Functions of the liver

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by valleyann, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. valleyann

    valleyann New Member


    I should start this post off by telling you (some may know already), that I am being tested for liver disease this month...on the 20th. My ALT enzymes have been elevated for the past 2 years. They have done blood tests and an ultrasound and still have no answers. So I am going to a specialist where he will most likely perform a liver biopsy on me.

    For the past few months I have been doing alot of extensive research into the many functions of the liver. Now that I am pretty informed on both Western and Eastern thinking I have come up with a few thoughts I would like to share with you all...

    Firstly I want to say that I can say that it is possible that each symptom I have could be directly linked to my liver not functioning properly.

    The following is a list of my symptoms that I think can be directly linked to my liver:
    -soreness in muscles/tendons/ligaments
    -tension headaches
    -extreme fatigue
    -irregular menstraul periods
    -fibroid tumors in my uterous
    -GERD (acid reflux/heartburn)
    -Canker sores

    I found this great website that talks about the functions of the liver and it linked all of the above to the liver. It was based on Eastern Medicine. I don't have the website address right now, but I can post it later (when I get home).

    I do however, have a quote I pulled off of a website about canker sores being related to the liver:

    "Sores arise as a discharge of waste that is not being cleansed by the liver and kidneys. Canker sores, therefore, indicate a depressed liver and kidney function. Treatment consists of strengthening both of these organs so that blood can be more efficiently cleansed and detoxified."

    I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia a few months back now and thought the disease accounted for some of my problems...and that I also had the stomach/digestive problems, uterous problems, etc. But now that I've done some research on the liver I think everything might be linked! I don't know why but I feel like this is a break through for me. If by chance I do have liver disease and they can treat it, could it be possible that it will help all my other problems?

    I wanted to share this with you all just incase someone else has similar symptoms to mine, that I might be able to help them or give any advice I may have.

    If anyone has any input on this I'd love to hear what you think.

  2. valleyann

    valleyann New Member

    This gives you both the Western and Eastern perspectives on the liver.

    I'm still searching for the one Eastern Medicine website that really made the lightbulb in my head turn on. I'll post it when I find it.

  3. findmind

    findmind New Member

    Hi, Val...

    I had elavated liver enzymes on a regular 6 mos checkup...ended up getting a liver biopsy.

    Diag: NASH (Non Alcoholic Steato Hepatitis, which the National CFIDS Association had an article about in one of their issues of the Forum (its an org if you want to google it).

    I immediately started taking a very good Milk Thistle, and within 6 months, the Gastro said he didn't need to follow me any more.

    The liver biopsy only involved about 10 seconds of pain...the anesthetic prior to the needle was very effective.

    The NCF has said this is a common problem with PWCs (people with CFIDS/ME).

    I hope you don't have anything more serious than this, as it can be controlled with supplements and diet.

    Best of luck to you..
  4. valleyann

    valleyann New Member

    Thank you for sharing your story with me! I'll have to google that... I hope I don't have anything serious either. What I do hope is that if this is all connected to my liver that there might be a fix for everything...if I get my liver fixed (if that's the problem) then maybe everything else will get better too.

  5. findmind

    findmind New Member

    Well, "fixing" or getting my liver healthier did not cure all my fm and cfs problems! Sorry....

    It is just one of the many things that can happen to us; our diseases are systemic, and can affect any organ in our body.

    BUT, that being said, yes, I think the liver is very important and should be supported if one has these diseases.

    Just take care of the leftover problems after you know what's wrong with your liver and get it treated.

    I personally would try the natural route first, unless Hepatitis A, B, or C...think they require more stringent remedies, doctor required.

    Please let us know what more you find out, as we care...

  6. valleyann

    valleyann New Member

    Hi Findmind,

    Thank you very much for caring... I will fill you all in once I know what is wrong.

  7. Paracelsus

    Paracelsus New Member

    My research points to a revelation that liver dysfunction is a critical cause/effect in CFS/CFSID/FM and related diseases.

    The liver is an amazing organ that does incredibly complicated and varied tasks and functions for the body.

    A key liver function that can be compromised in illness is detoxification. When the liver does not perform its vital detoxification task normally then havoc can ensue. The long litany of complaints in CFS, allergies, and chronic infections probably are related to a toxic body and impure blood.

    Please continue to spread the word that a liver needs a good liver. In this polluted and toxic world we live in our livers need more care and protection than ever before.
    [This Message was Edited on 07/09/2006]
  8. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    I just got more bloodwork back, and my liver enzymes are now up over 200 on one test, and the nurse practitioner wants me to see someone. I will probably set up this appointment on Monday, so I'm just a few steps behind you.

    I personally think that, for me, my liver is being taxed between the antiviral and antibiotic I'm on for both Lyme and c.pneumoniae and chronic active EBV. On the other hand, my liver function tests have *always* (decades) been slightly above normal -- technically in the 'elevated' range ever since I can remember. Not one doctor, until the FFC, ever showed one bit of interest.

