Hi all-- IANAD/YANMD/YANAD, etc., but I'm hoping I can get more insight/advice on the state of my mom's health and liver. I've been trying to make sense of a liver-related issue that has been affecting my mom (60 yr. old) for a month. Following worsening symptoms at the beginning of July (fatigue, physical exhaustion, muscle weakness and soreness, lack of appetite), she went to the ER.
posted by chloe.gelsomino to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
At the ER, an ultrasound showed that there were no immediate liver issues. Her blood test showed high levels of AST/ASL (589/1398) and alkaline phosphatase (353). A follow-up blood test 2-3 weeks later with the family doctor indicated that AST/ASL had dropped (216/559), but the doc expressed some concern that the levels weren't as dropping as quickly as he'd have liked. No hepatitis was detected, but she has previously had Hep. A. Other data points from the follow-up: GGTP 180; alkaline phosphatase (270); low white blood count 3.8.
My mom has another follow-up blood test at the end of August, but given that she seems to be increasingly more fatigued, I'm highly concerned that there's something else going amiss. Again, all her doctor has said after her follow-up is: can't seem to figure out what's going on, try to get some rest, drink a lot of water, come back at the end of August for another follow-up. She was energetic and said she was doing great and back to her usual self. Today, she sounded very weak and flat on the phone, and has been sleeping for most of the day. In addition, she has also complained of having extreme muscle weakness/soreness in her thighs/buttock region during the past month.
Her symptoms began sometime around July 4th-- namely that she began feeling incredibly weak (not part of her usual physical well-being, as she has always been a high-energy person), unable to do much. She went to the ER, saw her family doctor soon afterward, and has been eating a light diet of fruits, juices, legumes. She has made a conscious effort to cut salt and animal fats out. It's been a month, she seemed to be doing slightly better (by better I'm going by how she sounds on the phone and what she tells me), but started to sound flat and dulled again last night.
Here's what I do know about my mom's health. She...:
* does NOT drink any alcohol, smoke, take Tylenol/Advil/the like
* discontinued generic Fosamax (alendronate) for osteoporosis after 3 months (Feb. - May of 2014)
* has known autoimmune issues such as vitiglio, psorisis on her hands
* has had Hepatitis A before
* briefly used a Chinese herbal mixture pill that claimed to reduce or eliminate vitiglio for no more than 1 week in June 2014. This Chinese herbal pill (purchased from www.merryclinic.com)was manufactured here in the US, but after some Googling, it's clear that most if not all these Chinese herbs can cause liver damage, among other things.
Her current lifestyle:
She and my dad run a small business in which they do the bulk of the work themselves (not laborious, but it's not unusual for my mom to be in the office from 8am - 8pm, handling a lot of customer service calls). Taking a day off work really does not seem to be an option at this point. She is exceptional at caring for others, but pretty terrible at caring for herself. My dad is not a skilled caretaker, or a caretaker at that, so I don't expect anything to come out of asking him to look after her a bit more. I understand that we are all responsible for ourselves, but I'm an only child and caring more than normal for my mom is a vice I can't seem to shake. I have a week of weddings to attend to, so I won't be able to stay with my parents until mid-August.
Is this normal? Is there something more sinister at play? Do any of you have recommendations, relevant personal experience you can share regarding non-type liver damage or related health issues? They will be so very much appreciated. English is not my mom's first language and I'd really like to know as much as I can to make sure nothing is slipping through the cracks. Thanks immensely.