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Rash, Itch, Elevated Liver Enzymes
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Rash, Itch, Elevated Liver Enzymes

Over the last year, I have developed itching and rashes on different parts of my body, mostly on my upper body (chest and/or shoulders), hands and sides (below the armpits on the ribcage), ocassionally on my inner thighs, buttocks and ankles as well. The rash on the hands is sometimes slightly burning. The rash and  itch seem to worsen at night.  I also have some small red dots on my inner thighs that have been diagnosed as folliculitis.

I have had high, fluctuating liver enzymes over the past 13 months, my most recent ALT (GPT) is at 132!!! (Normal is 10-37).  I currently have a slightly low lymphocyte count [19.4% (normal is 22%-43%)].

None of my doctors (PCP, Dermatologist, Allergist) have been able to figure out what i have...ultrasound showed all internal organs to be normal, hepatitis tests came back negatve, yet the constantly elevated liver enzymes and slightly low lymphocyte count, together with the rash and itching, have me concered.

Any suggestions?
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18 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,

Have you noticed any symptoms of jaundice including yellowish discoloration of sclera or skin?

Have you noticed these symptoms through the last one year or have they been improving and worsening?

I think you should also get a gastroenterologist opinion for your symptoms? Have you taken any medications for these complaints?

Do you drink alcohol?

Do let us know about how you are doing and keep us posted.

Good luck.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for your responss.
To answer your questions:

I do not have any yellowing or jaundice symptoms.

The rash comes and goes, sometimes with red hives and sometimes just a red rash. I use topical steroids when the itching becomes bad (Elocom, Dermovate or Neriderm). I have also taken Gilex and Ahiston which seem to lessen the symptoms.

I drink alcohol, but in moderation.

i did an HIAA 5 test and it was negative; just took a blood test for Chromogranin A...awaiting the results.

Why do you suggest seeing a GI? What do you think it could be?

Thanks for the help!!!

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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,

Elevated liver enzymes alongwith a rash and the other symptoms that you mention needs to be investigated further for a confirmed diagosis. A gastroenterologist was sggested just to rule out any liver or gall bladder involvement as being the cause of your symptoms.

If the symptoms are persistent , it would be advisable to reconsult with your allergy specialsit and see what he /she has to say and also what is the further plan of management.

Let us know about how you are doing and what the doctor's advise.

Regards.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Bhumika,
   Well I have some what of similar symptoms like the person above. But my symptoms are a little different they appear specifically on my hands right below my palm ( the area where we take our pulse rate) and go upwards, they also appear on my fore head, feet, neck chest. I had consulted an Allergist and he did a puncture test with different food items. That test didn't prove anything. He told me it was serve case of urticaria and told me to take zrytec(cetrizine), but it didnt help, I also switched to singulair that also didnt help, Now I am taking claritin ( loratadine) that seems to help a little bit but not much.

I had gone back to India this summer and the rash wasn't there. It started back again when I came back. I was tested positive for H pylori 2 years back. I never took the medicine for it. My physician never told me I had elevated Bilirubin levels 3.5 [0.2-1.2] and alubumin levels 5.2 [3.5-5.0]. Recently the rash started becoming a little worse so I consulted some other physician and she told me that I had my bilirubin levels high 1.9 [0.2-1.6] and also my H pylori was still there. She has referred me to a gastroenterologist.

I have gone on a soft diet of eating only rice, milk and fruits. no proteins ( meat, cheese etc) I wonder if I should continue with this diet. I do not drink alcohol or smoke

