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Ways to lower liver enzymes?

milk thistle

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#1 Mandy Ann

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 10:38 AM

Hello all! sideways.gif I wasn't sure if this was the appropriate place to ask, but I figured someone here might know the answer. I just started accutane yesterday. My liver enzymes are completely fine right now, but i'm paranoid that they will elevate while on accutane. I hear you can take milk thistle to help repair liver damage and lower liver enzymes, but I can't take it because it can lower the effectiveness of the birth control I am on. Are there any other ways I can help keep my liver healthy and liver enzymes at a normal level? Thanks! sideways.gif

#2 BJ'sGuRL

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 10:43 AM

Hey Mandy,
As u've prolly read in 1 ov my posts sumwhere...my liver is pretty screwed up atm..due 2 the roaccutane and possibly coz i got realli smashed one nite but yea..
But yea in my situation my doc told me 2 cut out all red meat, go easy on the green tea(coz i was havin more than 3 glasses a day lol) and yea i went 2 a Natropath and she gave me 2 diff types of tablets that ive jus recently finished(forgot wot they were called) but yea they help fix the liver or sumfin n yea they had milk thistle in them n stuff...
Well that prolly wudent hav helped ya but if ya realli concerend jus ask ya doc wink.gif U'll b fine, jus make sure ya dont drink booze whilst on em n it'll b a piece ov cake HeHe!! GEWD LUCK MISSY!!! biggrin.gif

#3 alternativista

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 01:40 PM

Why would they need to be lowered? Is there such thing as too many liver enzymes?

#4 Wynne

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 04:03 PM

QUOTE(Mandy Ann @ Jun 14 2007, 12:38 PM) View Post
Hello all! sideways.gif I wasn't sure if this was the appropriate place to ask, but I figured someone here might know the answer. I just started accutane yesterday. My liver enzymes are completely fine right now, but i'm paranoid that they will elevate while on accutane. I hear you can take milk thistle to help repair liver damage and lower liver enzymes, but I can't take it because it can lower the effectiveness of the birth control I am on. Are there any other ways I can help keep my liver healthy and liver enzymes at a normal level? Thanks! sideways.gif

Yes, there are ways to help keep your liver healthy and maintain normal liver enzymes. Elevated liver enzymes can be a transitory reaction to damage. Elevated LFTs (Liver Function Tests) can also indicate chronic liver damage. Since yours are normal, that's GREAT. You want to keep it that way. Here is a post to another user that I've adapted a bit for you.
QUOTE(Wynne @ Jun 13 2007, 02:04 AM) View Post
....There are MANY reasons for elevated liver enzymes. ....
Don't drink any alcohol (as you know). Avoid tylenol/acetaminophen. Avoid ibuprofen, etc like the plague. Research more on the supplements you're taking; you may have to STOP them.
Eat regular real meals, not frozen, prepared foods. There are so many preservatives in them that the liver and kidneys have to metabolize. NO soft drinks. Have you recently taken antibiotics? Cholesterol meds? ANY kind of med, including over the counter stuff?

Here are some good diet and other informations about things to avoid to protect the liver:

http://www.hepfi.org...liv_caring.html
QUOTE
Diet and Your Liver

Overview
Poor nutrition is rarely a cause of liver disease, but good nutrition in the form of a balanced diet, may help liver cells damaged by hepatitis viruses to regenerate, forming new liver cells. Nutrition can be an essential part of treatment. Many chronic liver diseases are associated with malnutrition.

Watch the Protein
To quickly determine your daily protein in grams, divide your weight in pounds by 2. Too much daily protein may cause hepatic encephalopathy (mental confusion). This occurs when the amount of dietary protein is greater than the liver's ability to use the protein. This causes a build up of toxins that can interfere with brain function. Protein is restricted in patients with clinical evidence of encephalopathy. However, controversy exists regarding the type of protein a diet should contain. Vegetable and dairy protein may be tolerated better than meat protein. Medications, such as lactulose and neomycin, may be used to help control hepatitis-related encephalopathy. Due to the body's need for proteins, protein restriction should only be undertaken with a doctor's advice.

Watch the Calories.
Excess calories in the form of carbohydrates can add to liver dysfunction and can cause fat deposits in the liver. No more than 30% of a person's total calories should come from fat because of the danger to the cardiovascular system. To figure out your daily calorie needs, you'll need a minimum of 15 calories a day for each pound you weight. Watch the Salt Good nutrition also helps to maintain the normal fluid and electrolyte balances in the body. Patients with fluid retention and swelling of the abdomen (ascites), or the legs (peripheral edema), may need diets low in salt to avoid sodium retention that contributes to fluid retention. Avoiding foods such as canned soups and vegetables, cold cuts, dairy products, and condiments such as mayonnaise and ketchup can reduce sodium intake. Read food labels carefully as many prepared foods contain large amounts of salt. The best-tasting salt substitute is lemon juice.

