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Arm pain, High ALT, not overweight, taken Hep B and A vaccine. Hepatitis C symptoms?

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Hello, I wanted to know if you think I should be worried about hepatitus c symptoms or not. I experience severe pain upper over arm (from where the arm starts down from the shoulder and stops half way on in the middle. The pain is especially painful when I bend them, esp at night with arm under pillow. It feels all the time stiff, tender and soar and aching with movement. I am worried this could be nerve stimulation from the spleen, trying to get rid of a virus and maybe is swollen and therefor shows as referred pain. What is the likelihood of that? Also my other concern is the fact that my alt level was 129 this year, and only 29 last year. The only thinkable sexual scenario I can think about, playing with toys ans some fingering with cream/lube (but not sharing) was 5 to 6 years ago. Would that be likely to look at that scenario, when my alt level last year was only 29? Could I rule that episode out, since my level was normal and low last year? Also I d have done some cocaine the last year (not sharing), and one week prior to the blood sample taken. Could that have influenced the high alt level of 129? Hope you can help. Would you be worried if you were me? I am on no medication, I am vaccinated for Hep B and A, and I am not overweight. Putting the arm pain (on the left side of the body) and the high alt together I begin to worry. Heard about joint pain as symptom. Is this my scenario?
Posted Mon, 16 Apr 2012 in Liver and Gall Bladder
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 1 hour later

Thanks for writing to us.

Pain in your arm from shoulder till mid arm is most likely due to a muscular pain or shoulder /neck pathology. Diabetes also needs to be ruled out. A physical examination, Xrays and few blood tests are entailed.

In the meantime, you may try the following for symptomatic relief:
1. Give enough rest to your arm muscles.
2. Take mild pain killers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
3. Stronger prescription NSAIDS with muscle relaxants may help if simple analgesics do not help.
4. Hot compresses to your arm and shoulder will be useful pain relieving measure. You may apply a local analgesic gel on that area.
5. shoulder exercises under the guidance of a physiotherapist can be helpful.

The problem in your shoulder does not seem to be related raised levels of ALT. Playing with toys and coccaine use are probably not related to raised ALT levels too. Rise in its levels may be due to fatty liver or alcohol consumption.

"Single raised reading should not make you concerned so much".

You can get a hepatoprotective drug prescribed from your gastroenterologist and repeat the test after one month.

I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful. Waiting for your further follow up queries if any.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Arm pain, High ALT, not overweight, taken Hep B and A vaccine. Hepatitis C symptoms? 9 hours later
Thank you so much for your great feedback. I just wanted to know 3 more things. 1) if could relax about the episode happening 5/6 years ago knowing that my alt level has been fine every year since then and was 29 last year on examination by doctor? For me it sounds strange that my alt levels would not be more elevated last year if infection happened so long time ago?
2) Also you mentioned a hepatoprotective drug. I was told by my gp to come back two weeks later for another alt test. 2) Is that not too soon to see a difference in alt, and he did not prescribe me any hepatoprotective drug ?
3) Could me taking cocaine a week prior combined with a little bit of some pure alcohol have made the alt levels go up? I usually do not drink alcohol at all. But 10 days prior to the bloodwork I did much cocaine with drinking a small glass of martini
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 1 hour later
Thanks for writing again.

The rise in ALT levels is definitely not due to the infection that happened many years ago.

You can just wait, decrease fatty oily food intake and decrease protein intake slightly.
This will help.

Many ayurvedic preparations are available online which protect liver. You can get ursodeoxycholic acid prescribed from your physician.

Two weeks is a bit early to see any considerable change. You can wait for some more time for a repeat test. May be your physician wants to see the change made by alcohol abstinence.

Drinking alcohol and cocaine are the main culprits even if they are consumed in small amounts.

Wishing you an early recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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