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son 30 some pain now but pale stools and alt elevated?? Fatigued!!

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by hensue, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. hensue

    hensue Senior Member

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    Help

    I thought we had found the culprit and what was wrong with my son. He went to a spine specialist and neurosurgeon. His s1-l5 disc is completely blown.
    Pressing on the cord they gave him steroids to help inflammation.

    Day or two before this he started passing pale stools and his ALT enzyme is elevated!!! He can barely function and I am sick with worry.

    He has an ultrasound on abdomen and liver etc. scheduled for this wednesday.

    He has been taking klonopin 1 mg and generic celexa 40 mg. I told him to try and cut the klonopin out.

    My husband has had Hep c for possibly 25 years. He is 62 years old and his is chronic so far so good.


    I am so worried my son's liver is failing. I know all of you are so smart and I will be with him in NC going back had to come get my dog.

    I thought we would be having back surgery.

    I cannot loose my son. He has said everyday since april he is dying and no one would listen. We now have new docs but what do you think?

    Take care
    Susie
     
  2. kurt

    kurt Senior Member

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    Umm, I hope they are testing your son for Hep C as well as other possible infections. What makes you think his liver is failing? Has his skin color changed like is seen with acute liver failure? The liver can sometimes get 'sick' and not work well for atime, also the gall bladder may be blocked, causing pale stools, but that does not automatically mean liver failure... I would be giving him some liver support supplements anyway, not hard to find info on the net about them (Milk Thistle is particularly helpful).

    Disclaimer, I'm just speaking from my own experience with chronic liver detox issues...every situation is unique
     
  3. hensue

    hensue Senior Member

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    Thanks Kurt

    The reason I think this is because he is so ill. All the docs thought he was depressed and panic disorder. He never complained about dying or pain until April.
    My husband has had the hep c and never had these kind of issues. All his blood work liver wise is elevated but he takes milk thistle and vitamins etc.
    Since April he has told me he feels like he is dying. We finally find out about the blown out disc and two others in his upper not as bad but bad.

    The elevated ALT just started and the stools like sand colored not dirty sand. So if it is hep c ?? does this mean his liver is shutting down? He can barely walk upstairs. He has had an anxiety disorder and fatigue ( not like this) his whole life. He has had depression and full blown panic attacks. Now it is different he has always had energy. He is sick he is not yellow yet but he looks like he is retaining a lot of fluid in abodomen. He has been to the emergency room prob 10 different times since April. He has been to the doc that told him his back injury and all his pain was fibro and chronic fatigue. He must have seen him 20 times. I finally went with him and he said we will fudge and try to get him an mri of his back. He finally got the MRI were relieved and found out severe disc blow out very large. Two others blown but not as big. I remember now they found a cyst on his kidney.

    What would cause him to be this way? hep c is a killer. Could it be a fatty liver? He has just accepted the fact he is going to die. I cannot tell you how bad it has been for him to get the docs to pay attention!!
    He is overweight and do you think the drugs could have caused it?

    I am trying to be very strong around him. With this condition we have it is not easy.

    Thank you so much for replying. I feel a teeny bit better all ready.
     
  4. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    I wish I more helpful info for you, but I just wish to say that one must go off klonopin very, very slowly.
    Quitting from one day to the next, or reducing by too much too quickly, can cause a whole other set of problems,
    which it is clear he does not need. Titrate off in very tiny bits, holding each lowered dose for some time before lowering further.
    This gets more obvious as you get below the last .5mg tablet--important to go slowly at that point.

    I am so sorry to hear he is so ill, and to hear of the suffering you are both going through.
    Sending you both so much love.

    p.s. Light-colored stools can also be caused by giardia. Maybe run a GI panel.
     
  5. hensue

    hensue Senior Member

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    Leela glad you reminded me about the klonopin. Did not know that about giardia. I remember my x daughter in law having that and she was really ill.
    He is down to .5 and I told him not to take anymore. I just looked on the drug.com and adverse reaction would be pale stools. Severe reaction.
    I will call him to night and tell not to go cold turkey. Cut back for a while.
    I am feeling the love and couchland USA is funny bot not. Gotta have some humor love it!

    Susie
     
  6. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    :hug:Hugs to you both, Suzie, direct from Couchland!
     
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  7. Sparrow

    Sparrow Senior Member

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    I'm so sorry that you're both going through that!

    Obviously I can't comment with any certainty, but if it helps, I had really pale stools for a while. Like, almost white. But they went back to a light camel sort of colour, and then to a lightish brown, and I'm still okay months later, so it seems that whatever it was, it was a temporary problem.

    I think it's part of the nature of ME is that there just isn't enough energy to go around, so sometimes various body systems get shorted a bit while somewhere else is higher priority. And then resource distribution shifts again when a problem in some other system gets desperate. I know I've felt often like something was right on the verge of shutting down. So even though he feels like he's dying (which I know I sure did at my lowest), he may pull through even if his doctors aren't able to figure things out. It's just not easy on the body, and definitely not a pleasant ride.