Watch Vitamins A and D
Excessive amounts of some vitamins may be an additional source of stress to the liver that must act as a filter for the body. Mega-vitamin supplements, particularly if they contain vitamins A and D, may be harmful. Excess vitamin A is very toxic to the liver.

Beware of Alcohol
You'll need to stop drinking completely to give your liver a break - a chance to heal, a chance to rebuild, a chance for new liver cells to grow. This means avoiding beer, wine, cocktails, champagne, and liquor in any other form. If you continue to drink, your liver will pay the price, and if your doctor is checking your liver function tests, it may be hard to determine if a change in a test means there has been damage to your liver due to the disease itself or because of the alcohol.

Beware of Alcohol and Acetaminophen
Acetominophen is an ingredient in some over-the-counter pain relievers, and is contained in many over-the-counter drugs used for colds or coughs. Taken with alcohol, these products can cause a condition called sudden and severe hepatitis which could cause fatal liver failure. Clearly, you should never combine these two substances. If you have any doubt about what medicines to take simultaneously, ask your doctor.

Beware of "Nutritional Therapies"
Herbal treatments and alternative liver medicines need to undergo rigorous scientific study before they can be recommended. "Natural" or diet treatments and herbal remedies can be quite dangerous. Plants of the Senecio, Crotalaria and Heliotopium families, plus chaparral, germander, comfrey, mistletoe, skullcap, margosa oil, mate tea, Gordolobo yerba tea, pennyroyal, and Jin Blu Huan are all toxic to the liver.


The above was written for someone who had high liver enzymes prior to starting Accutane and had to stop taking Accutane. You will not have to be so stringent, and I have taken out a few bits that don't apply to you.

Any type of medication you take (supplement, herbal, whatever) has the intrinsic risk of harming the liver. Most medications are metabolized by the liver. As you know, don't supplement with a multivitamin while on Accutane (most MVI have vitamin A and that could badly damage your liver).

#5 Mandy Ann

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 04:16 PM

Thanks Wynne wub.gif You are always such great help.

Looks like i'm already on the right track then in terms of keeping a healthy liver. I don't drink.... i've stopped taking tylenol, ibuprofen and prescription painkillers completely, i'm watching my calories/exercising, and I don't go overboard with protein sideways.gif

My next step is to get rid of processed foods.. or at least limit them. Raisin bran cereal is something I can't live without.. so thats the one processed food that will be staying in my diet. Other than that, no more canned soups for me and i'll try my best to stay away from mac n' cheese. Lately though, i've been sticking to raisin bran, oatmeal and fruits and salad..... so hopefully that will all balance out lol.

#6 Wynne

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 04:29 PM

QUOTE(Mandy Ann @ Jun 14 2007, 06:16 PM) View Post
Thanks Wynne wub.gif You are always such great help.

Looks like i'm already on the right track then in terms of keeping a healthy liver. I don't drink.... i've stopped taking tylenol, ibuprofen and prescription painkillers completely, i'm watching my calories/exercising, and I don't go overboard with protein sideways.gif

My next step is to get rid of processed foods.. or at least limit them. Raisin bran cereal is something I can't live without.. so thats the one processed food that will be staying in my diet. Other than that, no more canned soups for me and i'll try my best to stay away from mac n' cheese. Lately though, i've been sticking to raisin bran, oatmeal and fruits and salad..... so hopefully that will all balance out lol.

That sounds wonderful. Congratulations again, on getting Accutane AND on having healthy liver enzymes. tongue.gif

#7 Charlotta

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 02:28 PM

yea I eat pretty crappy meals, and sometimes only have 2 meals in a day because I wake up too late for breakfast. And soft drinks from time to time, no pepsi or coke. I'm on antibiotic medication. Recipe for ruined liver.

#8 Wynne

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 02:43 PM

QUOTE(Charlotta @ Jun 15 2007, 04:28 PM) View Post
yea I eat pretty crappy meals, and sometimes only have 2 meals in a day because I wake up too late for breakfast. And soft drinks from time to time, no pepsi or coke. I'm on antibiotic medication. Recipe for ruined liver.

