Elevated liver enzymes

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MaryAnne2003
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 10/18/2008 10:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi,

I normally post on HealingWell's ulcerative site, but thought someone here might be able to help.

I just received the results of blood tests after not having any for 2 years. For two years I have been in remission from ulcerative colitis.

I am again experiencing the worst of ulcerative colitis, have been in a active flare for several months and have been in an unusually high state of stress due to a recent move across the country, severe marital problems after 30 years, found out my husband has been seeing other men, and major surgery on my adult mentally ill son after a terrible accident. The stress level has been extremely high.

My liver enzyme count came back double the highest on the normal side.

We just moved to a new state and my new doctor, a g.p., is ordering another set of blood work, an ultrasound scan of the liver and a follow-up with a liver biopsy.

Does double the rate of high/normal on the liver enzyme tests indicate liver disease, such as hepatitis or liver cancer? Or could it be the result of the nasty inflamatory ulcerative colitis?

Just wondering if anyone here has any ideas? Thank you.

MaryAnne

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 10/18/2008 12:09 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi, MaryAnne, and welcome to the Hepatitis forum!  To say you have been/are under a lot of stress is putting it mildly.  Kudos to you for not having a nervous breakdown!  You must be a very strong lady.

Usually, liver enzymes that high would be indicative of some type of liver disease, but not necessarily hepatitis or cancer.  It would be more indicative of hepatitis than cancer, but it could also be cirrhosis or an immune system disorder.  I have no idea if the ulcerative colitis would cause such a spike in liver enzymes, or if stress could also play a part.

Do you have any of the risk factors for liver disease, such as heavy alcohol use, IV drug abuse, or a transfusion before 1992?

It sounds like you have a really good G.P., who is not letting things slide but retesting and having an ultrasound done.  Although a liver biopsy is the very best way of knowing the condition of the liver, an MRI with contrast is also very revealing.

Instead of putting more stress on yourself by imagining what the elevated liver enzymes could mean, try to just wait and see what additional testing reveals.  It is always possible that the lab results were in error.

Best of luck to you and do let us know what you find out.


Hugs,
Connie
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
 
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll


Butterflythree
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 954
   Posted 10/18/2008 1:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Just wanted to welcome you to the forum MaryAnne. I am sorry that you have so many bad things going on in your life. I agree with Connie. Try not to stress about the labs. I'll be praying that everything comes out ok for you.
Butterflythree
 
There is always hope!


MaryAnne2003
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 10/18/2008 1:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for your kind replies.

I realize that I have put myself into this situation. Yes, I do have a major risk factor for liver disease but didn't realize it until this week.

After the unexpected death of my first son at the age of 18 from complications of kidney disease, and taking care of my mother for 10 years (senile dementia), living in a marriage that was not only challenging but confusing, I abused wine with our dinners. I found it dulled the pain, made it easier to soldier on, and thought it probably helped me cope a little with my surviving adult child with mental illness.

I never felt drunk, or couldn't function, but after 22 years of drinking, I'm sure I must have killed my liver. Thus, this alcohol abuse must be the reason for the liver damage and double elevated enzyme count. I hold only myself responsible and now must deal with what I have done. If I had realized those extra glasses of wine were so dangerous, I would never have had them. Funny, but when my doctor said last week that I couldn't have even one glass with dinner anymore because of these lab results, I haven't missed it at all. I feel so foolish and irresponsible, damaging myself for nothing, and now I need to make extra sure that my mentally ill son will have someone to look after him because I probably won't be around as long as I thought.

We all have so many challenges, I read so many of the posts in these forums, so I know we have the inner courage and strength to cope. It's just that this mess is all of my making, and I've tried so hard to do the right thing by others, and I really failed myself and those who need me. Ugh! Such a stupid coping plan.

Well, thank you for allowing me to talk to someone. I've kept this inside all this time. Let's hope the test results are such that some healing can be started.
MaryAnne
</DIV>


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 10/18/2008 4:05 PM (GMT -7)   

MaryAnne, PLEASE do not beat up on yourself!  You did the best you could do at the time, knowing what you knew (or didn't know.)  I doubt you've "killed" your liver, but you have probably damaged it.  Only further testing will know to what extent.