    Liver troubles are understandably worrying. Are any of the supplements he's taking known to do that? I know some common ones can cause issues for some people (valerian, etc.). I would try a search of each supplement name along with "liver inflammation" and see if you get any hits.

    I hope that the situation improves soon. Best wishes to you. This kind of serious illness is so scary.
     
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  8. kurt

    kurt Senior Member

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    Hmm, giardia usually includes a lot of weight loss and I believe 60% of the time chronic diarrhea.

    If I were a doc, I would give your son the work-up to eliminate all other causes of the fatigue before considering a CFS diagnosis. But if he has had that done, it may be time to look seriously at CFS with a doc who knows this illness. That type of doc will look into the common CFS co-infections (Herpes activation, particularly HHV4, HHV5, HHV6, EBV, mycoplasma, Lyme (borrelia burgdorferi bacteria), Babesia, rickettsia, coxsackie, parvo, protozoans, candida, etc).

    And just based on my own experience battling this crazy illness now for 15 years, I would guess that your son has acute adrenal exhaustion from the lengthy undiagnosed back problems. Chronic pain can TRIGGER the onset of CFS. The pain can exhaust the adrenals and re-program the brain to become oversensitive (paranoia, anxiety, irritability, panic attacks, etc) in susceptible people.

    I had a different trigger, but still have literally been through something that sounds similar to what your son is going through, as have others here. The early years of CFS can be a very difficult experience. Also, I have a number of the co-infections, an immune system that is barely functional on its own (I take supplements that help), and have had all types of liver and detox issues. In fact I have more problems than what you have mentioned (it can get even more exciting) but won't mention those, hopefully he'll never find out.

    The only reason I am telling you this is because I went through a year where I thought for sure I was going to die every night. It was the worst year of my life, I don't like to even remember it. But I did not die, and focused my efforts on solving the problems I COULD solve, one at a time. I was on benzo drugs for 8 years, and tapered off only after I had addressed the anxiety issues, etc. I moved to get away from mold, had a total dietary overhaul, learned skilled relaxation techniques, became a bit of a herbalist and an integrated/functional med doctor taught me about natural medicine. It's really a long story, I have a personal blog where I recorded everything I did, and that covers several years (message me for the link to that if you like). No longer have anxiety or panic, no longer expect to die every day, and have partial restoration of functionality. I'm still learning, I think we all are, but I think there is hope for your son, if he has this illness. Just don't get too freaked out right now, take issues one at a time. Most important is to accept the situation. If you are desperate, trying to find a quick cure, doctors may interpret that wrong and try treatments that have little chance of helping. Those treatments can make CFS worse. So you need to find competent medical advice, learn all you can, etc. I know this all may seem overwhelming, but CFS is just one of many possible chronic health problems a person can acquire. This is a valid life pathway, not fun but also you and your son are not alone.
     
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  9. valentinelynx

    valentinelynx Senior Member

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    Susie,

    I am an MD. Although a full workup is needed, I can tell you that pale stools and elevated liver enzymes (ALT) are strongly suggestive of a blocked bile duct (usually by gallstones). Bile cannot pass to the stool so the stool lacks the color from the bile contents and is pale. The enzymes can rise because the liver is unable to pass the bile. The ultrasound is to look for gall stones blocking the ducts. Liver failure is highly unlikely in this scenario. The stones may pass on their own, or a procedure may be needed.

    Of course, this may not be what he has at all.
    I wish you and him all the best!
     
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  10. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    I'm definitely not an MD, but it really does look like there are a lot of causes for elevated ALT that aren't serious. And many of them are pretty normal side effects from ME/CFS, like a mono reactivation, diabetes, or muscle dysfunction. While it is possible that your son has multiple serious illnesses, the more likely explanation is that one disease (ME/CFS) is causing most of the problems.

    Another side effect from ME/CFS is elevated glutamate, which the Klonopin he's taking is helping to counter. Elevated glutamate can cause a lot of nasty symptoms, such as anxiety and possibly seizures. Unless his doctor think he should go off of it, it's probably doing a lot more good than harm, especially if he's on a low dose (1mg or less) such as is usually used with ME/CFS.

    Liver damage from klonopin is quite rare, even at normal doses (4-8mg). And if he does go off of it, he'll probably need to find something to replace it with quickly, since the elevated glutamate levels probably aren't going to stop until ME/CFS is cured.
     
    hensue likes this.
  11. markmc20001

    markmc20001 Guest

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    I'm always afraid to give advice, because everybody is so different. I sometimes give bad advice too! So please do your homework and check with others to distill the information down to something that suits your situation. I don't read the research, but have to go by feel only. For me it is trial by error and fire unfortunately. :headache:

    I've had pale stools a couple time recently and come out of it ok. I'm mostly housebound, but not bedbound though and pretty young. It turned out to be amoxicillan in my case once. Can't remember what set it off the other time.

