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Medical test results... liver enzymes

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive October 2007: Medical test results... liver enzymes
By Anonymous on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - 08:43 pm:

I had to go to the ER a couple of weeks ago because of severe back pain that didn't get better after taking something for it. While I was there they discovered that I had a urinary tract infection and my liver enzymes were VERY HIGH.

Here are the results that were taken on Oct. 4th, while in the ER...

SGOT was 1179 -- It's supposed to be between 15-37U/L

SGPT was 541 -- It's supposed to be between 30-65U/L

Total Bilirubin was 1.90 -- It's supposed to be between 0.00-1.2mg/dL

Alkaline Phosphate was 158 -- It's supposed to be between 50-136 U/L

I just had a follow doctor's visit last week to recheck my liver enzymes. I received a phone call from the doctor's office yesterday saying that my enzymes were back down to normal now. I didn't talk to the doctor directly. I wasn't told what the results actually were and I wasn't given an explanation as to why this would happen. I find this strange seeing as they were so high less than two weeks earlier and I wasn't given anything to try to lower them.

Does anyone have any experience with this or know anything about it? I will also say that I had an ultrasound while at the ER and I do have a few gallstones, but the ER doctor said they weren't enough to worry about yet. I'm going to insist that I have a follow up checkup in a few weeks to have them rechecked. But should I ask to be sent to a liver specialist? The doctor was going to send me to one if my enzymes were still high.

I had also been taking OTC medication for a few weeks for my back pain, so I was thinking that may have effected my liver enzymes. On that day, I had taken Aleve and on and off for several weeks, I had been taking Tylenol PM because the backpain is usually worst at night. I have had only minimal backpain since the ER visit and have not taken anymore OTC medication.

By Cocoabutter on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - 09:29 pm:

Are you on meds for cholesterol?

My MIL has had 3 UTI's in the past couple of months. At first they thought it was her cholesterol med which can affect liver function, but a follow up blood test revealed everything was at normal levels. She just had her third UTI 2 days ago and is on pain meds and antibiotics.

Let me know what you come up with. I'm interested, too.

By Dana on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - 09:51 pm:

My mom had her gallbladder removed last year. At some point she had raised liver enzyme count. For her it was an infection that happened after the removal of the gallbladder. And as soon as she took some antibiotics, her count went right back down. She's been fine since.

By Ginny~moderator on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - 09:52 pm:

Pain meds can definitely affect the liver. That is something for you to keep in mind in the future. If it were me I'd go back to the doctor's office for another visit and to ask for a complete explanation of both blood tests and what they mean, and what you need to be aware of for the future.

By Anonymous on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - 10:35 pm:

I'm not taking any medication other than the OTC medications that I mentioned above. I also meant to mention that I'm overweight by about sixty pounds.

Is it not safe for me to take the Tylenol P.M. anymore? I don't take it very often, but I do take it occassionally, particularly if I'm hurting when I go to bed or if I need a good nights sleep. My aunt took it in the past for her sleepless nights so I thought it was harmless enough to give it a try.

By Ginny~moderator on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - 10:53 pm:

Anon, Tylenol PM may be generally harmless, but you are coming out of a period where your bladder (and possibly your kidneys) and your liver were affected. It says right on my Tylenol bottle "Acetaminophen may cause liver damage." and acetaminophen is the active ingredient in Tylenol.

If it were me I'd be a little scared to take anything until I'd seen the doctor and maybe even gotten another blood test.

Your back pain makes me wonder if maybe you are or were having a low-level and increasing kidney infection. I had a kidney infection once and it first manifested as low-level and then increasing pain in the middle of my back - and finally excruciating back pain, which is when I finally went to the doctor.

You have to be the best judge for yourself, of course, but I do urge you to go back to your doctor and talk about all these things and try to get more information than just the numbers the nurse read to you over the phone.

By Dawnk777 on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - 11:45 pm:

Acetaminophen can be hard on your liver. Ditto on going back to the doctor, even just for your own piece of mind. Kidney infections can cause back pain, as can kidney stones.