You have had some really tough situations to deal with in your life.  In those situations, I think more people practice self-medicating with alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, or other addictions than do not.

Have you gotten any counseling?  It might be a really good idea right now in order to learn some positive coping skills.  In addition, it helps to "vent" to an outsider.  Of course, you can vent here anytime, but we are not professionals and many of us have our own hangups.

I "did it to myself," too.  But what is done is done.  The important thing is to learn from our mistakes and not repeat them.  Who I really feel sorry for are the people who contracted hep C or HIV from transfusions or during their birth.  They have a burden that is not of their own making.

My thoughts and prayers will be with you.

 



Hugs,
Connie
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
 
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

Post Edited (hep93) : 10/19/2008 1:26:05 PM (GMT-6)


Pink Grandma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 10/18/2008 7:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello MaryAnn and welcome to HealingWell,

So sorry that in addition to everything else, you are worrying about this.

I agree with Connie you must have a pretty good G.P. for him to order more testing. And it really doesn't matter if you did it to yourself or not.
You are doing the right thing now....trying to find out about liver disease and getting prepared just in case.

How long have you been diagnosed with U.C? And what kind of drugs if any are you taking for it? Or have taken for it. Maybe it was a combination of things that elevated your liver enzymes.

I don't know a whole lot about U.C. Just a little from what I have read on the forum occasionally.

Good luck on the tests and come back and keep us updated.

Thoughts and prayers.......
Pink Grandma
Forum moderator-Hepatitis

When the going gets tough....the tough get going! Don't always know where I going but I get there anyways.


MaryAnne2003
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 10/19/2008 4:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello again,

You asked about how long I've been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, officially since 2000, but I was so ashamed of the symptoms which appeared on and off since 1964 when I was 16, that I never could tell anyone.

My father's side of the family had multiple g.i. track problems and my mother always said I just took after them. It wasn't until 2000 that I passed out on the bathroom floor, after passing out several times that week, probably due to dehydration, but this time I split open the back of my head making a mess and was unconscious for a while. Fortunately my husband was home from his many trips that night and was able to call 911. Once in the hospital, I couldn't hide all the symptoms of bloody diarrhea and had to be admitted for the first time for over 5 days until they could manage things intravenously and through testing.

I've been on asacol and lybrax almost ever since, except for the two years when things were going so well they said I didn't need any more meds. Then this summer came my son's accident, hospitalizations, surgery, the move to another state, the discovery of my husband's unknown sexual life, and so many feelings of another awareness and also rejection. Everything came together at once.

And I've never told a counselor or doctor about all this. I was brought up to keep private things private, never to tell anyone about your emotions or physical problems and to carry on, to act as if all was normal. I did this pretty well until now when I discovered I was deceiving myself and only hurting myself. So, there it is, I've blabbed and feel somewhat disloyal for doing so, but my folks are gone now, my husband doesn't know about this chat (he is adamant that I not tell our doctor about my drinking or his attraction to other men (and women), but I've put in down and feel better. I think my doctor will find out anyway once the liver biopsy comes back, in addition to the other liver tests and ultrasound. I can't keep a secret from her once the evidence is before her.

You're right, it does help to get things on the table. The biopsy will be in three weeks, when the results come back, I'll let you know. Thank you again for all your kind words and thoughts. I will be strong and be supportive not only to my family but also to myself.

MaryAnne

Pink Grandma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 10/19/2008 7:33 PM (GMT -7)   
MaryAnn, I can not image holding all that stuff to myself. If I even try keep important stuff to myself .....I end up sick. Personal/professional stress with no release valve is a killer for me. If my own body didn't fail me, my kids would kill me. I have learned not to keep the real important stuff from them. In trying to protect them I was ruining my health.

Don't think of it as letting down your folks. Think of it as saving your sanity. No one is an island. Everyone needs others to some capacity.

Google those meds. See if they could have contributed to your high liver enzymes.

Have a good evening..........thoughts and prayers...
Pink Grandma
Forum moderator-Hepatitis

When the going gets tough....the tough get going! Don't always know where I going but I get there anyways.


