Liver Blood test results extremely high

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vicky123
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/11/2010 5:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I just had my liver panel done a week ago - the AST was 239 and the ALT was 234 - it said the normal range is 3-70 and 3-78 U/L.  How could these numbers by so extemely high?  I thought it was a mistake.

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 9/11/2010 7:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, Vicky, and welcome to the forum.
 
Your elevated liver enzymes could be a mistake, but could also be a number of other things, such as meds you've taken recently or are taking, exposure to hepatitis, or even autoimmune hepatitis.  Ask your doctor what the next step is.  He may want to wait awhile and repeat the blood work.  Or he may want you to have a liver scan.  However, these numbers are quite high (I have hep C and have had liver cancer and my values were never that high), so don't just ignore it.
 
Hugs,
Connie
 
hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

DGinSD
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 818
   Posted 9/11/2010 9:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Vicky,
 
As Connie said, it could be a number of things.  I have AIH (autoimmune hepatitis).  My 1st blood draw when I fell ill was AST: 748 and ALT: 848 and bilirubin 9 (that climbed to 23 before I was hospitalized and had a liver biopsy).  I know others who were in the 1000's so don't freak out.  Speak to your doctor about having a follow-up blood draw if he/she hasn't already mentioned it.  If they remain elevated or increase, they'll likely test for the viral heps (Hep A, B, C).  If those are negative and they don't start decreasing on their own, there are other things they can check for in blood that could cause elevations like CMV (cytomegalovirus), EBV (Eppstein Barr Virus) and others.  Have you been on any medications or OTC meds recently?  Are you feeling ill?  Nausea, chills, vomitting, dark urine? 
 
I would avoid alcohol until you know what's going on.
 
Take care and keep us posted,

mathman
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 9/12/2010 2:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Vicky, I completely understand wondering what's going on. My liver enzymes turned out elevated out of the blue one day and my doctor sent me for scans. I had fatty liver and he said if the numbers didn't improve in 6 months he'd biopsy. I don't remember how high my numbers were, just "elevated." They ended up dropping with dietary changes. They definitely did new bloodwork checking for Hep, Autoimmune, hemochromatosis, etc.

It sounds like mine was treated more aggressively than some other people's I've read, although I had zero symptoms. Depends on the doc probably.

vicky123
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/12/2010 4:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the info.....I had a blood test 3 months ago which was "slightly" elevated, and they tested me for hepatitis C, which came back clean.  I had breast cancer a year ago- reconstruction recently, and I was on Ibuprofen and Gabapentin for the pain from the tram flap surgery. During the surgery, my lung collapsed and after the surgery, my blood pressure dropped to a dangerous level, but they got it back up.  I don't know if any of that would have an affect on my liver - it was about 5 months ago that I had the surgery.   I was taking 800mg ibuprofen 4 times a day, and 900 mg of Gabapentin 4 times a day for about the last 10 months (I had nerve damage from the mastectomy, that continued beyond the recontruction surgery). 
 
I got off of the meds about 3 weeks before my most recent blood test - I called the doctor and she said that those meds don't affect the liver.  When I got off the meds, I started taking Tylenol, but only a few times - maybe 3 tablets in one week.  about 3 days before the blood test, I went to a social gathering and had about 3 drinks over a 6 hour period - so don't know if that amount of alcohol could affect the test. 
 
By the way (I don't know if this is important), but I never had breast cancer - when they took my breast, they biopsied the breast and found no breast cancer.  Also, they took my sentinel lymp node during the surgery.  Just so you know, I didn't need any other treatments like chemo or radiation, so I didn't have any of that going on with me.  Anyway, just wanted to let you know that, in case you know of something about my background that could affect my liver.
 
Thank you so much for all your help - yeah
 

vicky123
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/12/2010 4:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I forgot to add in my last message - I do not have dark urine, but I have fatigue, lots and lots of itching, and my legs swell up - of course, I thought those were side affects of the meds I was on (one reason I got off of them).  I am tired all the time -which I thought was from my surgery and the complications I had - who knows!  I was sure it was all related to that until I got the liver panel back.

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 9/12/2010 5:06 PM (GMT -6)   

Vicky, for heaven's sake!  I hope you are suing whoever is responsible for taking your breast and putting you through so much when you didn't even have cancer.  People make mistakes, but there should have been a needle biopsy first and other tests to be positive you had cancer before doing the surgery.  My heart goes out to you!

Now, the ibuprofen 800 mg definitely can affect your liver.  I was on it for some time for arthritis, but went off it after having liver cancer.  I might take one or two a month now.  And both ibuprofen and alcohol can be injurious to your liver, particularly if you already have something going on with your liver.   Tylenol is not good, either, so try not to take it any more than you have to.  Hepatologists and nephrologists would rather have patients on Percocet than anti-infammatory meds.

The fatigue, itching, and edema seem to indicate something else, though, as a primary cause.  Could be PBC (primary billiary cirrhosis), fatty liver, other forms of autoimmune hepatitis...the list goes on.  You need to see a hepatologist and get to the bottom of this.

