Elevated liver enzymes


Anyone ever have this problem??? My bloodwork came back showing that mine were extremely elevated. She’s thinking it’s “probably” from the lortabs I take for severe arthritis, but is ordering a cat scan to be sure. I read on another site that this also “can” be diabetes related… any thoughts or knowledge about this???


Elevated liver enzymes are not a result of high blood sugars. However, some common drugs that people with Type 2 Diabetes use can cause them. They are:

Avandia and Actos
Statin drugs for cholesterol

If you are on any of these drugs you should talk to your doctor about stopping them.


nope, not on any of these… must be the lortabs then, huh? At least I hope it’s as simple as that! I will be scheduling a cat scan next week to be sure. She prescribed me ultram for the pain and it did NOTHING for me last night. I felt like my body from my feet to my hip was on fire all night. I’m glad that she’s referring me to pain management. I’m about at my whit’s end with this pain!!!
thanks for your input!


Are you on any cholesterol (sp) meds?. Those can cause liver issues.


It is my understanding that because the liver is involved in metabolizing meds, elevated enzymes are a sign that it is working too hard, or being damaged because of a med. I take several prescriptions for blood pressure, depression and thyroid, so my enzymes are tested at least a couple of times a year.
Once they came back elevated, but the next and subsequent tests were normal.

I hate always having “something new” to worry about.


I am on 4 kinds of BP meds; 3 kinds for asmtha/copd; thyroid; and the pain meds, plus my metforum and insulin… still probably a safe bet to call it’s from the lortabs! I had problems with taking tylenol a year or so ago… didn’t realize lortabs had tylenol in them… THE DOCTOR SHOULD HAVE! I am finding a new doctor. She’s messed up about 4 times with my care the past 6 months… She’s an internist so I thought she’d be “good”…


Poor Connie,

That sounds like HELL. I used Ultram during the couple months I had the pinched nerve in my shoulder and it didn’t seem to do much for me either except maybe knock me out.

I sure hope you can get some help from the pain clinic. Chronic pain is something that if a person hasn’t had it, they can’t understand what it does to life. I have, and my heart goes out to you.



Lortabs have tylenol in it, as you’ve mentioned previously that is hepatoxic. You must be taking a lot. The narcotic component of the lortabs aren’t going to bother you but the NSAID part of it will. The narcotics are just masking the pain of the arthritis and isnt doing anything to reduce inflammation (thats what the acetaminophen is for). Are you on prednisone or other steroids for your condition?

You shouldn’t be so hard on your doctor. You’re a complicated patient (COPD, Hypothyroid, Diabetes, Arthritis, Asthma, hypertension, etc…) on polypharmacy with pain management issues. It takes a little trial and error to figure out what medications will work best for you. Internal Medicine docs are great - their training is more in depth than a family practitioner. How elevated are your liver enzymes? AST/ALT in the 100s or more? They must be high if she’s ordering a CAT scan.

She’s ordering the cat scan to rule out a hepatic mass (liver cancer), cirrhosis or perhaps some gallbladder problems. It will probably be benign. Then you can get your referral to a pain management doc. Perhaps you should also see a Rheumatologist.

Take care,

PS. In the mean time, check out this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/17/magazine/17pain-t.html?ex=1339732800&en=491e4228fcdc5e20&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss


If you have chronic pain, all I can say is that John Sarno is your man to research. He has been successfully treating thousands of patients for over 3 decades with his research and explanations of TMS and other Pyschosomatic situations. He is part of your (education) answer to your chronic pain, not taking more drugs, and not getting a cat scan.

As far as your liver is concerned, it is extremely overworked and you must research how to cleanse your liver. Most people don’t know it, but they have hundreds and up to thousands of intrahepatic stones. These will not show up on x-ray, for many are only semi-solidified, and liver function can be laboratory tested as normal even when they are present. Unless you want to continue a life of drug taking and doctor visits, there must be an absolute change taken on your part.



There is nothing “psychosomatic” about arthritis pain and if you’d ever had to experience it, you’d know that mind-type treatments are NOT adequate.

Liver cleanses are part of the phone “alternative health” crap that caters to people with nothing wrong with them except emotional problems who like to believe they have diseases that can’t be diagnosed using any known scientific method. Sadly, a lot of people make a lot of money making up ailments for these poor people to imagine they have.

Your postings, and the tone of your postings make it pretty clear you don’t have a CLUE what dealing with a REAL chronic illness entails.

There are some bad drugs out there, but there are salso ome drugs that can help you keep your sanity when you are in pain, nonstop for many months. Unless you’ve had what this lady has, and dealt with it yourself, you are only making yourself look like an idiot with this kind of posting.


Wow, I beg your pardon. Everything in life is created by your mind, including your existence.

I have had 15 years of dealing with chronic conditions and pyschosomatic success, with myself and many other people. I do not have time nor the desire to post drivel. If you want to talk drivel, continue talking about scientific methods and the current state of everyone’s health around you. I have also been studying the body and healing for over 20 years, amongst the rest of my family who does not partake in any of the medicine you speak of, and you have no idea who I really am or what I have experienced, so how can you be so abrasive in your response? Because it is the opposite of what you believe? I come here to speak the truth, and if you are not ready for the truth, keep to yourself with your negative comments.