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 10/19/2008 9:27 PM (GMT -7)   
MaryAnne, I agree 100% with PinkGrandma.  In my grandmother's and mother's generation, it was considered "tacky" to "air your dirty laundry."  Thank goodness with the changing times and proliferation of counseling, treatment centers, etc., it is not that way any longer.  And people are now more willing to share things with close friends and confidantes.  I think that's healthy.
 
Your ex-husband should not dictate what you tell your doctor about yourself.  If he wants to keep secrets from the doctor, that's his business--but you should not tolerate his keeping you from telling the truth to a medical professional.  And that doctor is bound by law not to violate doctor-patient confidentiality.  In these days of HIPAA rulings about privacy, he could even get in serious trouble for discussing anything you have told him with anyone else...including your ex.   It would be much better if you did not share the same doctor, but since he seems like a good one, I don't recommend your switching docs at this time.
 
Please do let us know how your tests come out, and it would also be wise to follow up on PG's suggestion to Google the meds you are taking to find out if they are injurious to the liver.  Or check Rxlist.com.  If anything carries the contraindication of taking if you have liver disease, that's a flag that it might not be good for your liver.
Hugs,
Connie
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
 
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll


DGinSD
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 839
   Posted 10/20/2008 2:05 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi MaryAnne,

I am sorry to hear that you've had so many trials.  There are several things that can elevate your LFT's.  I have AutoImmune Hepatitis (AIH).  Are they sure you have UC and not Chron's Disease?  If it is Chron's then having another autoimmune disease would be a possibility.  Once you have one, it opens the door to others. 

With the issue of your husbands 'other life', I would ask the doc to make sure he tests you for all the viral hepatitis possibilities.  I would also not hide anything from your doctor.  The best healthcare comes from having a good, honest relationship with your docs!  It's your body, not your husband's. 

Don't guilt yourself over anything (I'm one to talk because I'm a dweller) but as others have said, what's done is done.  Now you need to take control and do what's best from this point on.  I had a friend who used to say that this isn't a dress rehearsal...this is the only life you have.  Don't beat yourself up, there are a lot of wonderful people on this site always willing to lend an ear and some advice.

Vent away!!


Dany
 
Diagnosed with AIH January 2007,
CMV (cytomegalovirus) June 2008
meds: Azathioprine 100mg + Prednisone 5mg
 
 


DGinSD
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 839
   Posted 10/20/2008 9:03 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi again,

I apparently typo'd...twice!  Every so often, my brain stops working!  I blame it on the meds...not the fact that I'll be 40 in a few weeks tongue    It's Crohn's Disease.

Thanks Connie!


Dany
 
Diagnosed with AIH January 2007,
CMV (cytomegalovirus) June 2008
meds: Azathioprine 100mg + Prednisone 5mg
 
 


Pink Grandma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 10/20/2008 9:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Dany, I didn't even notice that it was spelled wrong. I think I need some lactulose. How have you been? I feel goofy again tonight.

Have a good evening.
Pink Grandma
Forum moderator-Hepatitis

When the going gets tough....the tough get going! Don't always know where I going but I get there anyways.


DGinSD
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 839
   Posted 10/22/2008 2:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Pink Grandma!
 
I have been well, thank you!  How's the new house coming along?
 
MaryAnne,
 
Any news on your lab work?  When do you see the doc next?  Please keep us posted.
Dany
 
Diagnosed with AIH January 2007,
CMV (cytomegalovirus) June 2008
meds: Azathioprine 100mg + Prednisone 5mg
 
 


Pink Grandma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 10/22/2008 8:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Dany, How are you this evening? My house is starting to come together. Little by little. I am not trying to over do it anymore. One hurt back episode is enough for me.

Thoughts and prayers............
Pink Grandma
Forum moderator-Hepatitis

When the going gets tough....the tough get going! Don't always know where I going but I get there anyways.


MaryAnne2003
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 11/4/2008 3:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there everyone,
Thanks for asking about the additional blood tests and biopsy. They need to be postponed for a while (not long I hope) because our little visiting grandniece passed on a fever/flu-like illness that had been going all around her first grade class. Children are like little incubators of germs of all sorts.