Please let me know
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Avatar_n_tn
my mother has been in hospital for over 2 weeks has had every test possible done for a liver problem she was ammited with a fever and pneumonia she also had blood work that showed a elavation in the liver rubin i think that is what it is called pain in the right side under rib to back she is yellow eyes are yellow last 10 days has a very bad rash all over her body that itches they are thinking of doing liver biopsy they just can not find out what to do also in the last 3 days when she eats which is no appitite she gets these bouts of extreme gas so bad she can hardly breath in between them i think it is gall bladder they seem to say no they have done all the test everything comes back normal also has seen cancer doctor who can not find cancer what could it be
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Avatar_n_tn
my mother has been in hospital for over 2 weeks has had every test possible done for a liver problem she was ammited with a fever and pneumonia she also had blood work that showed a elavation in the liver rubin i think that is what it is called pain in the right side under rib to back she is yellow eyes are yellow last 10 days has a very bad rash all over her body that itches they are thinking of doing liver biopsy they just can not find out what to do also in the last 3 days when she eats which is no appitite she gets these bouts of extreme gas so bad she can hardly breath in between them i think it is gall bladder they seem to say no they have done all the test everything comes back normal also has seen cancer doctor who can not find cancer what could it be
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Avatar_f_tn
I was just wondering if you found out what you had or any solution to your case? i have pretty much the exact same thing you did except mine was sliiiightly lower numbers on the liver function scale. Anything you can tell me might be able to help because my doctor doesnt know what it is.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have had rashes and my throat closed. I have had pneumonia and nasal polyps, but no allergies have been identified. I have elevated liver enzymes but no risk factors for liver disease. Have been to numerous doctors and no one has a clue. Any ideas?
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Avatar_f_tn
I have had a hive like rash on my arms, elbow and armpit area, my buttocks, inner and outer thighs for over a year now. have had blood tests and my liver enzymes have come back as high 3x. been to allergy clinic, been tested for everything under the sun, now waiting to see dermatologist. Rash is not itchy can become very sore and raw like. When liver enzymes keep coming back as high doc says I just must be fighting something....ya well what is it????
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Avatar_n_tn
I am going through the same thing right now.  Has anyone figured out what allergies, rashes, hives and itching has to do with elevated liver enzymes?
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Avatar_m_tn
I too started with a rash approx 6 weeks ago when i started taking Asacol. My 6mo checkup last week, elevated liver enzymes (very high) and have been normal prior to my starting Asacol.  Could the med be the cause of the liver enzymes and rash.  Rash is primarily on torso but a few places on calf and upper arms.  I was diagnosed with Diverticulitis last June and 3 episodes later, option of surgery or med. I chose the med first. As long as the med is, hopefully, fixing my gastro issue, I think i can deal with the rash/itching.  Any comments appreciated.
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Avatar_m_tn
My 84 year old mother has been suffering from these same symptoms, has been hospitalized numerous times, multiple tests and NO answers. Any help would be very much appreciated!
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Avatar_m_tn
My brother has the exact same symptoms. Did they find an answer for what was wrong with your mother?
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Avatar_f_tn
I've had the same symptoms diagnosed as eczema and went through every test and dr. Imaginable. It worsened the last 5 years or so after long term gastrointestinal problems. I went on both an allergy and candida diet based on my research and personal experience and symptoms before visiting a homeopath. She gave me supplements and tips to.continue this path. Rashes became 95% better and flares stopped after dieting and no alcohol plus exercise, vitamins and probiotics. Also food combining helped a lot. However, I began to flare and have chronic constipation about a month later when getting off the diet and going back to grains and sugars (what can i say, i felt better and old habits die hard). But nothing nearly as bad or long lasting as before. I follow up with a stool test for bacteria and candida. I feel like an overwhelmed liver might have something to do with this...i also may have a leaky gut explaining my food sensativities. also, genetics because my grandmother suffered the same way for years. she blames her liver too and says she was well after four years of dieting...i think it will take a while to rebalancce. Diet is one of the key factors...
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Avatar_m_tn
Primary Biliary Cirrosis (cirrhosis), also known as PBC. An autoimmune liver disease that attacks the liver.  I have ALL the above symptoms.  I was diagnosed in 2006.  Ther itching is much worse. A liver biopsy will confirm.
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Avatar_m_tn
The liver is a tough organ, it can take a lot of abuse. You can damage it repeatedly and it will heal itself. However, there is a threshold and if crossed you are in trouble. Some types of food, medicine and a lot of supplements can mess up your liver. They are not regulated like drugs (even though they are drugs). The bottle cannot claim health benefits, but there is no oversight on what is IN the bottle. Supplements can be impure, the wrong dose, the wrong form or just flat out bad for you. A number of Chinese medicinal items from China are contaminated with heavy metals. I don't think they are all bad, just some. Another big problem is acetaminophen overdose, you can take Tylenol regularly with no problem, but if you take too much it will take out your liver quickly. If you took 3 higher dose pills instead of the recommended two, that'll do it. Also a ton of other OTC and prescription meds already contain Tylenol. If you are unwittingly getting Tylenol from too many sources, again bye bye liver. I would be honest with yourself and your doc about what you ingest. The liver usually recovers nicely once the harmful substance is no longer present.

I have compensated cirrhosis (it's stable) from Sarcoidosis. I'm late to the question, but there's always someone with an itchy rash. When my bilirubin gets high for me (2 or over), I get itchy fast. I scratch and get welts and it takes a long time to get rid of it.

High bilirubin means I've been eating poorly and/or I'm ill, and haven't been drinking my daily veg juice. The more severe the rash and itch, the more vitamin laden the juice. I make fresh juice every three days or so.

Plain ole juice:
2-3 bunches of radishes w/ green tops
1-2 hothouse cucumbers, it depends on size
2 T ACV as preservative
I use an old Cuisinart then squeeze the juice out from pulp*
Daily serving: 4-6 oz of above + 4-6 oz good bottled carrot juice

Additions for stronger juice:

1 bunch Italian parsley
2 T pomegranate molasses**
1-3 t pure blueberry powder***

I would drink the juice with additions every day, but it gets $$$. Usually the plain one does the trick. I can half my bilirubin number in a week

*I mix big mixing bowl pulp with 1 can pumpkin scoop in 1/4 C and freeze
Dog gets 1 ball + kibble 2x day, saved dog's liver after poisoning

**pomegranate molasses is concentrated pomegranate juice. Cheapest in Middle Eastern stores $5 or so.  

***If berries are cheap I eat a pint of fresh blue or raspberries every day. In winter I get blueberry powder at nutsonline.com
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Avatar_m_tn
Edit: If you took 3 higher dose Tylenol instead of the recommended 2 REGULARLY, that'll do it.
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Avatar_m_tn
Have you been tested for Celiac disease and the related skin condition, dermatitis herpetiformis? Celiac disease can cause elevated liver enzymes and the rash you describe sounds like dermatitis herpetiformis. Both are autoimmune diseases that are managed with a gluten free diet. Contact a gastro that specializes in Celiac disease!
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