Liver Involvement??

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 334
   Posted 6/15/2007 6:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone, hope your all well.
I went to my GP this morning and I've returned quite upset and scared. She thinks I may have some sort of liver problem. I have some symptoms, I have whitening of my nails, in total I have 32 spider naevi, and I am exhausted.
Does anyone know how the liver could be affected, what else may develop etc. She has taken some bloods today and I have to go back 25th to get the results. She is writing to my rheumy in the meantime. What would the bloods show and will the blood results show all liver prolems? What other tests might be done.
I mentioned the white spots on my nails in my previous post, but other the mom46 no one else answered. If there is anyone with liver problems, please help put my mind at rest. I'm very very upset and worried about what might happen.
I am going away on the 18th (Monday) for a weeks break with my husband and my daughter, can't wait! Love to you all x x 
Chillblain Pattern LE, possible SLE, tachycardia, proctal fugax, anismus, slow transit constipation.
Prednisoloe, 35mg

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 5403
   Posted 6/15/2007 9:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Lion, I'm sorry to hear that you might be having liver problems. I think anytime you hear that one of your organs might be affected, it is very scary, so I don't blame you for worrying about this. Until you get the results back from your doc it would be hard to know what might be wrong. In the past I've had slightly elevated liver enzymes, but since they weren't too high my doc didn't do much about it and said it is probably related to lupus. The doc told me there is a lupus of the liver (autoimmune hepatitis), but luckily I didn't have that.

The blood tests should be a good start in helping find out what might be wrong with your liver. A few years ago, a co-worker had liver problems and after some labwork, they also took a biopsy of her liver. So there is the possibility that if labwork shows a need, you could have a biopsy done.

It's too bad you have to wait so long for the results to come back - waiting can sometimes be harder than actually finding out. I am praying that all your tests come back fine and there is nothing wrong with your liver. Hopefully your trip will take your mind off of things. I hope it's a great trip and that you and your family have a lot of fun!

Hang in there and take care
Diagnosis:  UCTD (lupus) 2006; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; lupus symptoms began 2003; CFS 1991; Mono 1985
Meds:  Plaquenil 400mg; Prednisone 5-10mg; Tramadol 100mg 3-4x daily; Amitriptyline 25mg; Neurontin 200mg; Prevacid; Steriod Cream and Mouth Rinse for tongue and mouth ulcers; Hydrocodone 5/500 prn for severe pain; Restasis eye drops



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Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1950
   Posted 6/15/2007 11:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lion--
Sorry to hear about your liver. I have frequent liver problems and I think I'm having them now, just nauseaus all the time. I've always been told that the white spots on the nails were more related to a vitamin deficiency, that the nail changes they are looking for are "splintering" where it looks like you have black splinters under your nails, usually happens with some vertical ridging of the nails. I've shown some mild ones to my doc and he said, "aw, that's nothing." An ultrasound of the liver would be much less invasive and painful that a liver biopsy (which can be dangerous) and tells them alot about your liver, whether it is fatty, normal, or cirrhotic because I guess the ultrasound jiggles it and they can tell by the way it vibrates or something. It's pretty good. Also, your bloodwork should let them know. You may want to check some internet stuff on Fatty liver (steatosis) or NAFLD--non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which comes with diabetes and taking lots of meds and all, and there is medicine and dietary changes you can make that will fix this problem. Untreated, in time, things can get bad. It takes like a long time though. I was also told that spidering in the face can be caused by rosacea and other face rashes, not just liver problems, but I would definitely follow up on it. Hope you feel better.
Love, Marji
--Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less in human beings of whom they know nothing.--Voltaire (1694-1778)
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus-like AI Disease, Hashis, Vitiligo, spinal stenosis/fusion with plate, salivary/lymphectomies, Diabetes, NAFLD, COPD, RLS, neuropathy, trigonitis, hystero, diffuse brain atrophy
Meds--Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, Estradiol patch, Prosed, Klonopin, Soma, Ultram, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol,steroid injections, Protopic & Triamcinolone Acetonide ointments

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 334
   Posted 6/15/2007 5:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Hippimom & Marji, thanks so much for replying.
I'm not entirely convinced this is my liver, but I do know that somethings not right. I have thought for a while now that I have been going downhill, but I have no idea what's going on. I'm hopeful it's not the liver, but at least once the tests are back, I'll be sure. And if it's not the liver then I know my GP will look into this more for me. Her words were "It doesn't look good really". I have been so tired, every day I want to go back to bed as soon as I have took my little one to school, and given the chance I would stay there all day. I know that the white spots are sometimes from deficiencies, and sometimes trauma or a previous bout of serious ill health, but the GP said the appearance of these spots doesn't fit with this. They are on every nail, haven't grew up the nail, they just appeared all at once. They look like rows of dots on the top of the nail in a pattern. I do have lines which run up and down my nail, not black, but a darker shade of pink. And the spider naevi are not just on my face, they are all over the body from my knees upwards to my face.
Thanks for the info on the liver testing. I tried to search for this, but there were so many different liver problems with lupus, I was getting confused with everything.
Thanks again x x
Chillblain Pattern LE, possible SLE, tachycardia, proctal fugax, anismus, slow transit constipation.
Prednisoloe, 35mg

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 8198
   Posted 6/15/2007 9:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lion,
  I found that info on the nails. I hope this helps some.
  • Blue nails

    • May be indicative of pulmonary obstruction, emphysema or lung disease.

  • Brittle nails

    • May be indicative of an iron deficiency, thyroid problems, circulatory problems or kidney functions, but in general this is due to over exposure to chemicals such as washing powder, dish washing liquid, car washing preparations as well as harsh chemicals such as paint, turpentine, nail polish remover etc.

  • Brown spots under nails

    • May be indicative of psoriasis.

  • Cracking

    • May indicate a deficiency of protein or minerals.

  • Clubbing of fingers and nails

    • Extreme rounding of the nails is often a sign of pulmonary, lung or intestinal disease.

  • Color bands

    • In Caucasian people, color bands under the nail may indicate cancer, while in non-Caucasian people it is usually a normal occurrence.

  • Curving

    • May indicate hypo or hyper thyroid, iron deficiency or psoriasis.

  • Darkening of nails (on the sides)

    • This may be indicative of kidney disease.

  • Flat nails

    • May be indicative of vitamin B 12 deficiency or of Raynaud's disease that affects the circulation.

  • Lines (red or brown)

    • Splinter hemorrhage shows up as red or brown lines along the long axis of the nail and may be caused by endocarditis (an inflammation of the heart membranes) or trichinosis (a parasitic infection from undercooked pork).

  • Nails separated from the nail bed

    • May be indicative of a bacterial or fungal infection under the nail or could indicate a thyroid problem.

  • Peeling of nails (in layers)

  • Ridges

    • Vertical lines are considered normal.

  • Splitting nails

    • May indicate trauma to the nail or a vitamin deficiency.

  • Spooning of nails

    • May be caused by an iron deficiency.

  • Thick nails

    • May be indicative of poor blood circulation to the nail.

  • White spots

    • In most cases this is due to a zinc deficiency or injuries to the nail bed. It can however also be indicative of certain internal problems such as arthritis, or from poisoning.

  • White nails

    • May be indicative of kidney or liver disorders or anemia.

  • White areas under nails

    • When there are white areas visible under the nail, normally at the tip of the nail where it joins the nail bed, this normally indicates a fungal infection and must be treated medically.

  • Yellow nails

    • Can be indicative of problems with the lymphatic system, respiratory disorders, diabetes or liver.

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