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elevated liver enzymes

I've been meaning to ask for a while-has anyone else ever had elevated liver enzymes and can they be cause by prednisone?  I've had them on and off for years-ultrasounds come back fine and they generally go back to normal levels but I was put in a higher bracket for life ins based on 1 being higher than normal.  My PCP says it is nothing to be concerned about at all but I wanted to see if anyone else  had ever had this issue.

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  • K8sMom2002

    Lynn, I have had elevated liver enzymes … at one point, so high that my doctors were sure I had Hep C, even though I wasn't in any of the risk groups. And then they decided I had first one rare disorder, and then no, it was a still rarer disorder. 

    It turned out to be a bum gallbladder in my case, but solving the mystery took four years, five ultrasounds, one well-timed double helping of lasagna and a HIDA scan that showed my gallbladder functioning at less than 25%.

    My gallbladder issues were caused not by stones, but by a congenitally narrowed duct that didn't show up on ultrasound scans. Over the years, bile would back up in the bottleneck and create inflammation and scarring, so it would get narrow even more. That in turn inflamed my liver and screwed up my liver enzymes. 

    There are many, many causes of elevated liver enzymes. I might reach out to a GI specialist and ask about a HIDA scan, to see if it would be an appropriate step. Elevated liver enzymes are not something to ignore long term. By the time they figured out what the cause of mine was, I was one sick goose.

  • Pljohns

    Thanks Cynthia-as luck would have it, I have literally every one of my medical records since my first visit after being born (gotta love Mom's that insist on having copies of medical records when we moved) so I went back through them and my liver enzymes have been up then down and back up and then bauck down with a few months in between the fluctuations since 1994.  I had a liver US, gallbladder US and the whole nine yards done and everything was fine.  I think I may have found the causing agent-I have a inoperable pituitary tumor that has been totally controlled for 19 years now with medication.  I noticed in my records that before I started the meds, my labs were normal but went up after I started taking the meds.  I take the lowest possible dose of this med (I cut the lowest mg pill in half).  They have been elevated and then rechecked later while I was still on the meds and they were in normal limits but they were never up until after I started this medication.  Apparently after some research, I find it is a normal side effect of this meds for it to mess with liver enzymes.  I have a feeling that being on it and then all of the prednisone is what hit the latest elevation.  My old doc said it was attributed to the steroids.  I'll talk to my new doc the next time I'm in.  At least by looking through all of my records, I feel better that it's nothing terrible since it's been going on for over 20 years and I'm no worse off now!

  • K8sMom2002

    Wow, you can't argue with data! And for your mom!

    I think it's a great plan to check in with the new doc and see what she thinks. It won't be long now, right?

  • Pljohns

    Well, my new PCP finally got back to me about this and he said elevated LFT's are normal with predisone but will generally return to normal once they are out of your system.  He said with normal ones in the past, he wouldn't worry about it but he is going to put in a lab order so I can have them checked again AND my cholesterol again.  My insurance blood work had my cholesterol up over 40 points in under a year, which I find hard to believe since it's been stable at a normal level for over 10 years.  Anyway, he's going to put in the order for that to be done so  hopefully I'll have new LFT's and cholesterol soon.

  • K8sMom2002

    Lynn, I'm so glad that your PCP gave you some feedback! Hugs on the cholesterol … hopefully that was an outlier and will be normal this time. 

  • Pljohns

    After a TON of research, I found that prednisone can elevate cholesterol too-  I got blood drawn yesterday so hopefully the results will be back Monday and fingers crossed everything is within limits.  the doc next door was over this morning and I heard him talking to my mgr (who apparently is having the same issue) and he said normally with elevated LFT's, they will redo them in 6 weeks, check for hepatitis, do a liver US and if all of that comes back good and DEXA scans come back good, some people  just have elevated LFT's with no apparent cause and they cause them no problems.  Hope mine is like that.

  • Pljohns

    Well-FINALLY got results after asking for them twice-seems like they have had them since last Thurs afternoon but oops-forgot to post them to the portal.  Everything is good-some minor elevation (like 5 points) but he said he wasn't concerned about it at all.

  • K8sMom2002

    What. A. Relief! So thankful for you! This is great news! Hopefully that number will come down naturally, right?

    on the good news!