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Blood tests for liver and kidney function..Accurate?

I am wondering now after years of unexplained symtoms, what the accuracy of blood tests are for liver and kidney function. (I also had an ultrasound that was normal).  I've had varying symptoms over the years, many of which could be related to my liver or kidneys but blood tests always were normal.

I've read in some places that you may fall within the "normal" range but there could still be problems that aren't detected.  Has any of you ever had experiences in this area or have knowledge in this respect?
4 Responses
Avatar universal
That can be true. I was told 25% of people with cirrhosis will have normal enzyme readings. A Heptologist opinion might be very helpful. The only way to tell is with a liver biopsy, a biopsy is the gold standard for determining liver condition. The other tests can miss it in some people. Are ou seeing a specialist now? I hae seen many primary docs attribute people's symptoms to "anxiety" and ignore the patient because the preliminary tests show no issues. It is frustrating. Keep working at getting answers!
Avatar universal
Hi Kalio.  

Thanks for responding.  It has been a very difficult time with a lot of ongoing symptoms - some have remained constant over time, others seem to have evolved a bit.  As I say, bloodwork keeps coming up normal, but with the small amount of petechiae that has shown on my fingers, they are checking my platelet count and what not again.  I don't have jaundice, but I do bruise fairly easily and also, I've noticed a lighter colored ring around my pupil that I don't recall being there before.    My eyes used to be very blue but seem to be "lightening" up with me not feeling well.  I have a number of the symptoms of liver or kidney problems, but no problem with these organs has been diagnosed.

The docs keep attributing all my problems to "stress", no matter how severe the symptoms are, no matter what the symptoms are.  I believe I feel better during periods of reduced stress and why wouldn't I right? but I don't think the whole thing can be discounted to stress and anxiety.

Haven't seen a hepatologist - I am in Canada and it takes a long time to even see a specialist. I've been through gastrointestinal testing, but that's about it.  For this reason, I am looking to head south to get a complete workover as far as evaluation and testing.  Besides I don't think the doctors would even give me a referral even if I begged them, as long as the blood test results come back normal!

I'm a bit reluctant to pay for this medical testing as I wonder if it will reveal nothing just like that done here to date, but I guess I will never know unless I do it.  

Do you have some experience in dealing with Hepatologists?

Avatar universal
I am not familiar with the Canadian system but I know doctors attribute hard to disagnose issues to "stress" and leave the patient hung out to dry at times. It can be very discouraging. Stress can and does cause physical symptoms so they are partially correct. Depression can cause physical symptoms too and it is pretty depressing when you are sick and can't get answers! I was undiagnosed and it was horrid. I would try to be seen in a Teaching hospital if you can.
What are your symptoms?
Avatar universal
I have many symptoms - quite diverse it seems.  Started out as mostly gastrointestinal and now some neurological.  They include
weird headaches (like someone hit me on the head), tinnitus, nausea, lack of energy, dry or numb throat, burning in chest, weight loss (lots), sour or bitter taste in mouth, and a knot in my abdomen at times.  Don't know if all of these can be explained by any one thing and some are very likely from stress, but I still believe there is underlying problem(s).
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