Hugs,

Connie


hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

vicky123
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/12/2010 5:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I am not taking any meds now - I even stopped the little bit of tylenol I was taking.

by the way, I had a biopsy and other tests before my mastectomy that said I did have cancer - but whe she took my breast (based on all the tests), there was no no cancer. I'm still struggling with finding out what happened to me - I hope to find out in the near future when I feel better. I was tested for Hep C only, not A, B or the others. I am going to ask for a referral to a hepatologist (never knew there was such a specialty).

I still believe I may have gotten something in the hospital, since I haven't been the same since I left the hospital. I had to stay in 8 days, since I had so many complications, and wonder if I got something there. The fatigue is really overwhelming. Thanks for your information - this is so helpful to me - now I know what questions to ask the doctor - I see her this Friday - she is a brand new doctor, so I hope she is a good one. She is a family practitioner, so I'm really thinking I need a specialist.

I'm doing a liver cleanse - wonder if they really work? I looked up some info on the internet, and it seems that there is some scientific studies supporting these liver cleansing herbs. Any thoughts on whether it is worth doing that?

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 9/12/2010 5:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Vicky, I'd stop the liver cleanse until you know what is going on.  You should not ingest anything that you don't have to right now, in order to get a "real" reading on liver function tests.  Unless you ate contaminated food (hep A) or were cared for by someone with hep B (unlikely as medical personnel have to be immunized against it), you probably didn't contract anything in the hospital.  It is more likely that because your immune system was compromised with the surgeries that whatever is going on in your body revved into high gear.
 
By all means, ask for a hepatology referral right away.  You new doctor might want to do repeat blood work and possibly a liver scan before making the referral, but stay on her about it.
 
That really is strange about your breast "cancer."  Hope you find out in time what happened.
 
Hugs,
Connie
hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

DGinSD
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 818
   Posted 9/12/2010 6:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Vicky,
 
Sorry to hear about your "cancer".  I do hope you get to the bottom of it.  I'd request copies of all your tests and then go over them with your new doctor.
 
about the liver cleanse....stop that!  Herbal therapies aren't under any regulations from the FDA.  Their long term effects and if they have any toxicities are not fully documented.  Perhaps in a normal, healthy person, they are safe but you don't know what's going on with your liver just yet.  Your liver is the 1st filter you have for anything ingested.  Even topical creams and ointments go through your liver.  So if your liver is not well, you can make it worse.  one of the 1st things my hepatologist asked me when i had to see him was if I was taking any OTC or herbal medications. As Connie said, don't take anything that isn't necessary.  Also, tell your doctor everything you listed that you've been on.
 
Please keep us posted on your new blood results and the tests your new doc orders...and definitely as for a hepatology referral!

Pink Grandma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 9/12/2010 7:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Vicky and welcome to HealingWell.   I agree with Connie and Dany about not taking anything unnecessarily until you find out what is going on. 
 
And it is a good idea to discuss things like cleanses or taking vitamins or minerals with your doctor before starting any of them.   I will look things up on the internet and discuss it with my doctor and get her opinion on it before I take anything. 
 
Again welcome,   glad you found us. 
 
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.

vicky123
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/12/2010 8:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks - great info - I will stop taking these things - I am also on high blood pressure medicine, but I've been on that for 4 years, and had many, many blood draws during the last few years. Wonder if long term use could affect the liver? Never thought about that--if so, none of the doctors I have seen - probably 4 or 5 different family practitioners, and multiple specialist never seemed concerned about my blood pressure medicine, until my blood pressure fell so low and I stopped taking it for a few months. Other than that, no one seemed concerned about it.

Well, something else I thought of -

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 9/12/2010 9:14 PM (GMT -6)   

Vicky, I take a BP med, also, and was never told to stop it...not even when I had liver cancer.  So I think you are fine with that.

Hugs,

Connie


hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

mer
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 613
   Posted 9/12/2010 10:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Vicky, my hubby is on BP meds and his hepatologist is the one that put him on it. I think you should be fine w/ the BP meds. If ever in doubt and you cannot get in touch w/ your doctor you can always ask your pharmacist.....ours has been a GREAT help with us and explaining reactions, etc of some of my hubby's meds

arneeb
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 2314
   Posted 9/13/2010 7:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Be very careful with bp meds... that's what made Mike's blood pressure crash.. he was taking them when his bp was low... keep your bp monitered carefully...
and yep... in our med administration class they always stress over the counter medications have side effects also... and are medications...even vitamins... not given properly can have bad effects on the body... well keep in touch.. thoughts r surely with you today... Sandi
There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still... Corrie Ten Boom

nasalady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1176
   Posted 9/13/2010 10:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear Vicky,

I can understand your alarm, but twice I've had AST/ALT numbers in the 1000s. In 2004 my eyes turned yellow and my urine was dark....I went to the doctor and my numbers were over 2500. Before I got better they climbed to over 3500!! My doctors were afraid I would be going on the transplant list! They never did figure out what was wrong, I got better on my own after stopping an OTC herbal medication. But I think it was the beginning of my autoimmune hepatitis.

