pretty drastically in the past year but perhaps that's still the culprit?
Might also be worth mentioning that in the last few months I've been getting really bad stomach aches. Like a sharp stabbing pain that usually lasts a few hours (once as long as 6 hours) and usually after eating a rare greasy meal. Don't know if that could possibly be related.
In the meantime, like you say, I'll just have to play it safe and make an appointment as soon as I can. Thanks.
If you have gallstones and one gets stuck in the bile duct it can cause your liver enzymes to go quite high. So it could be your gallbladder/stones that is causing the pain and enzyme elevation. Normally if the stone passes the liver recovers, but this is all speculation without tests to confirm what is wrong. Good luck with the job hunt and getting insurance ASAP.
Hey, I did get this checked out. I got the results back about a week ago and the levels had all gone back to basically normal (AST was in the acceptable range and ALT was elevated by about 10 points rather than a factor of 10). The doctor speculated that it might have been a virus passing through my system and that I should get it checked again in a month to see where it's at. So all in all, a pretty positive result. Thanks for the replies everyone, looks like I may have been worried about nothing.