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ask: My brother has a high count of liver enzymes and low potassium.

By Anonymous
 
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My mother and all of her sisters had liver failure( probably genetic) brought on by hepatitis and another condition I can't spell (cirrhosis? Psirrhosis?). None of them were alcoholics but did take a lot of Ibuprofen or Tylenol over the years, and some of them were only social drinkers. Could my brother's high enzyme count and low potassium be a sign that he may have the same thing?

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Susan Cody HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thanks for your post!

Your mom and her siblings could only get Hep B by the mixing of blood or body fluids of others - often meaning through sex or drugs/sharing needles. It can also be transmitted by pregnant mothers to their babies.

Taking Tylenol and alcohol is definitely not a good idea , as you mentioned but I think your mom and sisters may have been using a lot more alcohol that perhaps you know?

Did they all have a rather unhealthy lifestyle that you know of?

With regard to your brother: ow potassium is caused by several things, including a bad diet, low magnesium or even leukemia or various disorders.

Some reasons for high elevated liver enzymes include Hepatitis A,B,C, alcohol and/or with Tylenol use, being over-weight, having mono or even Cushing's Disease (among other conditions) - but many reasons are mimicking your mom and her sisters.

Your brother needs to be evaluated for all the various reasons as to why his tests are showing these results and also needs to be very open about his lifestyle - if it's a factor.

I hope this helps and please encourage your brother to seek more help/information from a doctor who can run more tests and examine him personally.

Best,
~Susan

July 21, 2011 - 10:21am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Cody)

Two of my aunts did not drink at all. Mom only had one glass of wine a week, and two or three cocktails at Christmas. With Arthritis running in the family, yes we take a lot of pain pills.
I don't because I am scared of ruining my liver, but no , there was no more drinking than what I reported, Thank you very much

July 21, 2011 - 10:31am
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi again Anon!

Thanks for the update!

If pain medication included acetaminophen (like Vicodin) and was taken very long term in relatively large doses, then this could absolutely damage the liver.

As to why all of them had Hep B - I cannot say.

Thanks for being such a concerned sister and I hope your brother gets to the bottom of this, and quickly.

Best,
~Susan

July 21, 2011 - 10:38am
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