Frightened about upcoming scan

Hi , in the last 4 years I have had 3 blood tests done , all of which showed mildly raised liver enzymes almost exactly the same each one , everthing else was brilliant , I'm 33 year old male , I did drink a lot in my 20s like everyone else I knew but I now have a family and don't get out half as much , once a month if that , I recently went to dr because I get what looks like petechiae which comes and goes , then they sent me for a blood test again which came back all good apart from slightly raised liver enzymes again , the dr called and said he recommended to have a scan but he's confident I have nothing to worry about but I'm absolutely beside myself with fear , I can't work , talk to my kids or think straight as I'm constantly terrified I have permanently damaged my liver , can anybody offer me anything of their own experience please

Any reply greatly appreciated


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26 Replies

  • Also since I have become conscious of where my liver is I seem to get dull light pains when I stretch or reach on my upper right side which sends my fear into overdrive,

  • Don't worry. Elevated liver enzymes are nothing to worry about unless they are 3 times the normal range which would be in the 300s. I was diagnosed in December 2014 with stage 3 grade 4 inflemation . I faithfully took milk thistle , turmic, choline and I eat beet soup 2 times a week . 2 consecutive days . I have liver disease from Hep C. I took harvoni January 2015 after my diagnosis. I still drank a lot, divorce , depression ect. No excuse. I had a fibroscan 3 weeks ago. The results are immediately shown. I was scared so much I cried while having the test. A miracle happened. I am s stage 0 to 1!!! I wish this for everyone on this site and I recommend early fibroscan to halt off any further damage if you know you are a 2 or a 3 to take better care of yourself. You will be just fine

  • Thank you for your reply , I just have a feeling that my world is going to come crashing down,

    I'm not sure which was elevated, sure it said 61 , Dr said that it's barely over normal but because it's been the same for a while I should have a scan , it's like a cloud has descended on me

  • You are fine. Get the fibroscan and be happy you are fine

  • Hi,

    No one on the forum is medically qualified to advise you about your liver enzyme results.

    It would be a good idea to discuss your concerns with your GP who has access to your medical notes and can accurately advise you.

    With regards to the above post that mentions milk thistle;

    The British Liver Trust does not recommend the use of any homeopathic or herbal remedies for those with any liver problems as these have to be processed by the liver and can actually damage the liver and lead to severe illness.

    More research needs to be done on the use and safety of such remedies and therapies.

    Homeopathic remedies are unregulated in the UK and concentrations of active ingredients vary by brand purchased. If you are considering using complementary or alternative remedies &/or therapies please always discuss this with your liver doctor first.

    See the link here regarding milk thistle and Complementary & Alternative Medicines;

    Warm wishes,


  • My gasteointeologist encouraged me and many of my associates to take milk thistle. I live in the USA. Milk thistle comes from a plant God created. Choline is in eggs. Beet are an award winning vefrable for its magnificent antioxidants to cleans the liver. Turmic is in a drink called red bull and it is also a man made herb not synthetic. I gather Britain and US have different was of treating liver disease. I was a grade 3 stage 4 December 2014. As of 2 weeks ago I am a 0/1. God put everything on this earth for us. They are pure vitamins with no additives.

  • Dangerous advice.

    Many poisonous plants are as "God created" as you put it.

    Whilst it is true that milk thistle is often recommended to assist with liver issues it is also true as BLTRebecca says...

    i) That there is very little scientific evidence that milk thistle has any positive effect in respect of liver issues. At best you can say studies are inconclusive.

    ii) Homeopathic and herbal remedies are unregulated in the UK. And in the USA as well. In particular what you are buying can vary a great deal in intensity.

    iii) If you want to take a herbal or homeopathic substance discuss it with your doctor first.

    It's also true that beets do not "clean" the liver - whatever that means.

    It's also true that the US and UK do NOT differ in how they treat liver disease. Don't know where you got that impression. Different doctors may be more or less supportive of the use of milk thistle as it's quite common and there's little evidence of specific harm - so some doctors take the view "doesn't hurt, may help". It is in fact often prescribed in Germany.