Liver cleanses are absolutely not phoney crap, they are one of the most overlooked, simple, effective ways to continue/regain health. The liver is usually the first problem area in people with disease, many years before they are diagnosed with disease (as well as the colon).
9159-liver01.jpg (20.1 KB)



Prior to going to allopathic medical school, I worked in the alternative health industry for several years. I am very familiar with cleansing, flushes, herbalism, homeopathy, diet, TCM, etc…

It seems that the conflict between you two is that you two have extremist views… Stating that pain management is NOT psychological is simply incorrect. There are major addictive component to it. Saying that it is entirely of the mind is also incorrect - there are some cellular compositional changes that occur that has nothing to do with the mind. Like everything in the body, it is a good mix of mind, body and soul. While allopathic medicine teaches you to focus on a small problem, I like the holistic approach a little more.

I think telling people they don’t need cat scans is simply silly. It is used as a screening tool and provides tremendous insight into structural components of the body. The amount of radiation you receive via a cat scan is minimal. That being said, I have to admit that I’m biased because I plan on going into radiology. :slight_smile:

And you’re right. Liver and GI issues are very sensitive to disease and the liver plays a crucial role maintaining health. I appreciate that. I don’t know which liver cleanse you’re speaking of (perhaps milkthistle and heavy fat intake?) Depending on the treatment, I don’t see how it could be harmful (as long as patients have realistic expectations vs preventative care and acute treatments).

I think alternative therapies are fine for preventative care and perhaps some minor acute and/or chronic issues… But there are times and conditions which can greatly benefit from the science of pharmacology and the practice of medicine. To simply discount one or the other limits your choices and ignores the rich tradition of both fields.

They key is to not get sick in the first place. I am a huge believer in nutrition. My undergraduate BS degree is in Human Nutrition and I have done research in hormonal triggers for eating (leptin, ghrelin, etc.). Nutrition marries the preventative components of alt therapies with the allopathic treatment of neglected organ systems. I’m a vegetarian and have been one for nearly 11 years. I don’t know if you will meet very many MD’s who have similar views such as mine.

So please, the two philosophies can coexist to a degree. It is up to the patient to take control of their own health and treatment and to research all avenues of care. Would I take shiitake or reishi mushrooms because I had cancer? No. Would I take gaufenisen (herb) to help cough up some gunk in my throat? Sure. Maybe I’d take some L-Theanine or Holy Basil or Kava to relax me on a flight. A lot of pharmaceutical medication is derived from herbs… So don’t discount it.



I was taking 7.5 mg lortabs 4 x a day… didn’t seem like a lot, but more than my body could handle, obviously. I have severe pain from both arthritis and neuropothy, and without pain meds, I can’t even walk.
I have been to a rheumatologist several times, but since I’m diagnosed with osteoarthritis instead of rheumatoid arthrits, there’s not a whole lot they can do besides control the pain and replace joints. I’ve already had a knee replacement that didn’t go well at all, so am not anxious to do that again!
thanks for the article. It was interesting!


Thank you very much for the insightful post. I am extremist to a distinct line and the line divides chronic/non-curable situations and trauma/emergency situations.

I agree CAT scans are useful, but most people do not use the information directly themselves, without intrusion from the one sided world of western belief. It’s the recommendations and treatment process that comes after the scan that is most troubling to me.

Again, I applaud your words, this is a great post you have written.

who is part of the New Medicine progression that needs to take place


Ryan and Next D - thank you for being so respectful and tolerant of the difference in opinion.
I agree there’s a lot of snake oil out there, and people with chronic disease are particularly vulnerable.



I have a friend who suffers from both diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis and he never complains. He looks perfectly healthy as most of us do and people so do not understand what he goes through. I met him via the internet and then in person when I went to Atlanta to visit my sister. Both these conditions are autoimmune diseases and not something we dream up or something that is in our head.

My friend and I only met once in person and time to time send emails. As I said he never complains but has become a distant friend the reason is the great pain he suffers to even type. He had to give up his job and now depends on his wife and the wealth he has acquired through hard work. He has two children who have an eye disease that have caused them to grow blind. None of this is in his head or in his children’s mind set.

He is improving a bit with his arthritis after using a wheelchair for about 1 year and by obtaining a pain pump via Medtronics.

I guess I am sharing this as I so understand how this is all real and has nothing to do with our imagination.


oops, looks like there was a line at the bottom of my post that snuck in…! That was part of a reference to Ryan and his style of approaching medicine…

Anyway, I’d like to answer Ryan’s question about liver flushes, the easiest and simplest one is made from locally available products: quality apple juice (organic if possible, I prefer Martinelli’s), olive oil, lemons and epsom salt. It’s very effective and really does clean the liver and gallbladder. Milk Thistle is absolutely a liver protector and healer, but it’s best to get the liver clean first. Here is a post to a writer talking about his liver flushes, who has cured his eczema, through change of lifestyle and internal cleansing. I absolutely love this site, as he has some very expressive posts and wonderful insight to the changes that take place once you begin healing yourself. http://www.eczemacure.info/article/articleview/47/1/7

Have a look around the site, it’s very nice to see the ‘open source’ attitude of health growing. Why? Because it works, right now, and requires only your desire and will to get well.


All about enzymes.


I just read this article and found it totally interesting and very informative. I have an open mind on these subjects and so much of the article made sense to me. Thank you for the opportunity to read it.


No problem, it’s fun reading stuff written like that, so simple to understand! I love going back to that page, every time I read it I find another explanation that is worth quoting.

I’m going to add that site to my blog because there is so much in there that is simple to understand. It’s a very truthful site.