The 12th Invest in ME Research Conference June, 2017, Part 2
MEMum presents the second article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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Elevated liver enzymes

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by kday, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. kday

    kday Senior Member

    I have been having a rough week.

    Anyway, I also found out my liver enzymes are elevated.

    I had a CMP, and the only thing out of range is my liver enzymes

    AST 43 - (0-40)
    ALT 105 - (0-55)

    The only thing I was taking was doxycycline (100 mg BID), and I honestly don't think this is what is raising my enzymes (but it is added stress on the liver).

    I have previously had IV Rocephin. I don't have any gall bladder disease symptoms, but I know it can muck with the gallbladder. However, my Alkaline Phosphatase was normal. Murphy's sign is negative.

    There has been one thing that has been consistent - when my methylation cycle is working right, my urine is dark yellow, at times pretty foamy, and I feel better. When my urine goes clear (which doesn't happen often anymore, but it has happened), it's a sign my methylation cycle is blocked, and I generally feel terrible.

    Now these symptoms have not been consistent with the experience of anyone else that I know of.

    I feel that this may more likely be toxic hepatitis, but perhaps it's my gallbladder or a bile duct. However, all my UAs tests have come back pretty much normal, and I routinely do an at-home urinalysis and there has never been anything like bilirubin in the urine.

    I guess it could be the antibiotic, but I highly doubt it. I was actually given another antibiotic before my labs came back, but I never started it because I had a feeling that an abnormal test would come back from my kidneys or liver. I was right.

    Any ideas on what else it could be? I'm obviously not a physician, but an educated patient throwing out guesses.
  2. LaurieL

    LaurieL Senior Member

    Hi Kday,

    I thought alk phos was an indicator of possible bile duct problems? We are opposites. My liver enzymes were normal except for my alk phos which was 158 U/L 40-125), and HGB 15.7 G/DL (11.0-15.0), HCT 48.5 % (35.0-46.0), and RBC 5.2 million/MCL (3.70-5.10). They also found luekocyte esterase in my urinalysis but no bili or HGB.

    I had a liver ultrasound at the time of those tests results. They went ahead and classed my bile ducts at a high normal size but it was the top end and said if they were any bigger, they would classify them as abnormally enlarged. My gallbladder was clear.

    Your topic interests me, I hope you don't mind my participation.

  3. kday

    kday Senior Member

    Well, I did some research. I am curious to what caused my methylation problems, and why my ALT is going up. It has always made me curious why I responded to methylation treatment so strongly, and my experience didn't reflect the experience of others. I also didn't understand why I required 25 mg injections while others could feel a difference with low dose sublinguals.

    Well, I stumbled upon Arsenic. And then I did some research on Arsenic.

    Susceptibility to Arsenic Toxicity

    Several studies have supported the notion of susceptibility to arsenic toxicity.

