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elevated liver enzymes
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elevated liver enzymes

My husband's blood test showed that is liver enzymes are elevated, could this be hepatitis?  His ALT showed 54 normal range is (9-43) his AFT showed 40 normal range is (12-36).  I would appreciated any info on this.  Thanks for your help, Dorrie
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Avatar_f_tn
Elevated liver enzymes are a sign that something is killing off cells of the liver. When they die they release an enzyme so the higher the number the more damage being done.

Mine were in the 200s before I started treatment.

Most of us here (all?) have HepC and know mostly about that. None of us are doctors but you will find good advice.

Enzymes can be elevated for a number of reasons and I would imagine the doctor will have to do more testing to see why.  A hepC test would be in order - you would be shocked how many of us have it that have no obvious reason to have (ie: transfusions, IV drugs) but have it none the less.

Best of luck
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91778_tn?1252558770
Hi, and welcome. I think with elevated alt and ast. It is very important to have a hep test done. Mine were about the same and that is what lead me to find out I had hep c. Good luck to you and your husband. Debi
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Avatar_m_tn
Welcome, sorry your husband had an elevated test. It is nerve wracking I know. They can be raised for many reasons but I agree with the others and he should have a simple blood test to rule out viral Hep  as it can be VERY sneaky and show no signs or symptoms at all or elevated enzymes and no other symptoms while it steadily attacks your liver so it would be a good idea to make sure he isnt positive for Hep B or C. If it is negative the doctor can then begin to eliminate the possible other causes to arrive at a reason, there are many. Hep is very common and millions of people have it and do not know it. Many of us here found out we had it entirely by accident and many found out due to a raised enzyme test like your husbands. I would suggest stopping alcohol if he drinks until you get to the bottom of it and avoid OTC drugs like Advil or Tylenol if at a possible.
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Avatar_n_tn
Liver enzymes can be elevated do to muscle strain, excercise many reasons that have nothing to do with liver damage at all. I would have him retest in a few months, if hes a heavy drinker he should slow down or stop. I have never had elevated enzymes and my LFTs are always normal... Go figure and according to my Doc I'm at the beginning stages of liver failure.
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Avatar_f_tn
Dr. Zhang says many things can elevate the liver enzymes: stress, allergies, very hot summer weather, etc. etc. My liver studies were normal until I took 1 1/2 bottle of kava kava. My immune system was so strong my body was dealing with the virus until I took that and it activated the virus and I became chronic. 20% of people overcome the virus on their own in the acute stage and don't become chronic. We can never take kava kava.
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116701_tn?1210262764
liver enzymes can show slightly elevated due to several things and return to normal on next labs. If you throw alcohol at it for instance the night before the doctors visit you could see some irregularities or so says my doctor. Be a good question to ask an actual specialist in the area. Good luck. Dale
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131817_tn?1209532911
I didn't realize you were close to liver failure. What did your biopsy reveal? You may have said, but my brain is a bit feverish today. Your labs are good, at least the studies and people here have reported that tx reverses liver damage in some cases.
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Avatar_f_tn
I didn't realize that either for some reason I didn't think you actually had that much damage!  What do I read and why can't I remember any of it!
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Avatar_n_tn
Here is what my Doc said to me when she called with BX results, She said the results were worse than she would have expected going by LFTS, I was Stage 2 to 3, grade 3, Moderate inflammation
I said what does this mean, she said"you are at the beginning stages of liver failure, and you should treat" They used the Metavir Scale, boy did I want a drink that night, and I'm not much of a drinker.
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107513_tn?1232290064
Stage 2-3 is far from liver failure...People with cirrhosis often live for year before the liver fails, if it does..
You have to obtain cirrhosis, then there are stages for that as well. Decompensated, and compensated.
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Avatar_m_tn
First of all, as a non-professional, I have no idea what "you are close to liver failure" means in any technical sense.

That said, I was dx as stage 3 on the same Metavir scale, and those words, or anything like them, were never used by any of the hepatologists I consulted with.

My understanding -- and it's only that -- is that "liver failure" is advanced stage 4, and while no one can predict with accuracy how far someone with stage 2-3 is from that -- my doctor told me that as a stage 3, I was probably 7-10 years away from cirrhosis.

If you're not seeing a liver specialist (hepatologist) I think it's always a good idea to get a second opinion from one before making a treatment decision.  For me, more information means getting a better perspective on things.