The liver is amazingly recuperative, though. The majority of people won't have ruined livers even if they slightly abuse it daily as you (and I) do.

There are some antibiotics that are as dangerous (and more!)to the liver as Tylenol, but those aren't commonly prescribed for acne. They are generally the hospital antibiotics given via IV. So don't stress too much! tongue.gif

#9 Charlotta

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 03:14 AM

QUOTE(Wynne @ Jun 15 2007, 01:43 PM) View Post
The liver is amazingly recuperative, though. The majority of people won't have ruined livers even if they slightly abuse it daily as you (and I) do.

There are some antibiotics that are as dangerous (and more!)to the liver as Tylenol, but those aren't commonly prescribed for acne. They are generally the hospital antibiotics given via IV. So don't stress too much! tongue.gif


yea but I was on Doxy for 10 months, starting up Mino, and I'm only frightened to know what Yasmin will contribute to the wreckage since something is already high in the liver for me lol.gif (this does seem very over-abusive to me)

I will try to start eating more healthy! I'll start with no more soft drinks !

#10 Polaroid

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 02:30 PM

Oh, Wynne, I usually only have 2 meals a day sometimes just one really large one. Is that really bad for enzymes? I wake up too late... and then after I eat a huge linner/dunch I'm just not hungry.

#11 Wynne

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 11:13 PM

QUOTE(Polaroid @ Jun 16 2007, 04:30 PM) View Post
Oh, Wynne, I usually only have 2 meals a day sometimes just one really large one. Is that really bad for enzymes? I wake up too late... and then after I eat a huge linner/dunch I'm just not hungry.

That one I don't know. tongue.gif It's generally better to eat several smaller meals a day for blood sugar control and it helps with energy levels.

#12 JR86

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 12:08 AM

mandy, i really wouldn't worry about the liver unless your blood test shows an actual elevation, which is pretty rare. my liver was fine while on accutane (even though i did drink on occasion.) just avoid alcohol. you should be fine, if there is a problem the doctor will let you know and may adjust your dose.

#13 Wynne

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 08:17 AM

QUOTE(Jordan19 @ Jun 17 2007, 02:08 AM) View Post
mandy, i really wouldn't worry about the liver unless your blood test shows an actual elevation, which is pretty rare. my liver was fine while on accutane (even though i did drink on occasion.) just avoid alcohol. you should be fine, if there is a problem the doctor will let you know and may adjust your dose.

Very true. There's such a thing as too much information, and I have to remember that when explaining stuff!

Mandy, your levels were fine. So don't excessively worry about your values. Just avoid alcohol and acetaminophen (tylenol) and you should be fine. Since you're getting your values tested every month as part of iPledge, your doc will be able to follow you up and monitor you just fine! Transient spikes and elevations occur almost everyday in anyone and they resolve themselves just fine. The liver is frankly amazing. I like studying the kidneys myself. Now THAT's fascinating. redface.gif

#14 cassiopeia

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 02:13 PM

I have to chime in here ...

I was very sick 2 weeks ago for about 10 days ... spiking recurring fever, horrible back pain, bad headaches. I got tested for Mono, Lyme Disease, Hepatitis A and C (i'm immunized against Hep B), meningitis, and lots of other things. The only thing that showed up was elevated liver function tests.

I was on accutane 5 years ago at age 19, and never once had a LFT come back abnormal. I have been having bloodwork done biweekly to check my thyroid function (since I'm testing hyperthyroid as of March) and the LFT is done at the same time as that ... and since March, no elevation in liver enzymes. Until 2 weeks ago.

I finally got better after 10 days, and my LFT came down from in the 500s (!!!) to in the 100s, I have it rechecked in a week. my doctors and I don't know if it was a random virus, if it was caused by getting the Gardasil vaccine the day before I got sick, or the anticonvulsants I am on, or damage done to my liver by OD'ing on Nyquil and Advil (acetominophen and ibuprofin - at the same time!!) at the beginning of April. It's just a mystery ... we might find out, like if I get the 2nd Gardasil shot and get sick again (hope that doesn't happen though!!!) but it's unlikely.

I am telling this story just to point out that elevated LFT's ARE rare, as a PP said, and that there is not always a definitive cause for them. Don't worry until it happens, and even if it does, it's not necessarily the end of the world.

#15 Wynne

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 01:54 AM

QUOTE(cassiopeia @ Jun 17 2007, 04:13 PM) View Post
I have to chime in here ...

