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Author Topic: Really need some reassurance  (Read 522 times)

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Offline stephtronic

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Really need some reassurance
« on: December 26, 2013, 04:22:40 PM »
HA is the worst, and I just do not understand why my brain cannot just settle down.

As some of you may know, I've been really worried about my liver lately, despite multiple reassurances from my doctors that there is nothing to worry about. I had an abnormality in a blood test in November. My doctor didn't even mention it to me. I saw it later, called, and was told to relax and that it was no big deal. I didn't do that. I went to the ER, they ran a blood test, and the enzymes were even higher (although still VERY mildly elevated). Of course, because it was two different labs with two different normal ranges, I don't know exactly how to compare the two. It was closer to the normal range for the ER lab, 57 (9-50), but higher than it was before 42 (0-29), although less further from the upper limit for the ER than the doc. The ER also do an U/S and didn't note anything glaringly wrong. So I ended up going back to my doc, showed them that, and they still said that they were not worried about the liver enzymes or my liver and that I should relax. Still didn't relax. Ended up at another ER. Blood test again. This time my liver enzymes were back to normal. 28.

I requested my own hepatitis tests, which also came back normal. When my enzymes were elevated, I had just gotten off of a ton of medications, so that could have been a cause, which would be why it is back to normal removed a few weeks from taking them.

So, I should be happy, right? Everything went back to normal. I'm not, though. I'm still worried. I think I should get them tested again because they might have gone back up. I think I should get more tests done to look at more possibilities. I think I should have at least some sort of investigation. But my doctors are not concerned. I talked to two different docs in the same office, both said the same thing, and they only saw the elevation and never saw that it went back to normal. I guess I'm afraid they aren't being careful enough, and I'm really scared. It's ruining my life.

I recognize that even if there IS something, I'm not really in an urgent stage, and I still have "time" to get things figured out. (At least, I think...) But it's still scary.

I consulted Dr Google and an Ask A Doctor website, and of course got mixed results and don't know what to do about it. It seems some doctors see elevated enzymes and think you should be tested for everything all at once immediately and are very assertive about how you should get the cause investigated ASAP to prevent it getting worse. Others think you should wait a couple months and retest and see if it persists or not before jumping the gun.

I'm just scared my doctor isn't doing enough. Although both of the docs I saw are older and experienced, it's like I think that me on Google or doctors on a website where they don't even know you and what the rest of your condition is like are more knowledgeable than them, and I recognize that it's wrong.

I don't know what to do. I know I should just drop it. My doctor never even meant for me to KNOW about the liver enzymes, but I just had to order a copy, and then I had to freak out, and now it rules my life.  :traurig001:
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Offline Overthinking extrovert

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Re: Really need some reassurance
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2013, 05:08:23 PM »
Ask yourself this. Is anything able to relieve your anxiety? From what I can tell, there is nothing. Doctors just don't do it for you. Therefore why worry? You should worry about every day things rather than some mistery disease you probably don't have. Because probability is so high that it should be ignored. Would you invest a 1000$ if there was 1% chance of losing it? I think you would.
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Offline stephtronic

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Re: Really need some reassurance
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2013, 05:23:18 PM »
I've been trying hard not to worry. I know it's pointless. I keep thinking to myself, "Why stress myself out and make myself sick with anxiety when there is probably nothing wrong with me? Even IF there was something wrong with me, wouldn't I want to enjoy myself and not stress out while I still can and live my life to the fullest?" But my brain just doesn't buy it, I guess.

I am in a super panic now, though. God. My question on the "ask a doctor" website got answered by another doctor. I posted my elevated liver enzymes (42 and 57), they replied with:
Quote
Both results represent illness and the cause of this liver trauma must be determined so that removing or solving the reason for the liver damage can be removed and the liver allowed to heal.

And another doc replied on the same post:
Quote
Don't ignore this or you may end up very, very sorry. Enzymes fluctuate from minute to minute, and the precision of the assays themselves varies by a few percent on each run even when run at the same lab. That's not the issue. Take Dr. Killian's advice VERY seriously.

 :traurig001:

Do I just ignore that and trust the doctors that I have because they've actually seen the "big picture" rather than just the elevated enzymes??? Or do I push harder for more tests??? I'm so worried.
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Offline Overthinking extrovert

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Re: Really need some reassurance
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2013, 05:40:15 PM »
What other tests? Are you a doctor? What other tests do you even  know? There aren't countless tests. Like you said, they have seen the big picture and they have concluded you have nothing. Do yourself a favour - don't look at the results ever again, only listen to your doctor's opinion.
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Offline MmeMulot

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Re: Really need some reassurance
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2013, 05:41:50 PM »
Who are you going to trust more: doctors who have actually examined you, or random doctors on the Internet whose qualifications you have no way of knowing or verifying? You asked this question yourself, and you know what the correct answer should be!

