Found out why my alt was high

Just got home from the doctors office. He told me I had gallstones. That way be the cause of my high liver enzyme. He said I need surgery to remove it I explained to him I don't have any pain i actually feel good besides the joint pain. He said it's better to remove it now. I really don't want too don't feel sick at all. Can this really be the cause of alt high and is there a way around this and to lower my liver enzyme ?

17 Replies

  • I have had my gall bladder out I did nit have any discomfort afterwards and have eaten most things since. Ut was done by keyhole surgery and was fine . Good luck xxx

  • I also had my gall bladder removed by key hole. Since then I haven't had to alter my diet. The operation was ok and I only had a week off work. If you leave it too long to have it removed you have to have it done by conventional surgery, and this means a much longer recovery time.

  • Helen I don't have any pain at all. I didn't even know I had any problem u til the sonogram. The only thing my doctor was worried was about my alt being high and than send me to a sonogram

  • If I was in your position I'd educate yourself about the gallbladder in order to make an informed decision. By doctors office are you referring to your primary (GP), Consultant Gastroenterologist or Surgeon? If it's your GP I would wait for a referral to Gastro, it's their bread & butter so will be able to recommend the next course of action. Meantime as I say I'd do your homework, a good start nay be here & here

    Gallstones can turn painful but much depends on the type, you'll learn more in the two links above.

    All the best.

  • Thank you for the links. It was acutaully my gastroenterologist. I told him I don't feel any time of pain or have any problem. I don't want to do surgery if I don't need too and being in a different country doesn't help. They could be wrong or right and doing all these tests are expensive I could only imagine surgery.

  • * Sabrina, I've found what I consider to be a common sense viewpoint from a GP. It won't let me copy the url for whatever reason but it's allowing me to copy the text so I'll add it below on a wider column. It relates to a 60 odd year old lady with gallstones, not having much pain except for once after eating fatty food & doesn't really want to have surgery as it's not causing her problems. I thought it may help to have another perspective.

  • It's tough Sabrina, listening to medical advice but going against your own instinct. I was told I had gallstones 15 years ago but nobody suggested anything was done about them, maybe because they aren't causing problems - yet! I think others have given sound advice: check it all out thoroughly and then insist on a good talk with a specialist. Good luck and I hope you'll let us know.

  • ** Your dilemma is a common one — gallstones are found in around one in 20 people, although many have no idea they actually have them.

    These ‘silent’ stones produce no symptoms, and they’re often only diagnosed by chance following investigations — such as an ultrasound scan — for another reason.

    However, around one in five of those with gallstones will eventually develop symptoms, and once symptoms start to occur the general experience is that they continue and increase in frequency.

    The function of the gallbladder is to store and concentrate bile. This greenish liquid is produced by the liver to help the body digest fats, and is made from a mixture of compounds, including cholesterol, salts and water.

    Stones, whether silent or causing symptoms, form in the gallbladder when it starts to malfunction.

    The bile remains in the gallbladder for too long, and the cholesterol starts to crystallise.

    Once this occurs the gallbladder tends not to revert to normal function, and the stones enlarge and increase in number.

    Various factors are thought to play a role in the formation of these stones — these include genetics, a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet, age, being a woman (we don’t know why), pregnancy, reduced physical activity, and obesity.

    Discomfort is triggered when the gallbladder contracts after a meal and stones clog the tube between the liver and the gallbladder.

    This is more likely to occur after a high-fat meal because the gallbladder has to release more bile to digest the fats, or when a stone or stones move from the gallbladder into the bile duct (the main channel leading to the small intestine).

    Between 15 to 25 per cent of people with silent gallstones develop some discomfort within ten years, and other potential complications include infection in the gallbladder — this infection can move into the liver — and pancreatitis, causing upper abdominal pain and vomiting.

    I agree with your GP that a low-fat diet will give you the best chance of minimising your symptoms, by limiting the formation of new stones and not working the gallbladder so hard.

    But with many years of life ahead of you, it seems that in all likelihood you will eventually need an operation to remove the gallbladder. If so, then it will be by a keyhole procedure carried out under general anaesthetic and requiring one or two days in hospital.

    Life then continues unchanged — bile simply flows straight from the liver, and the normal digestive processes continue.

    In fact, by the time you’ve developed gallbladder disease with stones, the gallbladder won’t have been making much contribution to the digestion of your food anyway, because it slowly stops functioning properly.

    Some people do experience an alteration in bowel function for a few weeks or months after having their gallbladder removed, but this usually settles.

    I am sorry to cast a pessimistic shadow, but I suspect that you will require surgery at some stage.

  • Thank u so much. I still feel maybe the doctors where wrong even doctors can make mistakes

  • Hello Sabrina, I once had severe gallstones. At the time I had them I was seeing a world wide famous Chinese herbalist. Dr Henry Hann. The doctors wanted to remove my gallbladder. The Chinese Herbalist wanted be to try some Chinese herbs for 3 weeks to at least give it a try. I did that & it had worked. The only problem is that he said I would have to take his treatment every 3 years for maintenance. It's been 5 years now & im doing pretty well with this. The reason I did not follow up with him is that Dr Henry Hann was murdered along with his wife & little girl in there home in Santa Barbara, calif. You may have heard about this as he was a world known. A brilliant man. It was so sad. The world who new him was very sad. He was very loved by everyone who knew him. Anyway, I could go back to his office as they have people who studied under him that is maintaining all his patients to keep helping them. It's just so sad for me to go there because he's not there. But I should. I've just been doing well right now & don't need to. Although a cat scan I had did show I have some gallstones again. But there not bothering me. Well I just wanted u to know what I did. It doesn't mean it's right for everyone. Hope u have a wonderful day🌻

  • Thank you so much rich girl. Yeah I guess your right that's for sharing that story .

  • Mtx increases the also the risk of gallstones. If you are on this med, perhaps also take into consideration.

  • I get your very informative reply,,it`s the most information I have ever received so far,but what I cannot understand is why the gallstone not be dissolved or broken up during keyhole surgery instead of removing the entire gallbladder ?

  • I'm not aware that it's done or even possible. There are some procedures which work best on a single gallstone by either endoscopy or externally through the abdomen, shockwave breaks up the stone into gravel & then they're collected done by endoscopy or passed naturally if done externally but I don't think either are done so often nowadays & usually if an op isn't appropriated. There's also a medication but it takes a long time to work & once you stop taking it the stones return, again usually only used for those who are for whatever reason unable to undergo an op. From those & another which escapes me just now, I would take it that if you're predisposed to high cholesterol & gallstones then the best option is a cholecystectomy, though that's not without possible problems once it's done even though surgeons say we can live without the gallbladder.

  • Now thats interesting . I was going to ask next just what problems you can have of you have the gallbladder is removed . I can`t seem to find an answer anywhere on this although I`m sure that there may be some. I personally hate taking drugs as,to me ,they can bring up their own problems .

  • Some find they've to continue on the low fat diet they were on before the had their cholecystectomy. Diarrhea can also be chronic, pain as well. Of course many do find it successful, I guess though there's just no way of knowing.


    Something I found interesting to read😊

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