Mentally I knew I had a problem...Physcially I didn't...until now. GGT results

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RAson
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 7/17/2017 2:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,

Posting on the forum for myself for the first time. A bit about me:

Mid 30's actually underweight (have been my entire life) high stress job and for about the last 5-6 years have been very inactive. More-so than usual.

So what am I experiencing? I have been feeling worse and worse the past few years in terms of energy. I am constantly tired but never made much of it since I have always struggled to feel energy. I blamed everything from sinus problems to just being a "weakly" kid and finally in my later years blamed my lack of energy and pains as a sign of getting older and having a high stress job.

However, over the last few years I have really turned to drinking to cope with things (I know that is not an excuse) but sadly it was my honest reality. Even knowing firsthand what it can do (have family that went through Liver Disease), I felt I would be able to control it in time.

It wasn't until I started having heart palpitations, minor random chest pains, HBP and just overall feeling terrible that I began to take a stand.

I actually applied for a life insurance policy because I felt I better do it now that I am younger and healthier...well this is when I had a reality check. I was denied the initial coverage because of my test results. Now, I am not sure exactly what this consists of but I do know that the items they pointed out for the decision was:

GGT level of 169 and Cholesterol HDL ratio of 8:1

After spending the last few hours researching a bit I can tell that especially the GGT level is due to my drinking and the Cholesterol my inactive lifestyle. The bummer of getting denied quickly faded with the real concern of WHAT HAVE I DONE TO MY LIVER???? I am scared to death that I have put my life in danger and have crossed the "no going back line" From what I can see a GGT result of 169 points to irreprable damage.

At this point I have no clue on my next steps. Obviously see a doctor, but I have no idea how bad of shape I am in. Having seen someone I love go through liver failure, I am both disappointed in myself and worried of what is coming.

I have made a commitment to try and straighten things out a bit, but I fear I may be too late. I suppose I need to take care of myself but I am curiously frightened at how much damage I have already done, and if there is any hope.

This whole GGT and Cholesterol info is new to me and hoping someone here can help shed some light as to how bad I might be.

Thanks in advance for all the help.

ppm guy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 1069
   Posted 7/17/2017 5:12 PM (GMT -6)   
hi Rason and welcome to the hep forum,
Are cholesterol ratio and ggt your only out of range tests?

without more info, I cant really say much. With those results, you need to see your Dr. for further testing. If you have a copy of your insurance blood screen, you can post those, and fax a copy to your Dr.

Let me know whats happening, and best of luck going forward.

MamaLama
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 4781
   Posted 7/17/2017 10:27 PM (GMT -6)   
RA

Welcome to the forum.

This is the best day of your life...first day of a new you. Sometimes it takes a crisis to turn things around. You need to make some changes and if this works out the way it can, you could be fine.

A good blood panel as ppm buy says is a first start, then the GP appointment and then on to specialists if anything specific is going on. My partner Mike is the liver patient in our family. His doc is never especially interested in the GGT. He'd rather see the AST/ALT numbers.

Stopping drinking can bring liver numbers right down, and improve general health. I read an interesting statistic...many heavy drinkers don't get liver disease! about 16% of heavy drinkers get cirrhosis!!! It is sort of a genetic thing...luck of the draw sort of. Maybe those same folks can't even moderately drink because it will make them sick.

Folks with liver disease can also have problems with their gall bladder and kidneys. Is there any chance you could have Hep B or C? You should be tested for those...easy to get in a variety of ways.

Since you have general weakness and some depression it would be good to look at everything...maybe do some counseling sessions, check cancer markers, set up a good diet, get some exercise...live your life.
Hugs,

MamaLama
MamaLama, Forum moderator - Hepatitis
Partner received liver transplant (May 1, 2011) FL
Hep C 1a Treatment - Sovaldi/Olysio (March - May 2014)
Undetected since week 4. Undetected 12 weeks post treatment.

RAson
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 7/18/2017 7:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank You guys for the replies. I was certainly in for a wake up call.

I have been unable to stop my binge drinking. I will go a stretch of a few days where I will stop then I just have a rough day and get right back to it.

I am 34, single and quite frankly unhappy with things. As I stated I am on anti-depressent meds (which I have actually stopped for about 2 weeks now) I know this is dangerous to do but my doctor didn't authorize a new refill without seeing him first. And this happened right before I was gone for work for 10 days. Now that I am back and have been off the meds and getting this news, I am considering a new GP. I like my doctor and have been with him for years but I feel he doesn't hear me out. Any issue I point out from heart palpitations to chronic fatigue to soreness, he always ties it back down to my anxiety and depression and pops me full of pills. I almost feel he doesn't think any other tests are necessary. I am sure with this letter it will trigger him to do so, but I am thinking of going elsewhere altogether.

I do have a few family members that struggled with alcoholism. One ultimately lost the battle to cirrhosis. So when this all came about I feared the worst. I have so many friends and family that have no idea what I am going through. I am not saying I am at that point because I have a good job with a management position, I am outgoing (even though I hide my pain) and am a very responsible person otherwise. But no one suspects anything because of this.

But I know it is not normal to get home on a Tuesday night and pound 6 shots of tequila just because...top that off with poor eating habits, and this is the outcome.

So, is it normal and acceptable to just walk in an ask for liver function tests? Which in particular? I also have an appointment with a cardiologist because I have been experiencing high blood pressure and I am always feeling palpitations. I am 34, underweight and still have BP at 143/95 consistently.

ppm guy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 1069
   Posted 7/18/2017 11:32 AM (GMT -6)   
With the blood test results you have, it is absolutely necessary to do further testing.

very happy to see, youre seeing a cardiologist. Heart disease needs to be evaluated 1st.