By Karen~admin on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 - 08:36 am:

My liver enzymes were high last January, just after we returned from a cruise. My PCP put me into a panic, convinced it was my pain meds. Of course, she accused me of drinking with them, and I drink VERY seldom.

We reran the tests a few weeks later and they were normal. I have since changed my meds so I am not taking anything Tylenol daily like I was before. I'd definitly get rechecked, and rethink the Tylenol PM.

By Anonymous on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 - 12:01 pm:

I'm glad to know this about the Tylenol. I was very concerned about why my results would be so high, then back to normal within a couple of weeks. I hope that was all it was. I will definintely be going back to my doctor within the next few weeks to discuss this and get them rechecked. I'll also avoid taking the Tylenol.

As for my backpain, I still don't know what caused it. I've had it on and off for a few weeks. The first time I went to the doctor, I had a kidney infection. The second time I went to the doctor, I didn't have a kidney infection, but was still having the backpain. Then I had another kidney infection again when I went to the ER. I had some tests to see if I had kidney stones and I don't have any. I've only experienced minor backpain since my trip to the ER.

I'm also prone to getting kidney infection in the first place. I try to drink a lot of water daily to keep my kidneys flushed out. I did discover that my backpain would get worst when I would drink some type of soda, so I've avoided them altogather. But, on the other hand, the backpain may not even be assoicated with my kidneys because the pain is a little above where my kidneys are. I do sit at a computer for long hours at a time, so that may have been whats causing the backpain.

By Luvn29 on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 - 12:21 pm:

Just a thought, back pain can come from gall bladder problems. The pain isn't always in your abdomen. The gall stones may be causing the pain.

By Ginny~moderator on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 - 12:50 pm:

Or, it could just come from back stress from sitting in one position all day.

As one who had a ruptured lumbar disk, here's what I learned about back pain. First - if at all possible, get up once every 60-90 minutes, stretch and bend. If possible, put a stool or a thick phone book under one foot, changing to the other foot every 30-60 minutes. Back support is very important - get a lumbar roll or lumbar support (or, if this is on the job, ask your employer to get it and to consider a chair that gives better support to your back). All of these are ways to reduce the pull and stress on your back muscles.

In bed, try sleeping on your back with a firm pillow under your knees. It reduces the stress on your back muscles.

I have some links at home for gentle, safe exercises you can do for an aching back. I use them when my back acts up. My son tried them a few months ago when his back acted up and they worked well for him. These are gentle, and should not cause any muscle stress or strain.

If your back is sore at bedtime, try standing under a hot shower for several minutes - heat is very good for muscle aches. Also, if weather allows, try a hot pad. I have friends who sing the praises of those disposable strap-on thermal pads you can get in the drugstore or supermarket (or Target and Walmart).

All of the above is only good if your back pain is "back" pain, and won't be any help for kidney or gallbladder type problems.

Absolutely, given that you are prone to kidney infections, drink lots of water, and you are wise to stay away from sodas. You might also consider cutting back on or staying away from coffee and tea, and stick just to water and juice.

By Anonymous on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 - 04:54 pm:

Can your gallbladder cause indigestion (belching up and tightness in my chest after eating) type problems?

I've had indigestion on and off for a couple of years actually. It has always been passed off as acid reflex. Sometimes it's bad, but most of the time it's minor. But I do remember at one point I was belching up EVERYTHING that I would eat. The main foods that cause this are sausage, bacon, pancakes, bologne, and hot dogs, so I avoid those altogether.

By Luvn29 on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 - 05:48 pm:

Yes. It definitely can. But, so can ulcers. I finally found out that the source of my severe back pain was an ulcer, and I almost found out too late.

But the gall bladder can cause different types of symptoms. I never had any pain from mine, I was just sick all of the time and threw up every single time I ate for several months. I was only 21 so they didn't want to admit it was my gall bladder for quite a while.