The fact your results went back to normal is a great sign. Enzymes and blood results can vary a lot over a short amount of time.
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Offline stephtronic

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Re: Really need some reassurance
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2013, 06:07:19 PM »
Thank you both for replying. Sometimes I need the sense internet-slapped into me to get myself out of a downward spiral.

I guess I should definitely trust my personal doctors more because, like was said, they have actually examined me, seen all of my complete blood work, etc. And they definitely have more combined medical expertise than my keyboard and I do... They both agreed with one another that I "know too much" from Googling and am letting anxiety get the best of me. I can see their point.

The stance online about investigating elevated ALT seems to be split 50/50 with people who are more like the doctors that I just posted quotes from versus people who are more like my own doctors. I guess I just worry that since my doctors aren't alarmists, that they'll miss something or overlook something. But then, I guess if I had an alarmist doctor and was constantly getting prodded, I'd be unhappy about that, too.

The other tests that I mentioned are for copper levels and iron levels and for specific markers in the blood. They're apparently routinely done for elevated enzymes according to most of the medical websites. I mentioned a few the last time I was seen, but my doctor brushed it off because she didn't think there was any need. I even told her about the online doctor thing, and she said that he probably said to get tested for all of that because he wasn't seeing the big picture, which is a point that's been made already here. If she thought I needed it, she would have ordered it.

Yeah, I'm never requesting test results again. I regret it so much. If I hadn't, I would have no idea about the liver enzymes right now. At all.

Another thing I worry about is that I won't get treated adequately because I go to a medical office that is based off of charity and donations and a lot of the doctors volunteer there rather than work fulltime (although some do). It's for the working uninsured. I guess I just fear that unless they think it's urgent, they'll overlook it until it becomes urgent to save time or money. Or that the doctors don't really worry about us as much as their usual patients. I know it's probably just my anxious brain building these ideas.  :dazed:
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Offline tymommy

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Re: Really need some reassurance
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2013, 10:07:34 AM »
It's th worst feeling when there's an abnormality in anything.ughh i hate when that happens.but i may have an explanation for the enzyme problem.my husband had gotten a wee bit of food poisoning awhile back and it turnsout your liver responds in this way. Also, food poisoning can take as long as 3 or more months to effect you. I know this because McDonald's was the placewe ate and i called them just as a courtesy like hey there's a possibility that you made somebody sick....and this angry representative called me back to inform me that he could've gotten food poisoning as far back as 3 months ago.right...he just so happened to throw up several times four hours after a meal from there. But anyway,i did tell the dr and i guess you can get food poisoning months before symptoms. Weird huh! But yea your liver does funky stuff sometimes while this is happening. Hes totally fine now:-) i KNOW you will be too.xoxo
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Offline ColdHands

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Re: Really need some reassurance
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2013, 01:18:55 PM »
My levels are much higher than yours and they still say nothing to worry about.  I do have an US scheduled to rule out anything super bad, but I am actually not that freaked about it.  Mine have been steadily rising for some time, but I wonder if its my meds.  I am on hydrocholothiazide and it can mess with your liver levels.  I don't have pain or anything.

Now that Christmas is over, I'm trying to lose weight, go off my acid reducing meds, and generally take better care of myself.  My hair is starting to thin too, which I think (despite what the dermatologist said) is related to general health.

Your levels are very slightly over normal, like very very slightly.  If they were double that, I would have some more tests, but like the other poster said, you seem not to be taking the tests as meaning anything.

Us HA folks can twist anything to make it seem like the tests are wrong, the doctors are wrong, etc.  If you aren't having pain, jaundice, hep tests were normal, then you need to settle down. 

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Offline stephtronic

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Re: Really need some reassurance
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2013, 03:38:09 PM »
Thank you both for replying. I know I need to chill. I'll come read this thread anytime I start to get freaked out again.

ColdHands - I hope everything goes well with your US. If you can, keep us updated on how it goes.

I had a "quickie" US in the ER a few weeks ago. It was for right upper quadrant pain, so it was a RUQ US, which isn't really focused on the liver, so of course that got me anxious because I felt like they weren't paying enough attention to it. They measured my liver, though, so I'm sure they would have had to have seen it pretty well and would have noted anything weird, right? It just said "Negative right upper quadrant ultrasound."
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Offline AncientMelody

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Re: Really need some reassurance
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2013, 03:59:12 PM »
I've been trying hard not to worry. I know it's pointless. I keep thinking to myself, "Why stress myself out and make myself sick with anxiety when there is probably nothing wrong with me? Even IF there was something wrong with me, wouldn't I want to enjoy myself and not stress out while I still can and live my life to the fullest?" But my brain just doesn't buy it, I guess.

