Abnormal liver enzymes

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Hi. This subject is severely doing my head in now. 

Two months ago I went to the doctors. I’d had diarrhoea for a few weeks and a severe attack of chest pain. I had tests and my liver function was at 700+ 

This scared the hell out of me. This was on the Thursday. On the following Monday I had more tests. These had reduced over the weekend to 300+ so would suggest the first tests read a ‘spike’ of alcohol?

I went on a strict diet of fruit, veg, herbal tea fish chicken etc etc etc. Basically nothing that was bad for the liver went down my throat including alcohol.

I was exercising every day. Running 1.2km daily. At my heaviest I was 17st 4lb. Today I weigh 15st 3lb.

I wanted my function ok before I went on holiday so I took another test just before and my results went to 96. Went on holiday. Didn’t go mad but enjoyed myself. I had chest pain again the day I got back and again a week later. I’m suspecting this was gallstones although the pain was crushing in the Center and not to the right. It’s definitely not my heart. My last attack wasn’t as excruciating but it lasted 5 hrs. I continued my diet as I have been doing and again had a blood test a month after my last. My function was back up to 370! I’ve no idea what the hell is going on but surely one or two days of eating tasty food and half a bottle of wine can’t elevate my function up that high so quickly?? I’ve had an ultrasound that confirmed a fatty liver and gallstones/sludge in my gallbladder.

I’ve niggling back ache on my rightside that feels bruised rather than pain. Under my ribs feels bruised rather than pain to touch. If my mind isn’t on it the niggle goes almost. I did have an impact injury back in may in that area so I’m not sure if it’s that or my liver. I’m very frustrated. Can anyone share any experiences or light on this? Thanks, Chris.

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  • Posted

    Hi Chris, & you didn't mention which enzyme spiked so high.  Truly heavy drinking can pop the GGT liver enzyme high, but alcohol typically doesn't bump ALT or AST to the levels you've seen unless you're deathly ill in hospital with acute alcoholic hepatitis. Moderate alcohol consumption should NOT pop any liver enzyme into the hundreds.  

    I drank quite heavily for over 30 years, & my ALT/AST never rose much above normal levels.  I did pop GGT up to 150 or so after a particularly boozy vacation.  

    The thick/muddy bile of sluggish liver are more likely to pop enzymes to the 700+ level.  Many prescription meds can cause "cholestasis" and sluggish liver, so you might want to look into any meds you are on.  The "LiverTox" site is a great resource for this.  

    Lecithin from eggs or a supplement may thin bile and help it to get flowing better.  The lecithin in eggs is in the yolk.  Always best to talk with your doc before you buy or try any supplement, but lecithin is pretty benign & your doc shouldn't object to this.  Hope he/she wouldn't have a problem with adding a few eggs to your diet!  

    If lecithin is going to help your situation, you should see results within 30 days or so in your labs.  

    Hope you get to the bottom of whatever is going on soon.  

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    • Posted

      Hi. Thank you very much for your reply. All my doc said was that the raised enzymes were that significant that of alcohol consumption. I’ve an appointment today with the nurse to go through my results from tests I’ve just had. Second bloods, 3 lots, CLEAR. Stool sample, CLEAR!! I’ll ask her which enzymes were raised and I’ll post back to you. 

      It’s beginning to get me down now as I’m scared to death of eating or drinking ANYTHING!! Just in case it’s doing me harm. I feel perfectly healthy but like I’ve read many a time, liver disease gives no symptoms until it’s bad. My stools have been very pale in colour for the past 6-8 weeks so I was expecting something to come back positive but clearly they are ok. The only thing I can put it down to is an impact injury as explained in my last message. It’s an utter frustrating mystery to me and I need this getting to the bottom of! I’ll reply back later.

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    • Posted

      Hi. Just spoken to nurse. As of June my GTT was 732 then 432 4 days later. July was 76 then August 374. She said these levels were associated with alcohol. She mentioned the ALT but wasn’t concerned. My cholesterol is slightly high at 5.6 which I can’t work out as my diet consists of very very low fat content. I’ve to stop taking my 500mg of c vitamins and 1200mg of fish oil as they are going through the liver too. The stool sample was being tested for a gut bacteria. Another blood test in 6 months and that’s how it’s being left.
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    • Posted

      Glad things seem to be turning around for you Chris.  The possibility of a traumatic injury (bruised liver) is interesting.  

      In my experience, you really need to be pounding down the drinks to pop GGT 10X+ normal, but I guess this is a possibility.  Any time doctors are dealing with a patient with mysterious liver issues who admit any alcohol consumption at all, their go-to response is this must be the cause, but again, GGT of 700 from alcohol alone would really take some monster binging.  

      Regarding the pale stool...  Bile is what turns stool brown, so pale stool is consistent with poor bile flow and sluggish liver.  A 30 day trial of lecithin or eggs in your diet might be interesting.  The lecithin is in the yolk, so you need to eat the whole egg (not egg white omelettes, etc).  A couple of eggs 3 times a week would probably be enough.  There's not a lot of lecithin available in other foods, so if the eggs aren't going to happen, a lecithin supplement (taken with meals) would work just as well.  

      Don't know if you're planning on going teetotal for life, but if you're not, I'd recheck GGT after you test the waters again.  Never heard of someone having a dramatic reaction like this from moderate drinking.  

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