By Ginny~moderator on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 - 06:36 pm:

Here are the back exercise links I promised you:


Health Central

Baltimore Washington Med Center

Monster In My Back

Yes, gall bladder (and other problems) can cause what is called referred pain. The problem is in one spot, the pain in another. My ex went to the ER with what we were sure was appendicitis (lower right quadrant of the abdomen) and it turned out to be gall bladder.

And, fatty foods (bologna, hot dogs, sausages) can irritate a touchy gall bladder.

Anon, if it were me, I'd make a list of all symptoms over the past couple of years, the various diagnosis that have been given, and any treatment or medication, and have a long and serious talk with your doctor. Push as hard as you can for a series of diagnostic tests to figure out just what is going on.

You know that losing some of the 60 excess pounds won't hurt and might help, but I don't think 60 pounds is enough excess weight to do more than aggravate your back. (Oddly enough, it's the stomach muscles that support the lower back and weak stomach muscles add to back problems.)

By Ginny~moderator on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 - 06:38 pm:

And, I would be concerned about why you are "prone to getting kidney infections". In my (non-medical) opinion, more than one kidney infection in a year is something that should be looked into very thoroughly as it may be caused by underlying kidney problems that make you prone to infections.

By Mrsheidi on Thursday, October 25, 2007 - 03:31 pm:

{{HUGS}} Just wanted to say I hope you get better... :(

By Dana on Friday, October 26, 2007 - 12:49 pm:

Yes, to your question a few posts up. My mom had severe back pain, indigestion, reflux, belching, HORRIBLE bad breath, and chest pains. All of these are gall bladder symptoms.

By Anonymous on Friday, October 26, 2007 - 02:37 pm:

I will definitely be discussing things with my doctor within the next few weeks and keep in mind everything that everyone has mentioned on here. It would be nice if the doctor could find out what's causing my indigestion and chest tightness (that's actually one reason I went to the ER that night a few weeks ago.) I've been to a Cardialogist and had several tests on my heart...EKG, chest x-rays, heart ultrasounds and everything came out okay with them.

What kind of doctor I will have to be sent to to have my gallbladder checked and what kind of tests I will have to have done to see if my gallbladder is causing the problems? I read somewhere that about 30% of people have gallstones and never have any problems out of them. But I wish they would go ahead and remove my gallbladder now instead of waiting until I start having pains from it. Especially if that may be the cause of my other problems.

As for my kidneys, I'm on top of that. I have a medical condition that causes the frequent kidney infections. I have a Urologist that I go to and try to keep everything in check with them. However my Potassium level is at 3.8 and it's not supposed to be below 3.5, so I'm a bit uncomfortable with that number and will be having them rechecked soon as well.

By Anonymous on Saturday, October 27, 2007 - 02:40 pm:

Is it safe for me to take the pain medication that I was given the night that I went to the hospital? I've been having some back pains today on my right side where my ribs are and it's getting a little worse. I wanted to take something before it gets even worse, but don't know if it's safe to do.

Does anyone know what kind of doctor I will have to be sent to to have my gallbladder checked and what kind of tests I will have to have done to see if my gallbladder is causing the problems?

By Luvn29 on Saturday, October 27, 2007 - 03:21 pm:

A gastrologist can usually help with the gall bladder problems. And sometimes no amount of tests will prove it is your gall bladder! But some they do include an ultrasound of your gall bladder and a test called a hydascan. Pain under your ribs on your right side is a very common side effect of gall bladder problems.

I can no longer take ibuprofen or nsaids because of an ulcer. But I can safely take tylenol, though it does nothing for me anymore. However, tylenol is harsher on your liver, as are some other pain meds. I can take Lortab (though I have other adverse reactions to it, so I never do). It seems that ibuprofen and nsaids would be okay for you right now because they affect your stomach more than your liver.

Call a pharmacist and ask them about it. They can tell you whether you are okay with the type of med you have.

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