    My doctor is having me take vitamin E for the liver. I take one that combines the various forms of E. I have no idea if it actually helps or not(can not feel it). I take it anyway.

    I think good probiotic can make a noticable difference for my health. I take Klaire labs probiotic. I buy the powder because I think it is a better value. You can get the bestprice by googling a bit. I can feel the probiotic work.

    http://www.totaldiscountvitamins.com/product/32030/klaire_labs

    The milk thistle seems to be mild and might help. Good quality is important here. I think I can feel it sometimes, but I would say the probiotic is more helpful. I take three a day. I think I had good luck with life extension brand.

    http://www.iherb.com/Life-Extension-Silymarin-100-mg-50-Capsules/4373?at=0

    Not sure if you want to stop the anti-depressant celexa, but I know celexa made me spacy. I think the spaciness might be related to stomach or liver function somehow. Actually the Celexa made me feel excitotoxic.(that is the spacey/anxiety/glutamate type response the klonopin supposed to help).

    Another thing is caffine. That can be difficult for my liver and stomach issues. Quitting caffine is hard, but really helps me. There is alot of people who claim to do well on caffine, but if he is taking klonopin and has anxiety. Caffine is a suspect in my book.

    1) I would defintely try a good probiotic.

    2) consider reducing/stopping the caffine

    3) serioulsy consider if the celexa is helping. (with your doctors input of course, because there might be a problem with stopping cold turkey) This is something only your son would know if it is still helping. But it is a red flag that your son is on celexa and on klonopin. becuase the two drugs are fighting each other in my opinion. The celexa made me wired, and the klonopin helped take the wired edge off. It could be he is taking one drug to offset the side effects of the other. Not good. Enough Magnesium will help that wired anxious feeling a little over time.

    Maybe eat chicken, eggs, turkey, and fish,for protein instead of red meat. The red meat is hard to digest.

    Avoid processed foods and sugar. All those strange chemicals in soup, sauced up foods, and MSG, autolyzed yeast extract. All that stuff will be hard on the liver and anxiety. No alcohol.

    Oh yeah. Maybe eat some papaya with a little lemon juice. That is good for enzymes.

    I've found that what I DON'T eat is as important as the supplements I DO take. Diet and stomach health is huge is our business.

    Good luck!
     
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  12. leaves

    leaves Senior Member

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    fatty acids such as r-lipoic acid and fish oil may help this
     
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  13. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    So many excellent postings here, wow. I hope the solution reveals itself.

    Kurt, I'm sorry to hear you went through a whole year of profound awfulness. You make an important point about chronic pain and adrenal exhaustion.

    While it seems unlikely giardia is the culprit here, due to all the other symptoms, I did want to point out that while it is more common to have weight loss and diarrhea with giardia, I had neither--just pale stools and intense abdominal discomfort and bloating, exhaustion, confusion, and digestive distress. It was a stubborn infection and the trigger event for my ME diagnosis, hence the suggestion to check it out, just in case. The gall bladder suggestion sounds really worth looking into. Either way, pale stools in my understanding are associated with poor fat digestion (not enough bile, so steering clear of unnecessary fats might be helpful. Marc's liver support suggestions etc are wise ones.

    I find hexane-free castor oil packs over abdo area very relaxing and helpful to all the digestive organs. Juicing organic veg (including fresh dandelion greens) & some fruit, and the diet suggestions of marc got me through Hep A with crazy high liver enzymes. The thing about the juice is it gets lots of micronutrients right in, without having to do much digesting. Beets and greens clean and build the blood, in general the juice helps clear toxins and support the liver.
    And yes, a full work-up seems in order.

    Hoping for the best :balloons:
     
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  14. hensue

    hensue Senior Member

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    I saw where the doc is doing two different ultrasounds. One is for the liver and abdomen and the other he has to drink a lot of water and I believe it was for the bladder? Sand colored stools light sand not white or gray.

    I forgot he is having urinary problems. He use to go like 3 times a day. Now constantly and sometimes no control. Never has he gotten up to use the John. Now he does.

    We attributed that to blown out disc. Hopefully it still is. That is why doc gave him the methyl prednisone?? to reduce swelling around his cord and lumbar region.
    I have gotten some sleep and feel better about things. I really do not want to panic. Did I already say his tryglicerides and bad chloleserol all that is real High?

    Something is def wrong but I am sure he will find out. He is an hour away from charlotte nc. So we have Duke and Chapel hill available if needed.
    Thank you all so much for replying you make me feel better.
    I guess we might not find out wednesday he has an appt the following week. So hopefully it will reverse itself soon.
    Take care and I am taking in everything everyone says. You never know?
    Susie
     
  15. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Diabetes insipidus (not mellitus), is likely a common side effect in ME/CFS. If we have trouble producing cysteine, we're likely to have trouble producing anti-diuretic hormone, which is what tells our body to hold onto fluids. So somewhat excessive peeing is fairly normal (for us).
     
  16. aprilk1869

    aprilk1869 Senior Member

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