Anyone ever have liver problems?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael*K, Nov 12, 2002.

  1. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    No, not the kind you eat! [​IMG] Last winter some blood work showed that I had an elevated liver enzyme level. Weird because I rarely drink. Had a CT scan performed because the doctor thought I had an enlarged spleen. At the time, he told me that the CT scan was fine and the spleen was normal. Well, six months later, they drew blood again and the liver enzyme was still high. So I asked again if the CT scan had showed anythinbg alarming. He said no...just that I have a pretty big liver (sounds alarming to me.) He referred me to a liver specialist, who I see tomorrow.
    Even though I've known about this appointment for a month-and-a-half, I'm kinda worried about it now. Are there ever any minor liver problems? Something that goes away on its own or can be treated with medication? I guess I'm concerned because it's such a damned complicated part of the body. It's probably a lot easier to treat heart ailments. I really need to stay away from the medical web sites because my eyes always dart down to the "C" word. Oh well, guess I'll see what direction the professionals want me to go after tomorrow.
     
  2. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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    My father has a liver problem, and it turned out to be Hepatitis C.

    I hope you have nothing serious.

    ~T
     
  3. Micah Lloyd

    Micah Lloyd Stunt Coordinator

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    Michael,

    Sounds like my story. I only found out about my "issue" when a check of my blood donation came back with elevated readings indicative of hepatitis. They said that I should check with my Doctor...

    My Doctor did not find any viral hepatitis but did see elevated enzymes. Specifically, elevated SGOT-AST and Triglits. Like you, I'm not a big drinker but on the advise of one Doc, I abstained for a year only to find very similar readings.

    I found a doctor willing to go the extra mile and she referred me to a specialist. He did a liver biopsy but still couldn't figure out what was wrong. They sent the samples to several universities. The final summation: Idiopathic Steato Hepatitis; inflammation with fatty indications (I'm slightly overweight, possible a contributing issue). Idiopathic means "of unknown origin". I'm told that there likely will be no symptoms. The long-term issues are unknown and it's a good chance that it's in a stable state.

    10 years later and the readings are the same and I still have no symptoms. I hope you find similar results... Good luck.

    ~micah
     
  4. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    Micah, that was a condition that my own physician suggested might be the cause...non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH.) I guess the laymen's term is "fatty liver." I am overweight and figured it might be a contributing factor. They did say the first time I had blood drawn that the enzyme level wasn't extremely high, just higher than normal. He said if I had hepatitis that it would be in the thousands and mine was something like 23. I'll have to see what the hepatologist says. Glad to hear you've had ten years with no problems.

    Thi, I hope your father is being treated successfully.
     
  5. Micah Lloyd

    Micah Lloyd Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow,
    1. Back in my day, it didn't have a name... [​IMG] I think it's time I ask my doc for a re-eval.
      A google search makes for some interesting reading:
     
  6. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    I had a friend with the same problem. Never had a drop of alcohol in his life. Upon much investigation the culprit was determined to most likely be the large amounts of Ibuprofin he took as a teenager for his migrains. Are you sure there isn't anything you may have taken in excessive quantities at any point of your life? If not, then I hope there isn't anything major wrong. The "fatty liver" diagnosis is a good one as well and I know several people who seem to be healthy in every other aspect and are leading normal lives. I know it's not great news to hear but chances are it's nothing to worry about too much.
     
  7. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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  8. Thi Them

    Thi Them Producer

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    My father is a few months into his first year of treatment. The side effects from his medication are pretty awful.

    ~T
     
  9. Micah Lloyd

    Micah Lloyd Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike, How did it go with the specialist?
     
  10. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    Ah...sorry I didn't follow up, Micah. It appears that my test results are consistent with that of fatty liver a.k.a. non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. However, they want to be able to confirm it through pathology. So I have to go next month for a liver biopsy. On Friday the 13th no less! Eek. I have to lay in a bed for six hours after the procedure and can't even get up to go to the bathroom. Geez. NASH apparently is a rather common affliction and generally produces no symptoms. It's usually only caught when a doctor orders a liver panel as part of blood work and a red flag gets raised in the test results.
    I specifically asked what the chances were that I had cancer. She said based on the fact that there was no evidence of it when I had my CT scan last Febraury, the chances were "extremely remote." If the definitive diagnosis is NASH, then there's currently no cure for it. I should try reducing the risk factors (like dropping some weight.) However, there is presently a clinical trial going on to assess whether a current medication prescribed for diabetes can help remove the fat from the liver in NASH patients. She said the current results are promising. If I'm diagnosed with NASH, then I'll be given the option of enrolling in the clinical trial since the U. of C. is a participating facility. So I have a month to wait and see what is definitely wrong, but I'm a little more positive than I was before going in.
     
  11. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    A friend of mine had liver problems so dire that he needed his brother to give up 70% of his liver, which was transplanted into my friend's body to extend his life. The 30% left of the brother's liver somehow grows back to almost full size within 4-6 weeks after the operation.
     
  12. Micah Lloyd

    Micah Lloyd Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike, the news sounds promising. I had a liver biopsy, too. The procedure is relatively quick (hidden for the squeamish):

    For me they did an ultrasound on my right side with my arm extended over my head. They then drew on my side the position of my liver. The Dr. then palpated the side to find a space between a couple of ribs, numbed a small area of skin, opened it slightly with a scalpel, then a quick in/out with a large-bore needle (it was like cocking a shotgun). What came out was an inch long core sample of my liver. No stitches were needed. I laid on my right side for the next six hours while they monitored me to make sure I wasn't bleeding internally.

    This was all 10 years ago so the methods and procedures might be different.

    As a precautionary measure, I donated a pint of blood in advance (four weeks?) for my own use if needed (it wasn't). You might want to consider doing something similar.

    As before, let us know!

    ~micah
     
  13. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    I never had a liver problem, but my bird did. Go ahead and laugh at me for mentioning it, but it's the closest thing to me having it. He had elevated liver enzymes, and I found out that it was due to him having too much sunflower seeds and peanuts in his diet. And with a diet change and medicine for it and his bacterial infection, the liver problem was fixed.
     
  14. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    CJ
    i never had any permanent liver problems, but when i had mono, i had jaundiced, and i turned as yellow as, well, something very yellow. from what i understood, it was because of all the bile not being filtered by my liver. as unpleasant as this sounds, the color of my urine was pretty much the shade of coca cola. i got pretty scared for a while, but i guess i'm ok now.

    CJ
     

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