I was very sick 2 weeks ago for about 10 days ... spiking recurring fever, horrible back pain, bad headaches. I got tested for Mono, Lyme Disease, Hepatitis A and C (i'm immunized against Hep B), meningitis, and lots of other things. The only thing that showed up was elevated liver function tests.

I was on accutane 5 years ago at age 19, and never once had a LFT come back abnormal. I have been having bloodwork done biweekly to check my thyroid function (since I'm testing hyperthyroid as of March) and the LFT is done at the same time as that ... and since March, no elevation in liver enzymes. Until 2 weeks ago.

I finally got better after 10 days, and my LFT came down from in the 500s (!!!) to in the 100s, I have it rechecked in a week. my doctors and I don't know if it was a random virus, if it was caused by getting the Gardasil vaccine the day before I got sick, or the anticonvulsants I am on, or damage done to my liver by OD'ing on Nyquil and Advil (acetominophen and ibuprofin - at the same time!!) at the beginning of April. It's just a mystery ... we might find out, like if I get the 2nd Gardasil shot and get sick again (hope that doesn't happen though!!!) but it's unlikely.

I am telling this story just to point out that elevated LFT's ARE rare, as a PP said, and that there is not always a definitive cause for them. Don't worry until it happens, and even if it does, it's not necessarily the end of the world.

I'm glad your levels came back down! That's terrific. smile.gif

#16 LabGirl81

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Posted 18 June 2007 - 08:05 PM

Mandy I was taking 120mg of Accutane a day (at 105lbs) and in my last month my AST was 14U/L and my ALT was 17U/L(both pretty low). My liver function tests were never an issue. Oh....wait there was one month when my AST was like 53U/L, and a bit high.....but it wasn't my liver. I went to the gym and was lifting pretty heavy about 48 hours before my tests......the elevated AST was due to damaged muscle tissue, and not a liver under stress.....elevated AST is pretty normal in weightlifters and bodybuilders........

My derm was stumped as to why my AST was so high my ALT was normal.....I had to explain that I remembered experiencing pretty bad delayed onset muscle soreness when I had my blood drawn that month.......

So don't try to max out your benches and squats two days before your bloodwork, and don't drink alcohol 72 hours before your bloodwork....
wait you are too young to be drinking anyway....just sayin'.... wink.gif

And don't take Tylenol right before a blood test.....opt for Advil instead.

Your triglycerides may go up. Mine started at 31mg/dl and ended up at like 130mg/dl at the end.....but they went right back down once I stopped. There's not much you can do about it aside from eating healthy fats and lots of fiber. They don't stay elevated for long, and mine never went beyond the normal range. But even if they do go above the normal range.....it's no big deal.....it's only for a short time and they do go down once you stop.

As always Wynne gave some great advice.....

Don't sweat the liver thing until you actually get a call from your derms office about your bloodwork......

#17 cassiopeia

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 07:23 PM

QUOTE(Wynne @ Jun 18 2007, 03:54 AM) View Post
QUOTE(cassiopeia @ Jun 17 2007, 04:13 PM) View Post
I have to chime in here ...

I was very sick 2 weeks ago for about 10 days ... spiking recurring fever, horrible back pain, bad headaches. I got tested for Mono, Lyme Disease, Hepatitis A and C (i'm immunized against Hep B), meningitis, and lots of other things. The only thing that showed up was elevated liver function tests.

I was on accutane 5 years ago at age 19, and never once had a LFT come back abnormal. I have been having bloodwork done biweekly to check my thyroid function (since I'm testing hyperthyroid as of March) and the LFT is done at the same time as that ... and since March, no elevation in liver enzymes. Until 2 weeks ago.

I finally got better after 10 days, and my LFT came down from in the 500s (!!!) to in the 100s, I have it rechecked in a week. my doctors and I don't know if it was a random virus, if it was caused by getting the Gardasil vaccine the day before I got sick, or the anticonvulsants I am on, or damage done to my liver by OD'ing on Nyquil and Advil (acetominophen and ibuprofin - at the same time!!) at the beginning of April. It's just a mystery ... we might find out, like if I get the 2nd Gardasil shot and get sick again (hope that doesn't happen though!!!) but it's unlikely.

I am telling this story just to point out that elevated LFT's ARE rare, as a PP said, and that there is not always a definitive cause for them. Don't worry until it happens, and even if it does, it's not necessarily the end of the world.

I'm glad your levels came back down! That's terrific. smile.gif



Thanks!!! Me too ... had another round done today, I'll get the results tomorrow or Friday, hopefully they'll be 100% normal!!!