The doctor and surgeon said they would need to reschedule until after my fever and aches passed, that they wouldn't be able to do anything until then.

The plan is to have more blood tests done tomorrow, and by Friday I should know more. I took all your advice and told my doctor everything, everything, and she assured me that it all would stay confidential, and that my husband shouldn't have made me promise to keep everything a secret.

I don't think I would have had the courage to make that breakthrough without your insight and wisdom.

Thank you again,
MaryAnne

Butterflythree
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 954
   Posted 11/4/2008 4:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi MaryAnne, I am really glad you decided to tell your doctor everything. She will be better able to help you if she knows more about your background. I'll be praying that all your tests come back ok. Please keep us updated.
Butterflythree
 
There is always hope!


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 11/4/2008 4:32 PM (GMT -7)   

MaryAnne, I applaud you for telling your doctor everything!!  I know that took courage on your part.  It was absolutely the best thing to do.

I will be checking this thread to see how you make out with your blood tests tomorrow.


Hugs,
Connie
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
 
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll


MaryAnne2003
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 11/7/2008 9:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there,

I picked up my latest test results from my doctor's office, and some are better and some are worse. But I am having such difficulty understanding the massive amount of additional technical information due to the expanded test requests since I revealed my husband's sexual history. Also there are so many possibilities of multiple kinds of liver diseases that my results indicate. One wonderful thing is that my husband has not infected me with a sexually transmitted disease. Maybe male **********s are more careful about those things than I realized, thank goodness for small favors.

I have spent so much time on the internet trying to learn, but all the possibilities and treatments are frightening. And there are several types of liver diseases that frequently develop after one has had ulcerative colitis, and has been on Asacol, and I've had that disease and have been using Asacol for years. And of course, when I get nervous it's impossible to get food down, even a spoonful of soy yogurt is too much, so in the last month I've lost 13 pounds, pounds I can't afford to lose.

My doctor said there was too much to explain over the phone so I have an appointment next week for a consultation. She still wants to do a liver biopsy, so I guess that she isn't sure either, or perhaps she wants to verify her suspicions. At least the biopsy results will put an end to being in the dark and I can have some peace.

I'll let you know how this works out. Thank you again for your understanding and kind concern.

MaryAnne

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 11/7/2008 1:10 PM (GMT -7)   

MaryAnne, at least you can breathe a sigh of relief about the STDs.  I hope you will get better understanding of what is going on through your doc visit next week.  Please let us know how that goes.  It's true that a liver biopsy is the absolute best way to know for sure the condition of your liver and for diagnostic purposes.  So I wish you luck with that.  Are you still taking Asacol?  If so, stopping it may reverse some of the symptoms and enzyme levels.

Please let us know what the doc says and the outcome of your biopsy.


Hugs,
Connie
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
 
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll


Butterflythree
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 954
   Posted 11/7/2008 4:26 PM (GMT -7)   
I am really glad that your husband hasn't infected you with any STD's. That is one less worry. I'll pray that your liver biopsy comes back ok. I agree with you. Liver disease can be very frightening. Just keep educating yourself. The more you know the better prepared you will be.
Butterflythree
 
There is always hope!


MaryAnne2003
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 11/7/2008 9:01 PM (GMT -7)   
You all have been so unbelievably supportive and helpful.

Through you, and with your encouragement to expose my problems to my doctor and possibly a counselor, you have given me a feeling of caring and protection, and I am most grateful. I have more confidence now, before I was so frightened. Thank you again and again.

MaryAnne

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 11/7/2008 10:05 PM (GMT -7)   
We were all happy to help you in some smalll way, MaryAnne.  :-)
Hugs,
Connie
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
 
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll


Butterflythree
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 954
   Posted 11/8/2008 6:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi MaryAnne, I am happy to hear that you are feeling better. I'm am glad that you found us. Connie is right. Helping someone makes everyone happy. This place has really been good for me. At first I felt so helpless. Coming here has made me realize that I do have some power over this disease.
Butterflythree
 
There is always hope!

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