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Should i be concerned about elevated liver enzymes in my blood tests? - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 26-Mar-2014
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Liver and Gall Bladder
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 106 Questions
User:I have recently receive blood test results indicating that my liver enzymes are elevated. I am wondering how concerned I should be with these blood test results. I live in a small community where my doctor is a buddy of mine and I am not sure that I want to talk to him about these results which were from an outside company. I am 39 years old. I consume alcohol daily. I also take Pantoprozale 40mg, Bystolic 10MG, and Tramadol 150 mg every day. I feel healthy. I am relatively fit. I am not overweight. Other then the following results SGOT (AST) 122 U/L, SGPT (ALT) 156 U/L, and GGT (GGTP) 242 U/L, everything else on my blood chemistry profile came back "normal".

I realize that stopping drinking alcohol would help bring these levels back to normal. I have stopped for a couple weeks at a time each year in the past couple years but do not want to do so now if I do not have to. I do not drink during the day. I have never had a d.u.i. or drive even after consuming a single alcoholic beverage. In other words, alcohol has never caused a problem in my life other then the elevated liver enzymes. My question is can I live with my liver enzymes where they are at and not experience any other problems. I do not have any symptoms of illness. I am happy. I have a wonderful job, wife, children, friends and life and I really do not want to change anything in it...... including alcohol consumption.

Please let me know how concerned I should be with my blood test results.

Let me read your query for few minutes to be able to have a good discussion here.
User:That sounds fine. Thank you.
Doctor:Hello Mr. XXXXXXX I have gone through your query carefully
Doctor:Elevated liver enzymes to the levels seen in your case usually occur with alcohol consumption, and this elevation means that your liver is being damaged on a regular basis
Doctor:The problem with that kind of long standing liver damage is the high probability of cirrhosis of liver
User:How concerned should I be with this? How long does it take for cirrhosis to take place?
Doctor:To answer your specific question, in my opinion, you would do better to cut down on the amount of alcohol you consume on a daily basis as well as the frequency of alcohol consumption
Doctor:Cirrhosis is not a uniform phenomenon in all individuals who drink, some people develop cirrhosis even with moderate drinking in as short a duration as 2 years and some don't even after heavy drinking for a lifetime
User:I have recently taken Percocet for a period of 3 months due to complications from my Vasectomy. I also consumed alcohol while taking percocet nightly. I now know that percocet contains Tylenol which is a very bad combination with alcohol on the liver. Is it possible now that I am no longer taking percocet, the liver enzymes will begin to lower while still consuming alcohol??
Doctor:But in general, alcohol consumption is kind of directly proportional to the chances of developing cirrhosis
User:So, with the levels I gave you, am I in any danger at this time?
Doctor:Yes, it is quite possible that your liver enzymes will go down now since you have stopped percocet
Doctor:The point I was trying to make is.. even with the numbers you gave me, it is hard to predict the risk of developing cirrhosis exactly
User:I see. Is there a test for cirrhosis? If I do not have cirrhosis, are these levels okay then?
Doctor:that said, yes, the levels you have are generally considered as worrisome
Doctor:Cirrhosis is a chronic issue, the early signs can be picked up on a CT scan or an ultrasound scan
Doctor:So you can go for that
Doctor:is there anything else I can help you with?
User:I see. If I were to have an Ultrasound done, I would be able to determine whether I have or am contracting Cirrhosis or not.
User:Is there a way to get an Ultrasound done via an on line referral or doctor that you know of?
Doctor:No, there is no way of getting an ultrasound done via an online referral
User:Okay. So, in summary, there is no way to tell from the blood results that I have given you whether I am causing any long term damage to my body. Further testing would have to be done.....
User:With the levels elevated to where they are now, is there a possibility of immediate problems surfacing?
Doctor:You are causing long term damage to your body
Doctor:that is what the elevated liver enzymes mean
Doctor:but we can not quantify that damage exactly
Doctor:No, there is no possibility of any immediate problems
User:Okay. I appreciate your help. I knew going into this conversation that alcohol consumption is not a positive thing on my body.
Doctor:You are welcme
Doctor:Alcohol consumption in moderation is okay
Doctor:it is not good for anyone in any amounts
Doctor:because liver is not the only organ affected by alcohol
Doctor:each time you drink alcohol, some brain cells die out
Doctor:the heart gets affected
Doctor:the digestive system gets affected
Doctor:But as long as you understand that, alcohol consumption occasionally, in moderate quantities should be fine
User:I know I should not drink. I need to get some hobbies that get me more active but right now, my wife travels for work and I am home at night with friends and three small children four years and under.
Doctor:In that case, I would say, you would take care of your children better when you are not under the influence of alcohol
Doctor:So the choice is yours, whether you want to be healthy or not
User:Would regular exercise in the mornings help counteract the negative affects of alcohol consumption at night or are the two unrelated?
Doctor:Regular exercise would definitely help
Doctor:but not in the case of brain cells
User:The alcohol consumption starts after they are in bed. I have a large gym in my house that has been unused since the three children were born.
Doctor:it would counteract the effects of alcohol on liver and heart
User:Okay. I will start exercising regularly again. I was used to doing so daily until the children were born.
Doctor:In my opinion, it is still best if you could reduce the total amount of alcohol you consume and reduce the frequency
Doctor:sure, that would keep you fit and happy as well
User:Thanks you!
Doctor:You are welcome
User:You, as well.
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