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Started drinking infrequently. Liver scan, blood and urine test done. What are the risks?

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Iam now 26 and drink very infrequently, maybe drink 3-4 times in a month maybe less but all within the UK drinking limits. However when I was a bit younger I drank quite heavily and have been admitted to A&E a few times for alcohol poisoning although those days are definately behind me, I feel I can't drink to that extent anymore, I definately have a smaller threshold on how much alcohol I can take before I have to stop and so nowadays I sometimes struggle to drink a pint (should that be worrying?)

I had a routine blood test in April this year which came back with some abnormalities. The doctor didn't go into much detail just that some results within my liver and kidney's were abnormal and mentioned about my ALT in my liver being especially high. She asked me to go for a repeat blood test in which they were going to do a full Kidney and Liver Profile.

I got the results this morning and the GP mentioned that my GGT in my liver has gone from 140 ish to 240 and I have low sodium (she didn't say how low) she also didn't say what my other kidney or liver results were like.

She wants to do a liver scan, a urine test and a repeat blood test for:

a Liver profile (albumin, billirubin, alanine, aminotranferase, alkaline phosphatise)
a kidney profile (sodium, potassium, chloride, urea, creatinine)
a calcium profile (calcuim and corrected calcium)
they also want to test my glycerated heamoglobin, serum osmolarity, liver antibodies, caeroplasmin, Iron studies, AFP, Alpha Antitrypsin and test me for Hep B

She asked me about my alcohol intake as she said high GGT and low sodium does go hand in hand with heavy drinking but I said although I did used to be a heavy drinker I really don't drink much so she thinks this could be non alcohol related as she said if my heavy drinking has stopped 2-3 years ago my liver function results would be back to normal now althought I will try and abstain from alcohol/write down my intake just to see if this may affect my results.

I feel fine in myself but I do find myself feeling sick for no particular reason sometimes (every now and again) which passes off itself (without vomiting) and I do find myself fairly tired out at lot. Im am overweight but I'm desperately trying to loose the weight by doing exercise 2-3 times a week. I know being overweight could affect your GGT but could it affect it this much?

I am a bit worried about all this and just need a heads up on what my doctor maybe testing for with all these blood tests and what could be going on with my liver (could this be serious?)

Any help would be much appreciated

Many Thanks
Posted Wed, 15 Aug 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Poorna Chandra K.S 18 hours later
hi and thanks for contacting healthcare magic
Its nice to hear that you have moderated your alcohol intake but it would be better if you stop it all together.
GGT is a measure of oxidative stress at the liver level and can be elevated in any illness, drugs, liver congestion or failure.
AST and ALT are markers of liver injury and are more suggestive of liver damage.
The high GGT and AST can be found in people who
1) actively drinking
2) liver disease with superadded infection or inflammation
Liver injury/ inflammation may manifest only with loss of appetite and fatigue initially. Hence I think your doctor is trying to look at all the causes of liver inflammation as the current alcohol intake is less. Obesity may also be associated with liver inflammation.
Further deductions can be made only after looking at all the reports. Meanwhile take a low salt, high protein diet and exercise regularly.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Started drinking infrequently. Liver scan, blood and urine test done. What are the risks? 1 hour later
Thank you so much for such an informative answer, just wondering something which I maybe entirely wrong about but would stress affect these results at all? As I have recently lost my father and have been caring for my mum since. I also have a very high coffee intake which I know isn't great for my health either, could this affect my kidney/liver results? Also like I have said before I am slightly overweight (14 stone) which makes my BMI quite high but I'm not overly obesed if you look at me could that in itself be causing these high figures with nothing wrong internally with me?
Also you mentioned a low salt diet but my doctor said I had low sodium, does that matter?
Many Thanks again for your help XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Poorna Chandra K.S 15 hours later
hi and thanks for the followup
Hepatitis may be due to infections, drugs, alcohol, congestion, excess copper or iron and excess fat in people who are obese and overweight.
Stress perse does not cause hepatitis but may produce circumstances where the other injurious agents star acting.
People with liver disease have a tendency to retain salt and water and may have low saltin blood because of dilution. Speak to your doctor regarding this issue.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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