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"Toxic" or Burdened Liver without elevated Liver Enzymes?

Discussion in 'Gastrointestinal and Urinary' started by TheMoonIsBlue, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. TheMoonIsBlue

    TheMoonIsBlue Senior Member

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    Hi All,

    So I guess I've always been under the impression that if your Liver was having problems "Detoxing", you would likely have elevated liver enzymes (or atleast in the high-normal range). Is this not true?

    I've been on medications and tried so many supplements through the years, yet my liver enzymes are always normal (Thankfully). In fact, not only have they not been elevated, they are usually only slightly above the lowest number in the lab range.

    Does this mean anything, that perhaps my liver is simply not processing a lot of medications?

    Or, on the other hand, could it still be overburdened and having problems detoxing anything I take? I feel like a certain Antiviral I took years ago was very difficult on my entire body after about a year and perhaps the reason I became intolerant to it is because my liver was just totally taxed out. Just a theory though.

    Any thoughts on Liver enzymes and Liver Health in general?

    Thank You!
  2. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

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    Upstate SC, USA
    Are you referring to AST and ALT? If so, my first thought would be yes that these would be elevated if you were needing to detox or having a hard time detoxing. Before I ever became ill with ME/CFS my levels would be at the top of normal range. My physician and I could not figure out why as there just was no logical reason why and just assumed that was going to be my norm.

    During some follow up labwork about 6 months after falling ill with this &%^ I noticed that my enzymes were about 1/3rd of normal range. They have stayed there from mid 2007 until Feb. 2010, which is last time that I had bloodwork done.

    I know that one of them is usually only elevated during, or shortly after, muscle damage is taking place. I'm like you and would think that they should be elevated, but I'm beginning to wonder about specifically those 2 being routinely measured. They are liver enzymes, but I'm not sure their purpose is to indicate the health of your liver. That's a tricky question and I hope someone with in depth knowledge will answer this for us.
  3. Old Salt

    Old Salt Rowing the boat

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    My liver enzymes are normal, yet I have Non Alcohol Sclerosis of the liver! Found by ultra sound and confirmed by MRI.
  4. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    My understanding is that if your pathway for making enough glutathione isn't working well that your liver will have trouble detoxing. Taking glutathione, as many know here, doesn't solve the problem, but you have to take something higher upstream. Rick Vank had a protocol. Also Fredd. I didn't find success with the B 12 and Folate regimen but am actually getting some help now with N-A-C.
  5. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

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    I recently had a PET-CT Scan to follow up on my tonsil cancer and the radiologist noted that I had a severe fatty liver. My PCP did some bloodwork and my liver enzymes are elevated now. I also have not been on the same schedule with my urination and my creatinine is also elevated. I'm wondering if some it is not related to the radio tracer that is used in the PET-CT Scan.

    I could probably help this with some type of cleansing flushes, but I don't have any idea which ones would be the most effective. I'm taking 2000 mg of Vitamin C and 600 mg ALA and a small amount of Milk Thistle. I'm also going to try and loose about 10 - 15 pounds.
  6. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    August, I am really sorry. This is why we need to have specialists in our illness who can treat the overall system, especially as we get older. Maybe a Naturopath could help you if there is one in your area. Whatever can take the strain off the liver might help. Have you looked into N-A-C too, as a glutathione precursor? It is what regular doctors use to treat an overdose of acetaminophen. Good luck with the weight loss! That seems like a good idea. Lots of salads and greens, some fresh fruit and lean sources of protein. But I expect you know about this--
  7. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    My liver tests are always normal, but I get dull pain in the upper-right abdomen when suffering the after-effects of exertion. When I was very ill something in that area felt enlarged and heavy. A GP thought that I might have gall badder problems and ordered an ultrasound scan, but I cancelled the appointment as it would have taken too much of my self-employed time at a busy time of year - I couldn't afford the time off. I still thought it was my liver, and tried to get a scan referral when I was less busy, but my new GP refused!

    Anyway, I don't think that the usual tests show abnormality until there is serious damage, e.g. substantial cirrhosis.

    My own theory about my 'liver' pain is that it is due to the liver having excessive demands put on it by the hyperlactaemia produced by overexertion. It is mainly the liver that has to dispose of this excess lactate/lactic acid, which we produce in excess on exertion. So levels of the enzyme lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) might indicate an excessive lactate burden in the liver. (I'm not sure about this.)
  8. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    MeSci, I didn't know that about the liver having to dispose of the excess lactate or lactic acid. One of the signs that the liver is bogged down that I do know about is our alcohol intolerance. I have gotten this way with acetominophen too --can't take even a half dose without feeling hungover for a big part of the next day. Other meds are becoming intolerable too. Am getting worse, in other words.
  9. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Sorry to hear this - hope you pick up soon.

    Hmmm..remembered that LDH is present in lots of tissues so blood tests might not tell you much about the liver. This page gives some info on LDH blood tests.

    Blood lactate might be a better test if one thinks that the liver is being overburdened with lactate. If this is the cause, then there may be no underlying liver problem, but that it just keeps being overworked.
  10. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    I bet the liver is being overworked. Without the glutathione system working right and then various toxicities and other dysfunctions, it doesn't surprise me that the liver is stressed. I wonder if this is also why a number of people have said in this forum that they feel better when they don't eat, or eat little? Because when we eat, the liver has to attend to that first, right? Plus it has to keep re-processing fat cells in the body. So, giving it a break in terms of food input, enables the liver to try to tackle all its other work.
    MeSci likes this.

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