I am 73 year old male and had my yearly physical on 1/31/09. I called doctor today for results and he said my liver functions were not normal. He wants to do a sonogram tomorrow. He mentioned something about hepatitis. He said everything else was normal. This really has me scared. Can anyone offer any words of wisom to help me get through the night? (Live by myself, no family.)
Post Edited (Robert2) : 2/2/2009 4:29:36 PM (GMT-7)
Hi, Robert. Is your doctor planning to test for hep C? He needs to do a blood test for that, if he hasn't already. A sonogram will not be able to tell him if you have hepatitis--only specific blood testing can do that. A sonogram could show growths in your liver. Have you had any transfusions in the past 40 yrs. or done IV drugs during that time frame? Those are the usual means of hep C transmission. Hep B is normally through IV drug use (sharing needles with infected people) or sexual contact with someone infected with B. Hep B can be cured. There is treatment for hep C, but it is only effective about 50% of the time.
Abnormal liver enzymes can also be caused by certain medications, overindulgence in alcohol, and several other causes.
Please come back and post if you are diagnosed with hepatitis or other liver disease.
Bob, please do remember to ask your doctor about a specific test for hepatitis. I've had no pain at all. My only symptom was overwhelming fatigue.
Please try not to worry. You could also have had a lab error.
Robert, you don't have the risk factors associated with hep B or C. However, there are a rare few who claim not to know how they contracted C. There has been some transmission sexually (for example, if a woman was having her menses at the time.) There are also some rare needle stick transmissions (nurses or phlebotomists doing blood work.) Again, try not to worry. There's nothing you can do until you know the results of all the tests.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Post Edited (Robert2) : 2/3/2009 5:30:46 PM (GMT-7)
Robert, I said you don't have the risk factors because you said you have never done drugs and haven't mentioned a trasnfusion. That is the main way that people get hep C and B...through dirty needles. As I said, there are also some transmissions in other ways, but they are not as common. I contracted hep C (and B, but my immune system threw it off) in '68 or '69 from sharing needles. It normally takes a very long time (decades) to have symptoms from hep C. Hep B patients often get quite sick and jaundiced when they contract it. However, I didn't. They say the C response at the time it is contracted is like having a mild flu. I didn't have that, either. However, since I was so numbed up, I wasn't feeling much of anything. Since your doctor suspects hepatitis for some reason, I said he should test for it, as a sonogram is not really going to show whether you have it or not. Now we know that he is testing for it, so it's just a waiting game.
I mentioned some other things that could cause elevated enzymes. BTW, yours are not as high as most people with the virus. Have you been on cholesterol meds? How about antidepressants? There are certain drugs that can be harmful to the liver, and that would cause elevated enzymes.
Hepatitis A is caused from contaminated food, and is found more often in foreign countries. Had you been out of the country? In this country, when there is an outbreak of A, it is usually confined to one restaurant and is publicized. Hep A will eventually leave your system.
Quite honestly, we can't speculate more than that. You just need to have some patience until you get your test results. Again, try not to worry, and you have our prayers for negative results.
Post Edited (Robert2) : 2/3/2009 9:15:30 PM (GMT-7)
“Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."
Sorry for the late reply but have been doing a lot of running-around, and as usual very confused.
The "B" and "C" tests were "non-reactive" which I was told was good. Was sent to a hospital in Manhattan (Tuesday) to have Sonogrpahy done. Went there right from the doctor's office (more running around by subway). Thursday went to doctor and the Sonography results of my upper abdominal region revealed - liver is well-imaged and is normal with no dilated biliary ducts seen; the gallbladder is equally normal, demonstrating no evidence of stones or inflammatory change; pancreas is not enlarged; right and left kidneys are normal with no evidence of stones or obstruction; the spleen is not enlarged; the major vessels are normal; there is no sign of ascites or lympadenopathy.
I have to go back to my doctor in three months. His nurse said no alcohol, spices or herbs. That confuses me because I do not drink alcohol. I've been thinking about the 'sprice and herbs' though. I was using a fair amount of cinnamon sprinkled on my four cups of yogurt I eat every day (those little cups of Dannon Carb/Sugar control and sometimes sugar free Jello). Somewhere on the net I read about cinnamon causing liver 'problems.' Has anyone heard same thing? Should I cut out the cinnamon?
I also started to drink 2 cups of chamomile tea about one month ago. I believe chamomile is also an herb and wonder if I should cut that out too.
I also take 2 tablespoons of Colon Cleanse (psyllium husk) a day, and wonder if that should be cut out? I don't think it is a spice or herb.
I also have three drops of Stevia in my morning (1/2 cup) of Bran in the morning, but wonder if that should be cut out. If yes, what would I use in it's place? My blood glucose has always been a bit elevated; and so I stay away from sugar, etc.
Also, use a fair amount of yellow mustard on my afternoon meal of chopped turkey. Should I cut out yellow mustard also?
Well, that's about all I have to say for now. Just a bit worried about what is causing the darn abnormal liver readings and what to do to bring them back down to normal range. I wonder what doctor will find in three months. The worst I can imagine is that he will say I have to stop taking my anti-depressant (which I have been taking for over 10 years - 25mg). What would I do then? So many questions are going though my mind now and I am still so very confused.
Post Edited (Robert2) : 2/8/2009 9:34:03 AM (GMT-7)
Robert, that is FANTASTIC news that you were negative for B and C and your sonogram was entirely normal. The doctor wants to rule out anything food-wise that could possibly cause elevated liver enzymes. I know, for example, that poppy seeds will cause an opium positive in a drug test. Contac capsules can also cause a positive for amphetamines. So I'm sure that there are likely "herbs and spices" that would cause an elevation. I am really suspicious about the Colon Cleanse. The "no alcohol" is just part of their normal rhetoric. I'm told that, and I haven't had alcohol in over 22 yrs. which is well documented.
My advice: Cut out everything you mentioned except the stevia, which should be fine. Sugar free products, which usually contain Splenda, should be fine. (I use a lot of them.) But eliminate everything else and see what happens in 3 mos. If your enzymes are still elevated then, it could be the antidepressant. There are soooo many antidepressants on the market now, that if the one you are taking is the culprit, then you undoubtedly could be placed on one that doesn't have a negative effect.
Since you are not being tested for 3 mos., that should tell you that your doctor is not the least bit concerned. As I said, it could very well have just been a lab error. Personally, I think I would ask if another liver enzyme panel could be done a few weeks from now, rather than waiting 3 mos. If that's not possible, just really take some deep breaths and calm down. You do not have the ailments you were so frightened of having, so enjoy living! How about doing some volunteer work? You would get your mind off yourself and meet new people.
Post Edited (hep93) : 2/8/2009 12:23:28 PM (GMT-7)
"I can speak to you as a patient, what happened to me and the drugs I used are different from your situation. My enzymes were almost up to 1,000 after my liver was resected and was told they needed to get up to almost 2,000 before my liver would fail. They went down again to the low 200's before I started chemo and then went up to the 700's. I was done with chemo in June of '05 and they have slowly gone down again. One thing that helped me is, I started eating organic food. That dropped my liver enzymes about 100 points. So, I wouldn't worry unless the Dr.'s get worried. The liver is a great organ and has the ability to heal itself."
That made me feel a little better comparing those numbers to my numbers. I didn't think the readings could go up to 1,000! I'll see my doctor the end of March or April.
Post Edited (Robert2) : 7/30/2009 2:42:17 PM (GMT-6)