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Taking zoloft for anxiety. Have high ALT and AST level. Chances of having liver or pancreatic cancer?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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I have had chroniclly high AST and ALT number for about 2 decades. The ranges go anywhere from 25 -67 for my AST and 39 - 111 for my ALT. The current numbers as iof yesterday are AST 67 - ALT 111. I am a hypochondriac and am now sure that i have liver or pancreatic cancer.
I am 6'1" and weigh about 265 so fatty liver is a possiblity. I am also on Zoloft for anxiety and for the past month have been taking higer than normal levels of Advil due to a pulled muscle. Am I dying, and are these numbers something to be worried about?
Posted Wed, 30 Jan 2013 in Liver and Gall Bladder
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 1 hour later
Thanks for posting your query.
This is a common query by most people who have taken a liver function test.

I would like to clarify at the outset itself that when a liver function test is interpreted there two things to consider: Symptoms and Level of liver enzymes.

If the patient has no symptoms and the levels are not more than three times the baseline values then it is considered normal.
So presuming you do not have symptoms like fever, bloating, pain in the right lower chest, yellowish discoloration of skin and eyes, I do not find the values of liver enzymes concerning.
This can happen both due to the consumption of alcohol, intake of pain killers as well as sedentary lifestyle. This is not at all related to a liver cancer like you are presuming.
Things to be done by you
Get your blood sugar and lipids checked up
Get your viral hepatitis markers done
Reduce your weight
Reduce consumption of calories and sweets.
If your triglycerides are high,take anti lipid medicine
Do regular exercises
Take plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
Quit fast foods and aerated cold drinks
Wait for 6 weeks and get your SGOT,SGPT and ultrasound abdomen done.
In all probabilities,you shall have lot of improvement however,if no improvement then you should consult a Gastroenterologist for detailed evaluation of your liver.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Taking zoloft for anxiety. Have high ALT and AST level. Chances of having liver or pancreatic cancer? 32 minutes later
Thanks, that really helps. I'm going in for an ultrasound of my abdomen next week, but what is it they are looking for?
I have also been concerned that it could be related to pancreatic cancer. Is that a possibility? Or I guess likely, anything is possible I suppose.
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 4 hours later
Thanks for writing again.
An ultrasound will confirm about fatty changes in the liver or any gall bladder pathology.
Pancreatic cancer is not a possibility without any constitutional signs and symptoms.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Taking zoloft for anxiety. Have high ALT and AST level. Chances of having liver or pancreatic cancer? 10 hours later
I am probably being silly but let me follow up with this.

Like I said, I had a bad case of bronchitis last month which I am still recovering from. I actually coughed so hard that i ended up in the ER twice because I pulled a muscle or cracked a rib or something. I was given morphine both times and went home and soon felt better. The muscle pain happened on both sides of my ribcage. The pain on the left side has largely gone away but the pain on the right side. low on my rib cage, while not anywhere near as bad as it was, is still there. Is it possible that I coughed so hard that I bruised my liver?
In the er they did an MRI of the area and said there were no broken bones.
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 8 hours later
Coughing cannot cause a bruising on the liver. The mild pain that you have is likely to be due to a mild chest wall muscular injury which will subside after rest and hot fomentation. Please do not worry.
You can consult me again directly through my profile URL
Please accept my answer in case there are no further queries and recommend our services to your friends too if you have found it helpful.
I wish you the very best in whatever you do.
Warm regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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