    BTW, found the paperwork -- in mid-May, AST/SGOT was 138, ALT/SGPT was 121. In late June, they were 231 and 165, respectively. The 'baseline' (if you can call it that) for me has been in the mid-40s to high 60s. They've only really started going up to these higher levels in the last 6 or 8 months.

    At least I'll be getting this checked out and can know for sure. Curiously, I remember that my mother had a history of hepatisis caused by medication, so perhaps a weak (or slow-filtering) liver is a family trait.

    But if you don't mind, could you please post updates as you have them? It would be very helpful for me!
    [This Message was Edited on 07/09/2006]
  9. valleyann

    valleyann New Member


    Thanks for responding to my post. It's reassuring to know that other people like yourself have found similar research to mine. I truly believe that everyone should pay close attention and listen to what their bodies are telling them...because who else will give us that kind of attention? No doctor, nor a family member. We have to look out for number one.

    I think that the liver having so much "responsibilities" in our body, is responsible for a lot of problems that we may go through. But a year ago I wouldn't have even considered my liver to be the source of my problems.

    I will continue to spread the word about the importance of having a good functioning liver...

  10. valleyann

    valleyann New Member

    Hi Prickles!

    How are you doing? Thank you for replying to my post.

    I hate canker sores! They are so painful! I usually only get one at a time so I can't even imagine how you are feeling right now...

    I hope that I don't anything that isn't curable...but more than anything right now i just want answers.

    I also hope that you feel better soon and that those canker sores clear up for you.

  11. valleyann

    valleyann New Member


    Thanks for responding to my post Juloo. I'm sorry to hear that you are playing the waiting game like me with your liver.

    I'm counting down now...11 days until my first Hepatologist appointment. Apparently the first appointment he will be asking questions about my history and probably performing a physical. Then he will mostlikely book me in for a liver biopsy.

    I'm glad that you are finally getting the attention you and your liver needs. Please keep me posted on how your appointment goes...

    And I will most definetly keep you all posted on what is happening with me. I hope that by sharing my story with others it will help out in some way.

    Take care.
  12. valleyann

    valleyann New Member

    Thank you for your well wishes. I'm not too worried about my appointment, I'm just getting anxious for it to come.

  13. valleyann

    valleyann New Member

    I found an interesting bit of information about ALT enzyme levels, though you may be interested:

    "Very high levels of ALT (more than 10 times the highest normal level) are usually due to acute hepatitis, often due to a virus infection. In acute hepatitis, ALT levels usually stay high for about 1–2 months, but can take as long as 3–6 months to come back to normal.

    ALT levels are usually not as high in chronic hepatitis, often less than 4 times the highest normal level: in this case, ALT levels often vary between normal and slightly increased, so doctors typically will order the test frequently to see if there is a pattern. In some liver diseases, especially when the bile ducts are blocked, when a person has cirrhosis, and when other types of liver cancer are present, ALT may be close to normal levels."

    The website I found it on is:

    Hope this helps!
  14. valleyann

    valleyann New Member


    Thank you for responding to my post. I was wondering how long was your liver count elevated for? Mine has been elevated for over 2 1/2 years now...

    That 'milk thistle' sounds interesting. I've heard alot of people say that they have taken it. I'll have to try out the liquid milk thistle... it's worth a shot right?

    Thanks for your advice!

  15. BethM

    BethM New Member

    Can anyone recommend a good quality milk thistle product?

    I worry about my liver because I take Darvocet and acetominophen daily. I do watch the dosage carefully, but I still worry.

    I will be having blood drawn for a number of assessment tests tomorrow, including liver function. So far that test has always been ok.

    I've been thinking that I need to do something protective for my liver, but not sure what.

    I've heard ads for Liverite, but not sure exactly what it is,haven't researched it yet.

    Thank you,
  16. valleyann

    valleyann New Member

  17. valleyann

    valleyann New Member

    Hey Wendy,

    Thanks for all the info! Milk Thistle sounds really good... maybe I"ll give that shot once I see my hepatologist this thursday. I'll try anything if I think that it might help.

  18. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    I have been doing a lot of reading in the past week, trying to understand this whole liver thing. I have an appointment to see a doctor on Thursday. My expectation is that I'll be sent for an ultrasound, but I don't really know.

    One of the things I've found is that viruses like Epstein Barr (for which I have a very, very high count just now) can cause the same types of high counts as I'm getting. So my own interpretation of what's happening is that the EBV (or one of the other beasties that's plaguing me now) may be causing this. On the other hand, it could be medicine-induced. My mother was diagnosed with med-induced hepatitis when we both had to take INH when my father had TB.

    Does anyone know if:

    1. INH can cause long-term, below the radar, liver damage? I've had just-above-normal liver counts since I can remember.

    2. Virus-caused high liver counts signal permanent damage? Or is this something that can repair itself if the EBV clears up?

    These are a couple of the questions I'm going to be asking the doctor on Thursday. Any more I should ask?