British Liver Trust
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Elevated liver enzymes and biopsy

Hi everyone, newbie here. Last October I had my blood work done and my gp said my liver enzymes was elevated. Then in December, I had another blood work and it was normal!?!? Went for colonoscopy last month and the doctor had ordered more blood work —it was elevated again! You see, I am 50 yr old, non-alcoholic, non-smoker, non-drug user (once in a bluemoon I would take Aleve/Advil for headaches), I’m not diabetic and not too fat (5’1 122lbs), and no hepatitis. Why do I have fatty liver????

I had my liver biopsy the other day and it was so painful that I would rather give birth again instead! But after 3 days it is better, the sore on my shoulder was gone, still sore on my side and the breathing got better but I am still uncomfortable when taking a deep breath—feels funny. Now the waiting for the results terrifies me.

6 Replies

Hello Lishadin,

Firstly may I welcome you to this site. I've just been reading your symptoms and story with interest. I should really point out that I'm not medically qualified, but I like to think have an extensive knowledge of liver-related issues.

I have a couple of questions if you wouldn't mind clarifying for me please. Are you by any chance an American? I ask this as Aleve and Advil aren't common brand names over in the UK. Why are you having to take these pain killers, is it just for headaches or do you have any other type of painful condition? Prolonged regular use of these drugs can cause both liver and kidney damage. You mentioned that you’re not an alcoholic, but does this mean that you do drink occasionally? What's your daily diet like, any fatty foods, or junk food? Your BMI looks good, may I also ask as to what your cholesterol levels are like?

There two things I'd like to mention here,

Firstly the liver doesn't have any pain receptors, so this is why many people can have a liver problem and even cirrhosis and not know it. Having said that, there is a thin membrane that surrounds the liver and this does have pain receptors. Sometimes, pain can be felt around the liver area if the liver becomes enlarged or inflamed.

The second thing is that fatty liver is totally reversible. The liver is a wondrous organ, which we take for granted and often abuse. It is also a very forgiving organ. Once it's been identified as to what is causing the liver to become fatty, then this can be dealt with and the liver will return to normal. So please, don't go stressing yourself out worrying.

I hope this will be helpful and reassuring for you. Please keep us up-to-date with your progress.

Kind Regards



Thanks! I’m Asian-American. We used to lived in Cobham (Esher train stop) for two years. 😊 I really do not drink, I wouldn’t call taking a couple or three sipped of sweet red wine on a special occasion once or twice a year (cannot even finished a glass🤗). And I do not often take pain medicine—I didn’t even take a Tylenol for my pain the other day after I had my liver biopsy. My cholesterol and blood pressure are normal according to my gp. I just wish I can find out why and how I have fatty/enlarge liver.🙁

Thank you for welcoming me and for the info, appreciate it.


Hi Lishadin

My mother is a liver specialist here in the United States and just a couple of weeks ago she mentioned that people of Asian descent can suffer from fatty liver despite a normal BMi and weight. There seems to be a genetic factor at play. A quick Google search brought me the article below.


ynbaouchi, thank you! I appreciate your kindness giving me the link of information about the NAFLD. I will try my very best to eat less white rice 🍚🤗😊


Received a call this morning from my doctor about my liver biopsy—no cirrhosis, no scarring and small amount of fat.🙏🏼 The pain during and after the biopsy is worth it!


Such good news I am very Happy for you.


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