    Glad you're getting better. The liver is a remarkable organ.

    Please don't make the mistake of assuming that because something is natural there can be no adverse consequences of using it. Plenty of herbs are toxic and there are plenty of herbs or even foods which react badly or reduce the effectiveness of clinically proven medication.

    Best wishes :)

  • I know it's easy to say but try not to stress until you know whether or not there is actually something to worry about. At the moment you have mildly raised LFT's which in itself isn't a massive cause for concern and it is good news that your doctor has decided to send you for a scan just to check on the health of your liver. The niggle you are now 'feeling' in your liver area is most like just a little bit of hypersensitivity on your part, you're scared something is wrong so you are stressing and that is most likely what is causing the niggle. Did you ever have any pain or niggles in that area before it was mentioned that the doctor wanted to investigate further?

    Your heavy drinking pattern in your 20's is highly unlikely to have caused permanent damage and the fact that you no longer drink in the same manner would have given your liver opportunity to repair from any damage it was sustaining during your heavy drinking days. HOWEVER, alcohol is not the only cause of liver disease and it is best that your doctor does refer you for this scan and then they can ascertain if there is any issue with your liver. If there is then it might just be a case of making some diet and lifestyle changes to look after it going forward or there might be a need for further tests. BUT, please don't jump the gun and cause yourself more stress, stress itself can cause tummy pains and issues so try to remain calm until you know more.

    Even if it were found that you had a liver issue it isn't a death sentence, it can be dealt with and lived with and there are treatment options available for most liver issues.

    Wishing you all the best, Katie :)

  • Thank you for the reply , very helpful , the niggles I feel have only been present since I first had bloods done 4 years ago , I became very conscious and aware of where the liver is and subconsciously searched for it I think , generally I'm well I feel fine , busy job , kids , friends , go for a few drinks every other week , i don't think I have any other symptoms that I'm aware of , I'm a big worrier and overthink everything, so this has tipped me over the edge as it's very real so to speak

  • Totally understand, I think we all panic when docs say they want to investigate something further BUT it is best that they do. Try to take each day as it comes, don't ponder what ifs until you find out there is even an issue. LFT's do 'blip' with a number of factors even in totally normally healthy people.

    Keep in touch after the scan and see what they decide.

    Katie :)

  • I highly doubt there's any serious issue with your liver based upon your overview. The imaging study ordered by your physician is not only focused on the liver, but is of the full abdominal cavity including the pancreas, gall bladder, spleen, stomach, kidneys, adrenal glands, intestines, etc.

    Usually, the tomography will include the use of a radio-contrast agent to enhance visibility of internal structures which is highly suggested. Overall, there's many issues, most not serious which can result in "mildly" elevated liver enzymes. In some cases, involving long-term and minimal ascendancy, an absolute diagnosis can't be indicated

    Until the imaging studies have been reviewed however, avoid all alcohol and taking over-the-counter pain medications, especially acetaminophen, which is Tylenol. Best of luck.

  • I am going through a similar thing. Everything seems fine except for one test result which may - or may not - indicate a problem. It's natural human nature to start contemplating the worst possible conclusion and Dr Google clearly doesn't help so don't beat yourself up about it.

    Clearly the right advice here is chin up, don't fret, will probably be fine, don't worry about it until you get the test results - but that advice is easier given than taken I know!

    What I would say - and what I have tried to do - is to see this result at this point in your life as a huge gift. Sadly, given the lack of symptoms of liver problems, many people don't realise there is a problem or get the specialist help they need until much later in life, by which point often the options to rectify are much more limited.

    If you go for the tests and the conclusion is that there's nothing wrong then great, you've got the all clear.

    If you go for the tests and the conclusion is that there is a problem then, at this stage, there are a whole range of options and ways to deal with it. The latter is clearly not what you would wish but identifying a liver problem in your early 30s is a great result vs those people our age who have a problem and likely won't find out about it for another 20 years, by which point the options will be much more limited.

