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  • Elevated Liver Enzymes questions....

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    Old 06-15-2004, 04:36 PM   #1
    mandalinn
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    Elevated Liver Enzymes questions....

    My husband and I started with a new doctor and he had us take the typical blood/urine tests. We just got our results back and both of us have elevated liver enzymes. The nurse told us to stop drinking alcohol and not to take Tylenol and we will retest. They told me I will retest in 4 months (I think, not sure) and my husband will in 3 weeks. I don't know the actual levels, but will be getting the lab results in the mail here shortly. I am not much of a drinker (haven't had a drink in over 2 months actually), but my husband does drink beer on a regular basis. We are young, late 20s for me and early 30s for my husband. One thing for me though, we are in the process of finding out if I may be hypoglycemic, I don't know if that can cause elevated levels. Also, I was just on Ammoxocillian for a really bad ear infection.

    Now since we BOTH have elevated levels the first thing that pops into my head is hepetitis. I have to admit I am a bit scared about this. Are there other things that could be causing this? Any words of advice? I am freaking out a bit. Thanks for any info.

     
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    Old 06-16-2004, 10:55 AM   #2
    mandalinn
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    Re: Elevated Liver Enzymes questions....

    Well now we find out that my husband has to have an ultrasound of his liver, talk about frightening me anymore. I did some research and see that my levels maybe up because I was taking antibiotics just a couple of days before my test. Anyone ever had these things come up and then it turn out to be not a big deal? I would appreciate any comments and/or advice, please.

     
    Old 06-18-2004, 02:39 PM   #3
    butterflytrans
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    Re: Elevated Liver Enzymes questions....

    Hey mandalinn. There are tons of things that can raise your liver enzymes. They very well could have been raised from antibiotics....any other medications that you're on?

    If you have viral hepatitis (something that you said you're afraid of) certain enzymes would be VERY raised. If your doctor is saying that s/he just wants to wait it out and retest them a bit later, they probably weren't too raised and s/he's not worried. It also depends on which enzymes are raised. There are four main liver enzymes the doctors look at AST, ALT, GGT and ALP (they also add a bilirubin to this...but it's not an enzyme).

    If AST and ALT are raised relative to GGT and ALP then you likely have something going on with the actual tissue of the liver itself...something like hepatitis (not necessarily viral though)

    If GGT and ALP are raised relative to AST and ALT, then you likely have an obstructive process going on (like a gallstone)....in this case, the person would likely be having some right upper quadrant pain.

    Finally, if AST and ALT are raised, but AST is double that of ALT (usually ALT is higher) then you can get a pretty good idea that the liver damage is from alcohol.

     
    Old 06-27-2004, 01:07 AM   #4
    beamwah
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    Re: Elevated Liver Enzymes questions....

    Butterfly, could you be more specific with what you mean when you say "relative to." For instance my ALT is 289 & my AST is 122 while my GGT is 26 & ALP is 72. I'm getting lower back pain by left kidney and pain near spleen & bladder. Some pain around liver but it comes and goes. Also getting severe itching & I'm urinating a lot (gold color). I don't know what to think & some of these doctors don't seem to have a clue. Ultrasound was normal however; a biopsy of a lymph node came back reactive. Tested for HIV & that was non reactive as well as Hep A,B, & C. I'm clueless! What should be my next course of action & what do you think is going on?

    Thanks,
    Todd

     
    Old 06-27-2004, 07:49 AM   #5
    butterflytrans
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    Re: Elevated Liver Enzymes questions....

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beamwah
    Butterfly, could you be more specific with what you mean when you say "relative to." For instance my ALT is 289 & my AST is 122 while my GGT is 26 & ALP is 72. I'm getting lower back pain by left kidney and pain near spleen & bladder. Some pain around liver but it comes and goes. Also getting severe itching & I'm urinating a lot (gold color). I don't know what to think & some of these doctors don't seem to have a clue. Ultrasound was normal however; a biopsy of a lymph node came back reactive. Tested for HIV & that was non reactive as well as Hep A,B, & C. I'm clueless! What should be my next course of action & what do you think is going on?

    Thanks,
    Todd
    Hi Todd...sorry, I should've been more specific.

    In a liver disease that involves the actual tissue of the liver rather than an obstruction of its plumbing, the raise in liver enzymes will be more significant in AST and ALT rather than GGT and ALP (alk phos). In other words, if you look the liver enzymes, they will all be raised, but the AST and ALT will usually be almost double than GGT and ALP.

    A few more facts:

    If the ALT and AST are raised more than 5 times the normal, usually it's due to a viral infection of the liver.

    If the liver enzymes are raised and AST is double ALT, usually this means liver damage secondary to alcohol use. (Usually ALT is higher than AST....except in liver damage like I just mentioned).

    When all of the liver enzymes are raised and ALP and GGT are twice as high as the AST and GGT, usually that's an indication that there is an obstruction in the liver's "plumbing"...i.e. by a gallstone in a young person, or by gallstones or cancer in an older (>65) person.

     
    Old 07-08-2004, 08:30 PM   #6
    beamwah
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    Re: Elevated Liver Enzymes questions....

    Thanks for responding Butterfly. I'm having difficulty getting in to see someone in Hepatology as this Healthcare System down here in Dallas is a doozy. They have so many cases here at Parkland its apparently 2.5 day wait in the ER. My PCP is even longer & I'm not pleased with the service.
    Rolling my eyes over here!

    Last edited by beamwah; 07-08-2004 at 09:05 PM.

     
    Old 07-08-2004, 11:20 PM   #7
    butterflytrans
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    Re: Elevated Liver Enzymes questions....

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beamwah
    Thanks for responding Butterfly. I'm having difficulty getting in to see someone in Hepatology as this Healthcare System down here in Dallas is a doozy. They have so many cases here at Parkland its apparently 2.5 day wait in the ER. My PCP is even longer & I'm not pleased with the service.
    Rolling my eyes over here!
    You go to Parkland? That's awesome! That was the hospital JFK was taken to after the "incident" on November 22nd, 1963. It's actually pretty significant in the field of medicine as the "Parkland formula" for resucitation of burn patients was developed there!

    Sorry, I know that doesn't really help your problem, I just wanted to make note of that!

     
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