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  • liver problems affect iron levels?

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    Old 06-19-2006, 06:09 AM   #1
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    liver problems affect iron levels?

    Can anyone tell me if liver disorders e.g fatty liver cause elevation of iron, i.e hemoglobin and transferrin saturation?
    My hemoglobin was 15.6 and transferrin saturation was 47% WHile these are within (just) within the normal range my GP thought they were high for a woman my age. Given my symptoms of joint pain he suggested re-testing in 3 months and mentioned a possible diagnosis of hemochromatosis. However, my father has since had the HH gene test and is negative so I can't possibly have HH.
    I had also mentioned to my GP that I do have some upper right abdomen discomfort. I feel this when I've been sitting (e.g at the computer) for a while... and it actually feels my ribs hurt just there or that everything is a bit squished. The GP found nothing unusual on feeling that area and liver function tests were normal. The only thing that was "out" were the iron tests. One of the other iron tests was 187.. I don't know if it was ferritin or not... but I did see that the upper limit for normal range was 200.

    So I guess i'm wondering since hemochromatosis looks very unlikely (though it seemed to fit) could I have some kind of liver problem that is causing my symptoms even though my liver function tests are normal. I think I have read that fatty liver does not necessarily show up on liver function blood tests... but could it affect iron levels?

    PS . I'm a 36 year old woman, 2 small children, normal menses, infrequent red meat eater (actually would have presumed I'd have low iron given my diet), no vitamin supplements or birth control pills, rarely drink (though I did quite a bit in my 20s). I am about 25 lbs overweight... but working on it!
    Sorry this is a bit confusing.... i'm a bit confused by it all myself! I guess I'm just trying to look for answers... mid- july seems a long way away.!



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    Old 06-19-2006, 08:50 PM   #2
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    Re: liver problems affect iron levels?

    Hi there,
    If you suspect fatty liver ask your GP for an ultra sound. My friend is an Internal Medicine Dr. told me that with fatty liver your liver tests are almost always elevated and she said if there are symptoms she would look to see if they were on the high side of normal. Don't know exactly which tests she was referring to though...possibly ALT and AST. But really it's just a guessing game until you can get it diagnosed via ultra sound or some other modality. Good luck!

    Old 06-20-2006, 06:27 PM   #3
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    Re: liver problems affect iron levels?

    you know what? i think i have fatty liver too... I've had RUQ pain forever, and drink frequently, tho not exessively... I've had ultrasounds, liver tests - everything is normal and even low-normal. Nothing showed up on ultrasound, but was told that fatty liver only shows up on CT scan. I went in for one, but found out that dye needed to be injected - and left. Wasn't prepared for that one!

    Hope you are doing better - and try not to worry about it.


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