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Liver & Pancreas Disorders Message Board

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I am a 27 year old male weighing about 210 pounds. My diet is poor, exercise non-existent, I used to be a heavy drinker, and for the past eight years or so I have been taking Tylenol to combat wisdom tooth pain. Also, I am a smoker. If that's not a recipe for disaster, what is?

Four months ago, I began noticing a range of disturbing symptoms: indigestion, bloating, constipation mingled with the odd bit of diarrhea, fatigue, dizziness, etc. (I say etc. because I'm writing a forum post, not a novel). The upshot of it is that I went to the emergency room, waited ten hours, and was diagnosed with gallstones and elevated liver enzymes after an ultrasound and a blood test.

After a month, my PCP retested my liver enzymes. They were higher, despite a change in lifestyle. While I don't know what the values were at the hospital, these are the values for this second blood test: bilirubin 2.0 on a 0.0 to 1.2 scale, AST 104 on a 0-40 scale, and ALT 186 on a 0-44 scale.

Needless to say, I was displeased. Two months later and I saw a GI. No hepatitis. He seems certain I am an alcoholic (went on a rant about how "George W. was able to quit, so can you"). Ok... Still, I have not touched alcohol in two years, and that is the truth.

Third test: bilirubin 1.6, AST 49, ALT 102. Everything's down, but still not normal.

Here's what confuses me: I have quit fast food and restaurants, soda, energy drinks, and Tylenol. I am getting more exercise--though not enough, I admit. I was convinced it was the Tylenol, as was the doctor at the hospital. The other doctors seem to disagree, saying the values would have returned to normal by now if that were the case. PCP said it could be fatty liver. GI is certain that it's alcohol.

What gives?

I just had some dental work done and was prescribed Tylenol with Codeine. Am I safe to take it? Doctors say it wasn't Tylenol, but I'm skeptical. I know to avoid alcohol and fatty foods, but what else should I avoid? Why did the values rise a month after my initial test, then lower two months from my second, despite all the changes in lifestyle I'd made?

I am getting conflicting information from my doctors and from the Internet. I know this is a wake-up call--I have treated it as such--but I feel like my efforts aren't really paying off.

My last question, maybe the one I'm most interested in: could the years of Tylenol usage have done damage that takes more than a few weeks to repair (I did sometimes take more than the recommended amount), or are the doctors right in saying the values would have returned to normal by now?

Thank you so much to anyone with advice or answers.
Tylenol IMHO causes a lot of damage to some peoples livers even in normal maximum daily doses. My house growing up was anti tylenol, and so when I had my own house we became anti tylenol. The only exception to that was when I was prescribed pain killers short term for major pain issues as no doctor (at least in this area of the country) will RX pain killers without tylenol in it. Or when I had my baby as baby fever meds are only tylenol.

Some doctors realize the dangers of tylenol, others think its so safe... I think this has to do with pharmaceutical money, to be honest, they pay the hospitals to hand out tylenol.

I would avoid tylenol at ALL costs if possible until you know whats going on with your liver. My doctor wasnt too happy to find out the ER handed me a tylenol knowing my liver enzymes were high. I only took 1, and only because I was doubled over in pain for hours and thats ALL they would do for me. I knew the risk, I weighed it, I took it.

Did you look up the med they gave you? I hate when they lie and say it doesnt have tylenol, just makes me feel less confident in the system. I would call up their office or my PCP and explain whats going on, and WHY you refuse to take a tylenol combo med and maybe they'll RX you something else, but it might get you nowhere. They tend to think those that dont want tylenol are drug seeking. Unless the laws have changed again, I think there are tons of other codeine mixtures they can use, they just dont *like* to.

My doctor says AST bounces back fast, I dont have raised ALT so I dont know how fast that recovers. I also got the alcoholic talk, but when I said I abstained a month between two LFT tests and my AST raised she said that was inconsistent with alcohol usage if I was being honest. course, Im not sure if she believes me...
She said AST would fall dramatically(%50) in a week or two of abstinence, and back to normal within a month. Unless it had become chronic or cirrhosis which would take many years of abuse.

Id like to add, while my results are consistent with what they're taught is alcohol use (AST>ALT) your results are not....

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