All the best.

-- Jim
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,  I have a comment on the original post about high liver enzymes.  While it is true that there are many things that can cause elevated liver enzymes please do not let that lull you into a sense of security.  I went through many many years of going to primary docs and complaining of symptoms then having blood work done and the elevated enzymes written off as "could be any number of things".  Well after about nine years or so I finally got lucky.  I had an alergic (allergic) reaction to some face cream and the only doc who could see me fairly soon was new to the office, and the profession, well she was looking in my chart and started questioning me so I just unloaded all my thoughts about how I knew there was something wrong because I was in so much pain I was practically disabled, etc, etc... and she agreed that the enzymes had to be looked into further, ordered a ton of blood work, and referred me to a gastro doc.  To make a long story short what had been written off for years as "could be any number of things" was autoimmune hepatitis and it has damaged my liver although thankfully not too badly at this point, but it has. I could just scream when I think of how many opportunities to diagnose this disease were missed because the elevated enzymes were overlooked as something not important enough to warrant further study even though they were 5-8 times the upper limit of normal.

Don't drink any alchohol for at least two weeks and then get tested again.  If they are elevated at all insist on further blood work to rule in/out any other possibilities.  If you are satisfied that your enzymes were the result of a muscle injury, etc. then I would still recommend that at least once a year you ask for them to be tested again so that you can see if they are going up, down, or staying the same.  You never know, it could possibly save your life.
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Avatar_n_tn
I like your opinion much better, you know like they say the glass is half full, after we talked I didn't give what she said much thought, I just figured her to be more aggresive (aggressive) in treating than the Doc that told me 5 years ago not to bother, because I had failed to responed in '95. I feel healthy, except the sx, I will beat time.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi I remember something else she said, that progression from 0 to where I currently am is much slower than from where I am now  to 4.
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Avatar_m_tn
That may be true but a lot is dependent on a lot -- like genotype, gender, age of infection, current age, and other stuff.
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Avatar_m_tn
Just to modify last answer, I've read that progression from stage 3 to stage 4 may be faster than progression between other stages -- but not sure how this extrapolates to someone stage 2-3 and I doubt if anyone could give you a definitive answer on that.
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Avatar_n_tn
Geno 1A, I have had it for 32 years, god that makes me feel old...
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I am a 46 year old female
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Avatar_m_tn
So you got it at 14. Pretty sure I read the younger the age of infection, the slower the progression and also that women progress slower than men -- but keep in mind these are just generalities and cannot predict what will happen to any individual. That's where close monitoring with your doc comes in with a combination of blood tests, scans, biopsies and with less invasive tests of liver stiffness like Fibroscan, now in trial but hopefully more readily available soon.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the information. Have a great evening.

Diana
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131817_tn?1209532911
Whewwww! Glad to hear that you are stage 2/3 and not liver failure. I know that isn't great, but much better than ESLD. How have your sides been doing? Did you ask the dr. about pain meds?
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Avatar_m_tn
The last two posts crossed, but "far from liver failure" sounds about right to me from a statistical point of view.
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Avatar_n_tn
The thing with liver tests is that I would not really pay too much attention to them  if they are just slightly elevated . I had an ALT test done several times this month as I was freaking out that at one point during a routine bloodtest it was 46 (it should have been < 40). Well all I can say is that this liver enzyme fluctuates like hell depending on the amount of sleep you had +  gym you have done the day prior + stress at work and many other factors. So unlike what everyone is claiming the reading of this test is volatile rather than a very stable number that is very hard to knock out.  Subsequently I had ultrasound and all hepatitis tests done and ONE BIG NOTHING. All because I got freaked out with one "46" reading. Even my doc kept repeating if sth is wrong with the liver this test would be a multiple of the norm so dont worry about a slightly elevated ALT test. It just really depends on the time of the day.  Very moody test indeed.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had a little high liver enzyme tests in november, ast=42, alt=62- Now they have increased alot since november, ast=73, alt=94. I have a referral to a GI doc but i know nothing about how likely this is Hep C if anyone knows-or any possibility of viral hep a? Mainly concerned at such a dramatic change in short time-with none of the customary risk behaviors; Can anyone share any experience? I know not to panic until I see gi doc but trying to inform myself and am a little blindsided
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