Then in 2008 I went to the doctor again because I just didn't feel "right". I couldn't see my regular doctor that day and got a very young doctor instead. I told him I thought it was my liver, and he looked at me like I was a hypochondriac. But I was right! My numbers were back up over 1400! That's when they finally biopsied me and found out that I have autoimmune hepatitis plus fatty liver....but even with these horribly high numbers over the span of 4 years I only had Stage II liver damage.

Please try not to be too worried...and be careful about stopping your blood pressure meds. I'm on two different BP meds and my hepatologist is OK with them. And as DGinSD and others have said, stop any OTC supplements until you ask your doctor about them. In my case, an OTC herbal supplement made a bad situation worse!

Take care,
JoAnn
Lyme Disease, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Bartonella, AIH, Hashimoto's, lupus, fibro, RA, celiac, asthma, psoriasis, adrenal fatigue, pre-diabetic, Raynaud's, hypertension, osteopenia, sleep apnea, RLS, GERD, DDD, severe lower back pain, cubital tunnel, tarsal tunnel, Suprax, Mepron, Alinia, Zithromax, Prednisone, Imuran, Plaquenil, Lyrica, Cymbalta, Levothyroxine, Liothyronine, Atenolol, Cozaar, Zyrtec, Fosamax, Albuterol, Prilosec

autoimmunediseasesgfliving.blogspot.com

vicky123
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/13/2010 3:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the info - I am beginning to believe my BP meds don't affect my liver panel numbers, since the doctor who orginally did the blood work was the one who perscribed them to me, and knew I was on them.

One other side affect I've been having is bleeding gums when I brush my teeth - I have NEVER had bleeding gums until last week - now it has stopped, but for a couple of days it was really bad. I just had my teeth cleaned about 4 months ago, and take good care of them, so that was real disturbing, especially since it was so much blood. Now it has stopped. I know sometimes it is normal for people to have some blood, but that is not normal for me - very seldom do I see any blood at all.

Any thoughts on this being related to the liver panel numbers? I just thought it was a side affect of my other meds I was on, but now I'm beginning to wonder about that.

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 9/13/2010 3:34 PM (GMT -6)   

Vicky, it could be a side effect of ibuprofen since that tends to thin the blood.  However, it also might be related to the liver as a clotting problem (common with liver disease.)  When is your next appt.?

Hugs,

Connie


hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

DGinSD
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 818
   Posted 9/13/2010 9:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Vicky,
 
Funny thing...looking back on when I fell ill, the first thing that was odd was bleeding gums.  I had just finished my 1st Breast Cancer 3-Day (a 60mile walk over 3 days).   A few days later I went to the dentist.  He asked me if I was on anything as my gums were bleeding a lot.  I said Naproxen (I had been on it for 3yrs for joint pain) and that I still wasn't the best at flossing so regularly, he said, this isn't normal and I don't think it's that.  I blew if off to being nothing as I didn't notice anything more.  Maybe a week later, my urine was darker...more like iced tea.  Again, I blew that off to being slightly dehydrated since I wasn't drinking as much water having finished training and walking then the next week I had a cold so I figured it was all related to that.  The dark urine persisted but then my mom came to visit so we did touristy stuff and it started getting worse as I started having nausea, vomitting (daily) and a whole heck of a lot of the shivers.  Then the jaundice happened and that's when the doc visits started.  All said and done from the bleeding gums to diagnosis was about 2.5 months.
 
So make sure your doc sends you for blood work on Friday!  Or call and ask if you can go beforehand so she has all your newest numbers when you see her at your appointment.

vicky123
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 9/14/2010 10:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank for the feedback- it is funny how all these things seem unrelated at first. Since I had so many problems with my surgery, I kept thinking it was all related to getting over the surgery. The only symptom I don't have is the dark urine. So far it looks normal, although I know to pay attention to that now.

My appt is friday, so I'll let you know what the doctor says at that time.

vicky123
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/7/2010 3:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a liver ultrasound, and found out I have fatty liver.  The doctor told me I was obese, even though I'm 5'5" and weight 148 pounds.  I know I should probably weight 130 pounds, but don't believe I'm obese.  I went to another doctor, and he told me to cut out fatty foods and no red meat.  I am not a big meat eater, but when I do eat meat, it is usually beef.  He also told me to cut out ibuprofen, if I'm taking it.  I haven't taken a lot of it since my surgery, although I was on 3200 mg a day for a year.  I guess my question now is, "can you reverse fatty liver by doing these things".  Also, I was told to exercise more, which I agree is something I need to do.
 
Also, any diet advice you can give me?   
 
 
 
 

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 10/7/2010 4:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, thank goodness it was nothing more serious.  You can control fatty liver with diet.  NO BEEF.  No red meat at all!  For protein, try eggs, edamame (soy beans), poulty white meat (no skin), fish, and turkey burgers.  Also all types of beans.  You must also quit ingesting alcohol.  This is one of the main reasons for fatty liver.  Try walking briskly for exercise.
 
Good luck to you and please keep us updated on your progress!
 
Hugs,
Connie
hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
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