    Good luck.

  • Thank you , the thing which I find scary is that the worst possible outcome has no symptoms, that's what keeps cancelling out my positive thoughts ,

  • Let's not get ahead of ourselves here- I presume you're talking about cirrhosis? Mildly elevated enzymes is a long way from that scenario. Yes it's true some people have no symptoms but that's rare. Don't worry about the scan you'll feel much better afterwards. I had ggt levels in the hundreds and the u/s confirmed what I knew already and that was fatty liver which is probably what you have. That's something which is reversible with appropriate life style changes. Keep us posted

  • Hi, what r ur levels? I to have had blood tests which have come back fairly high and now waiting for a scan, very worrying isn't it. I have learnt a lot on here and most of it positive, everyone is very supportive, sorry I can't give u any answers I just wanted to say this forum has helped me and I hope it does for u. Hope all goes well.

  • Hi not sure of numbers just know that they were just over normal on last 3 tests over 4 years

  • It's important which ones ask for a copy next time

  • Sure number was 61

  • yep but which enzyme? I doubt whether any GP would send you for a scan with GGT at 61, ALT is another matter. Anyway-as THE BLT say they have some info on this but you really shouldn't worry-keep us posted on what the scan reveals. If it helps I had some years ago a clear ultrasound with GGT levels in the 100s but everyone is different.

  • My enzymes went from the normal 30 range to 859!! I was a stage 3 grade 4 liver disease. I had hepatitis C for 26 years. I went on harvoni. Enzymes are about 80 now. I drink a lot. Sorry I just do. I had a fibroscan done 2 weeks ago and they said I am a grade 0/1 !! I take milk thistle like crazy , the highest strength. I take turmic and choline vitamins like crazy too. I eat beet soup. Read up on all these they help your liver. You will be just fine. Get a fibroscan done nd go from there.

  • Hi , haven't wrote for a while . I had follow up appointment with dr , she said the levels were not high enough to worry about and that I should have another blood test in 3 months , which stopped me worrying a bit . I have been feeling brilliant for last month or so , then all of a sudden yesterday I started to think the red spots I have are spider naevi . I've had 3 or 4 for about 3 years on hand arm , very tiny with slight redness around them which disappear when pressed , have shown dr this about 3 years ago but she wasn't worried.. should I be .

  • Needless to say that I am now back to being terrified

  • I'm very frightened now , more than ever before , I've just read something that has horrified me beyond belief .. I'm positive I have at least 2 spider nevi , one arms , thin veins on my shoulders and with my raised lfts what I've just read is that it's all signs of cirroses ... I'm 33 I can't believe this is happening I'm so frightened

  • If you're really worried get a fibroscan. Not that expensive for what it is. Only sure fire way to know. Having said that if you feel fine other than the spots just don't drink and live your life to the full. Maybe some day there is a problem but don't worry about it now.

  • I feel fine when I not worried sick , not overweight, active job , I've read in several places that raised liver tests and spider angioma are cirrhosis , I'm beside myself with worry , I have a blood test in 3 months so I'm not going to drink anything and try to eat well , the gp said that my liver levels are too low to worry about .

  • If you had liver disease to the point of those you would have many other symptoms which I gather you don't?

    Most symptoms of liver disease can be caused by other things. It's only when you have lots of them at once does it point to a problem with the liver.

    I'm in the same boat as you. I'm 32 and am getting many symptoms. Occasional itching, stomach pain, weight loss, always hungry, dizziness, bounding pulse, alcohol intolerance, the list goes on. I went for a fibroscan and it came back abnormal, not cirrhotic but definitely fibrotic, waiting for a GI appointment now.

    Not sure if it's too late for me but it sounds ok for you. If you really want it all to end go get a fibroscan, it was only $125. Sounds like it might be a bit more in the UK but still a bargain. Then you will have the piece of mind and can move on or deal with it. I was afraid of what the result might be but in the end had to get it done.

    I hope that helps.

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