Your pcp also needs to followup with your GGT results. In my opinion, if your dr hesitates, you may want to find another dr..

Reading your post, reminds me of my own struggles with alcohol, drugs, and mental illness.. I also did well in the business world. I impressed people at work, then went home, and pounded a 12 pak..
I quit drinking at 42, and have been clean for 25 years. im 67 now. I did end up with cirrhosis, because I also had hep c, which I cleared a few years back. my mental illness became more clear, and easier to treat, after getting off alcohol.

please let us know how your tests go, or any concerns we might be able to help with.

RAson
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 7/19/2017 8:43 AM (GMT -6)   
I am actually in the process of setting up an appointment with a new pcp. I know this will only delay things but I feel it is for the best.

In the meantime, I took it upon myself to do some research and see how I can cleanse the liver. I have no idea how effective this stuff is or if I am even wasting my time trying, but if it can atleast bring me some peace of mind, I will try it. I bought the following supplements:

Milk thistle capsules
Dandelion capsules
Turmeric capsules

I also made the honey and cloves of garlic mix that is to be taken for 7 days on an empty stomach.

I suppose this can't hurt.

What does hurt is me not being able to separate from my habits. Just yesterday a friend dropped by with some beers and liquor to "watch the game" I kept thinking back to my posts here earlier and how I want to make a change and yet I couldn't find a way to say anything. I felt guilty after for having some drinks. It made me realize, this is much more than me but I might also need to find a new circle of friends and hobbies.

ppm guy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 1069
   Posted 7/19/2017 6:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi RAson,
From what you have posted, I don't think you have a serious liver problem. Serious being cirrhosis. You would have many symptoms.But just to be safe, I would hold off, on your liver cleanse. See what the cardio says. You will get your liver blood work done in the near future. Liver disease moves very slow. It took me 40 years to get there. Rather than a cleanse, I would suggest a life style change. Of course it starts with abstaining from. alcohol, and making dietary changes. Limiting foods high in cholesterol and tryglicerides.

These changes will be beneficial to your heart and liver. Try to relax, you will get your answers soon. Let me know how things are going.

jpmjr1020
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2017
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 7/19/2017 7:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey,
Check out my post below. Yes i have cirrhosis but look how abstaining even for a short time can turn your numbers around. Ive stopped drinking. Started eatimg better and doing DDP yoga. And now if it werent for my fibroscan test being so high you wouldnt know i had cirrhosis. The not drinking and DDP yoga help the most

RAson
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 7/20/2017 4:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks guys for the advice. I hope I am not in too bad of shape. I think part of my issue is that I'm just a mess overall. Stuck in a rut that I can't get out of. It will take more than just cutting the drinking. I think my anxiety/depression causes me to lack motivation to try and change anything. I am always consumed with thoughts of failure...But that's for another board I suppose. Lol

As for my health issues, I am for once looking forward to my visit with the cardiologist. I meet with him on Monday after a 6 week wait to get an appointment. Let's see how that goes.

I also have one set up with a pcp for late next week.

I went to an ENT a month ago for a sleep study and still haven't heard back. Sometime waiting around is too much suspense and adds to the anxiety!

MamaLama
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 4781
   Posted 7/20/2017 6:33 PM (GMT -6)   
RA

too much time for thinking grim thoughts

do stuff with friends, go to the library and get books to read...actually read, go to church, sing in a choir

volunteer...you will be with others and helping someone/people...any kind of volunteerism to match your skills and interests...coach little league, read to old people, feed folks at the soup kitchen, play with puppies and kittens at the animal shelter, donate blood, volunteer at the horse rescue, what is in your area

join a political group...any party...your party...register voters for the 2018 mid term elections, sign petitions, march, there is lots to get excited about these days

go to your city council meetings, take a side

join a support group...a liver association group in your area, raise money for a cure, train for the 5k they run in your area.... (i am looking for a caregivers group in my area, i look after a sister with Alzheimer's...so sad)

my adult daughter was sick of her life...a few years ago...she once confided to me that she was sitting on the couch, smoking dope, and watching reruns. so she wanted to meet smart folks about her age, have a boyfriend, find a husband....so she...went to business grad school, joined the Adirondack Hiking Club and climbed all kinds of mountains upstate NY, and join a mixed adult crew team and rowed from April til October in the Hudson River. She met lots of smart folks, got in shape, was invited for the after exercising beer or two and found friends she keeps up with til this day. She found the hubby at the MBA program! Smart lady is now 43, has 2 pre-teen kiddos and hasn't smoked a joint in a long long time.

have a life, you deserve it.

being alone and worried stinks (i almost wrote a bad word)

don't be alone...one gets thirsty alone

Hugs

MamaLama
MamaLama, Forum moderator - Hepatitis
Partner received liver transplant (May 1, 2011) FL
Hep C 1a Treatment - Sovaldi/Olysio (March - May 2014)
Undetected since week 4. Undetected 12 weeks post treatment.

RAson
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 7/21/2017 8:28 AM (GMT -6)   
MamaLama,

What an encouraging post! It is so refreshing to hear your daughters story. Sounds exactly like my situation and what I want to get to. I love how you said one gets thirsty alone. Great point.

I am actually dating and in a serious relationship, albeit we are not living together so much of my issues are "flying under the radar" I often said maybe if I married it would help, then the other side says....get your stuff together (I almost wrote a bad word too) before making a commitment. She has really been patient with me.

Thanks again for all of those recommendations! I actually will look into many of those. These are things I always knew were around just never really put it down on paper to start looking into. Especially volunteering and political groups.
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