    • Primary human hepatocytes have exhibited interindividual variations in the rate of arsenic methylation [Drobna et al. 2004].
    • Arsenite uptake into the liver (and possibly other cells) may be increased in persons with poor nutritional status, which could overtax intrinsic detoxification mechanisms such as methylation [Rossman 2007].
    • Increased uptake of arsenite into the liver of malnourished animals has been shown [Carbrey et al. 2003].
    • Using urinary metabolites, differences in arsenic methylation capacity between population groups and individuals have been observed in several epidemiological studies [Hopenhayn-Rich et al. 1998; Chiou et al. 1995; Concha et al. 2002; Loffredo et al. 2003]. A low rate of arsenic methylation is related to a low rate of excretion.
    • There is conflicting literature supporting the role of methylation in arsenic detoxification. Some literature suggests that methylation of inorganic arsenic may be a toxification rather than detoxification pathway [Kitchin 2001]. Other studies have suggested that other detoxifying mechanisms such as transport, antioxidant defenses, or resistance to apoptosis may be more important in protecting cells than methylation [Yoshida et al. 2004].
    • Several studies have shown that arsenic-induced disease is increased in individuals who are undernourished or malnourished, possibly due to the decrease in arsenic methylation in such conditions [Hsueh et al. 1995; Mitra et al. 2004; Steinmaus et al. 2005].
    • Animal studies have shown that arsenic methylation is affected by nutritional status. A diet low in protein, choline, or methionine showed reduced rates of arsenic excretion implying reduced rates of methylation [Rossman 2007].
    • Methyl group donors such as folate might be important in arsenic detoxification in humans. A deficiency of folic acid promotes and supplementation of folate decreases the risk of cancers in rodents and humans [Rossman 2007]. Therefore, in cells that do not methylate arsenic, folate may be important for other reasons. Folate deficiency impairs DNA repair and alters the pattern of DNA methylation [Rossman 2007].
    • Arsenic and selenium might be mutually antagonistic [Zeng et al. 2005].
    • It has been hypothesized that low selenium levels in the soil may exacerbate arsenic toxicity and carcinogenicity in areas where there is high arsenic in the drinking water [Spallholz et al. 2004].
    • In Taiwan, arsenic over exposed individuals had a reduction in the percentage of inorganic arsenic in urine while the percentage of DMA was increased with the concentration of urinary selenium and serum alpha tocopherol (vitamin E) [Rossman 2007].
    • Since higher selenium levels in the body may promote the methylation of arsenic, it may be reasonable to suggest that a combination of selenium and Vitamin E or other antioxidants may be a safe (if taken as recommended) and possibly useful way to prevent adverse health effects in individuals with arsenic overexposure [Rossman 2007].

    Now arsenic can cause liver problems. And unlike the majority, I had very, very, very high blood pressure at the onset of my illness. I also later developed hyperpigmentation rashes on my back and shins that lasted about 8 months. They sort of resembled eczema, only the texture wasn't too abnormal and they didn't itch. I thought antibiotics made them go away, but maybe it was methylation treatment? It is better now.

    What's even more interesting, is that I researched if where I lived had arsenic problems. Lo and behold it does!

    I don't know if I am onto something, or if I am just going crazy.

    Take care.
  4. aquariusgirl

    aquariusgirl Senior Member

    Is high ALP a sign of gallbladder distress or low ALP?
    The last time I got my liver enzymes tested. My ALP was 38 (42-141 U/L.
    I have definately got sluggish bile problems.

    google says it's a funciton of b6 and folate and vit c deficiency and poss excess vit d.
  5. aquariusgirl

    aquariusgirl Senior Member

    Kyle...just ran across this from Dr Amy Yasko in my notes. Taken from her website Sorry, don't have a link just now..

    Arsenic detox is very directly tied to the methylation cycle. While a
    functioning methylation pathway does effect all metal excretion it does
    not appear to be as direct a relationship, one that requires the transfer
    of methyl groups, as is the case for arsenic.

    As a result, I now believe that excretion of high amounts of arsenic, in
    urine or stool is a measure of a functional methylation pathway. Once the
    pathway is working properly we are in a better position to address chronic
    viral infection and the excretion of additional metals.
  6. Cloud

    Cloud Guest

  7. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia

    My liver tests have been higher than normal for about 6+ years & recently, are getting even worse. One of the few tests outside normal these days. And to me a sign that something's wrong.

    But as to your urine...... You should be drinking enough water so that your urine runs clear. The only time your urine should be yellow is first pee of the morning, when urine has been sitting in your bladder overnight & is stale, & if you're taking Vitamin B supplements (which also turn your urine yellow).

    Beetroot turns your urine and/or stools reddish. Asparagus alters the smell of urine. Diabetes alters the odour of urine. There are actually several reasons for the colour of your urine to change, but in principle it should be clear & regularly passed.

    Of course if you have kidney problems, your urine will also be discoloured or changed in clarity, odour & composition. Abnormal smell, colour, clarity & taste (yes, taste as Tiibetan herbalists will do) is used by many alternative practitioners as a sign of ill health.

    I highly recommend drinking sufficient water to keep your urine clear - I certainly do.