I am in a super panic now, though. God. My question on the "ask a doctor" website got answered by another doctor. I posted my elevated liver enzymes (42 and 57), they replied with:
Quote
Both results represent illness and the cause of this liver trauma must be determined so that removing or solving the reason for the liver damage can be removed and the liver allowed to heal.

And another doc replied on the same post:
Quote
Don't ignore this or you may end up very, very sorry. Enzymes fluctuate from minute to minute, and the precision of the assays themselves varies by a few percent on each run even when run at the same lab. That's not the issue. Take Dr. Killian's advice VERY seriously.

 :traurig001: Or do I push harder for more tests??? I'm so worried.

Do I just ignore that and trust the doctors that I have because they've actually seen the "big picture" rather than just the elevated enzymes???

THIS. I am sure these online doctors are required to be very conservative. To do otherwise would risk a lawsuit. They don't know you. YOUR doctors know you. If they are aware that you have health anxiety, perhaps this was the very situation they were trying to avoid for you. You had an ultrasound. You had hepatitis levels. You will likely have your liver enzymes periodically monitored with your physical every year.  If you have truly lost faith in your doctors you can consider seeing a new doctor NOT to obsess over the liver, but to establish your long term care. If you otherwise feel like your doctors have taken good care of you, let this go. And if they aren't aware of your health anxiety, it's time to schedule an appointment and talk to them about it
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Offline loveya14

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Re: Really need some reassurance
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2013, 04:15:31 PM »
You have gotten some great advise here , TRUST me I know what your feeling I would be thinking the same things as you if I were anxiouse about this .....your anxiety has put a gigantic magnifying glass over the idea that somethin not perfect showed up on your blood work , it's your anxiety not the actual issue . TRUST your doctor they have studied these issues for years and years ! If there were a issue and they even had the slightest doubt they would say let's run more test their not saying that ! Try and get busy doing something else and see how your anxiety feels in a few days ...... I bet you will feel better ;)
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Offline stephtronic

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Re: Really need some reassurance
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2013, 06:32:23 PM »
Quote
If you have truly lost faith in your doctors you can consider seeing a new doctor NOT to obsess over the liver, but to establish your long term care. If you otherwise feel like your doctors have taken good care of you, let this go. And if they aren't aware of your health anxiety, it's time to schedule an appointment and talk to them about it.
They definitely know about my health anxiety. I don't think I said anything to them directly besides the fact that I have OCD and am being treated elsewhere, but they've picked up on it along the way and are completely aware. I know I need to let this go. Both of the doctors at my office are experienced physicians with a lot of years of work to back them up. I've been seeing them for a few months now, and they've been good to me and have never given me reason to think that they're incompetent. I know that if I went somewhere else, the only reason would be for obsessing over the liver. Nothing else.

You're right too, loveya14. It's my anxiety doing this. I really do need to trust my doctors.
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Offline sky3942

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Re: Really need some reassurance
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2013, 09:00:43 PM »
Meds will make your liver enzymes rise, even Tylenol and Ibruprophen. And I know how HA can make us obsess over the worst case  scenario I am just getting over one myself with my daughter. My doc changed my Klonapin to Ativan and upped my Paxil so I pray it will work better when I have things trigger my HA. Google is the worst thing, I am going to try to block it off my computer. It always gives you the worst case. I got on chat and talked to great group of people last night that helped me calm down a bit. So try that before you google, I know I will next time. 
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Offline ColdHands

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Re: Really need some reassurance
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2014, 04:18:08 PM »
I know this thread is old, but I was reading it to get some reassurance again on my own liver issues and found that I had posted on here to reassure someone else!  haha, wow, how the worm turns.

I haven't had my U/S yet, but will be in another week.  I had postponed it, but I went to the ER Friday for gyno pain (actually have a growing fibroid), and they tested my blood and found my liver levels high.  The doctor there seemed more concerned than my GP, but not enough to keep me or anything.

I wanted to mention that i had bloodwork was done by another lab, just a month or so apart of the other lab.  The ranges of normal are different.  I freaked because they were even higher in only a months time, but when i looked at the ranges of normal, they were pretty much the same.

I also knew that i had started using lots of supplements and trying cures for my hair that probably freaked out my liver.  I see my doctor tomorrow for a followup on the ER visit, but i am having some discomfort in my Upper right quadrant.  you can have pain if your levels are pretty high, but not for the levels you had here.

Just to give you some perspective, my ALT was 80, my AST was 94 and my Alk Phos was 500

between 2 and 4 times normal on all three.  so, it could be worse....
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Offline Hypo84

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Re: Really need some reassurance
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2014, 04:36:20 PM »
I also had alt ast higher than normal, doctors said it was nothing and just to repeat test in couple of months. But, dr Google said some scary stuff, so I tested myself for all kinds of hepatitis and madr my life misdrable in the process.

My current therapist told me that I need to stop googling completely when I get new symptoms, and that would be my advice to you.

Take care
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