    Regularity of toilet habits are also a sign I use for my own health. After my lumbar back surgery, I made comment to the daily Dr in the Rehabilitation unit, that I thought it was weird that I was peeing hardly at all (despite my regular water consumption) and straight away, he knew that there was a problem with my muscles & nerves in my bladder/pelvic are & ordered a catheter be inserted. Boy, did I fill the catheter bag quickly when they drained all the retained urine.

    In fact, urine/stool colour & composition, colour of eyes, skin colour & condition etc are all good indicators of health (or lack thereof).
  8. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

    australia (brisbane)
    NAC/N-acetyl-cysteine is an amino acid that raises glutathione levels which is our main antioxidant that helps protect the liver. NAC is commonly used intravenously in hopsitals as a successful antidote for paracetamol/tylenol overdoses. I have read studies where oral NAC is just as effective. I have used alot of meds since having cfs and i will probably be on antiviral meds for awhile longer yet, so far my liver function tests have come back fine over the years, so i think NAC has helped protect my liver from using meds for cfs. Theres also another supplement called liv52 that i know bodybuilders have used successfully to protect their livers from the stress of steriod use and have also read studies of how it has helped people with fatty livers, so its worth looking into.
    I also suggest googling both supplements and see what results u get from helping liver conditions.

    good luck

  9. Cloud

    Cloud Guest

    For a few years, when at my sickest, I would pee very cloudy urine following meat consumption. No other foods, including other forms of protein, would cause this to happen....and in my mind, that ruled out some kind of protein catabolism malfunction. Never did understand what was causing that, but it has cleared along with many other bizarre symptoms after returning from the abyss of severe illness. I'm still amazed that anyone can survive being that ill anyhow.

    Just wanted to add a word of caution on using catheters for a distended bladder. Be careful not to drain it out too quickly because it can cause hypovolemic shock.
  10. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    I have a catheter inserted due to nerve paralysis after lower back surgery so I feel sure the Dr in Charge of the Neurosurgical Rehab unit knew what he was doing. Your caution would be good advice for any lay person attempting to do this themselves, though.
  11. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

    Anyone who also has Fibromyalgia taking Lyrica? I took it for awhile and it turned me yellow and I was not taking a high dose. I learned later that it can cause hepatitis and damage your liver. Originally, the drug maker did not post that warning.

    Warnings & Precautions:2,3,7

    Renal Insufficiency – Patients who are renally compromised (creatinine clearance < 60 mL/min) require a 50% reduction in dose compared to those who have a creatinine clearance > 60 mL/min. Dosage should be reduced 50% for each 50% decrease in creatinine clearance below 60 mL/min.

    Stopping Therapy – Pregabalin dosages should be gradually decreased for at least one week before the medication is discontinued.

    Sedation – Because pregabalin can induce sedation, caution should be exerted when the medication is first employed. Patients should avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until the medications full effects are realized.

    Hepatic Effects – Elevated liver enzymes have been seen with high doses of pregabalin. drug monographs/pregabalin.htm
  12. pken


    I think any of us who are taking medication (of any sort) or extra doses of vitamins or herbs should make sure we are taking extra care of our liver. After all anything we put in our bodies has to be processed out somehow so we're adding stress into an already stressed "machine".

    I second the NAC suggestion as it's cysteine, a natural amino acid - and raising glutathione is probably a good thing anyway. The other pro-liver supplement I found helpful was lipoic acid, in the K-RALA form. The regular form is somewhat controversial as it seems to have half good, half potentially bad lipoic acid in it. Like cysteine, lipoic acid is also naturally found inside us so it appears likely to more good than harm. That said, it's used to chelate heavy metals so side effects are possible - but I would far rather take supplemental endogenous componds instead of herbs that may or may not be hepatoxic (or have any other unintended negative effects) in the long run.

    I'd also only take a supplement for my liver (or anything else), if it actually made me feel significantly better in a fairly short time - or improved my test results. Taking stuff just because it should work doesn't seem to be a smart move to me especially with the direct consequences of overburdening of our livers.

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