Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Operation Love My Liver

So, in June, I wrote about my liver issues again.  My liver enzymes were continuing to elevate despite all of the diet changes, and supplements I had been adding to my life.  I mean, seriously, the number of pills I take equal an additional meal every day.  It gets tiring.

In my last post, I mentioned some sample liver numbers over the years.  Here they are again.

Date          Weight          AST (10-30)          ALT (6-29)
3/2013        257               33                           21                          (fairly normal levels)
6/2014        257               57                           37                          (started working with Ellen)
9/2014        246               42                           29
12/2014      244               39                           29                          (almost normal again!)
6/2015        255               48                           30                          (WTF?!)

I went in for another check-up in September and fully expected my levels to start to drop again.  I was eating well and skipping sweets at parties and events.  I didn't even have cake at my sister's wedding!

I was extremely upset to learn that my numbers had actually increased.  My weight continues to be around 255 pounds.  My AST went up to 51 and my ALT to 46.  My doctor again tried to push diet pills on me.  He also wants me to see a liver doctor.  He insists that it is my weight causing these issues.  I refuse to believe that is the problem.  I used to weigh 350 pounds and no one was worrying about my liver then.  He said he wished we could find some old blood labs so that we could compare.  I went home and I actually found one set of blood labs done right before my gastric bypass surgery, when I would have weighed around 330 pounds.  My AST was 43 and my ALT was 36.  (Also Ellen said that the ranges used are so broad, and that I should be shooting for the median number, which is 22 for AST and 25 for ALT.)  Anyway, yes, those numbers from 2003 do show that my liver enzymes were elevated, however it also means that weight loss alone won't fix them, as I am currently 80 pounds lighter than that and my liver enzymes are higher!

So here's a new chart for those keeping track:

Date          Weight          AST (22)          ALT (25)
5/2003        330               43                           36
3/2013        257               33                           21                          
6/2014        257               57                           37                          
9/2014        246               42                           29
12/2014      244               39                           29                          
6/2015        255               48                           30   
9/2015        255               51                           46                       

I did find out that one of the supplements I was taking needed another supplement to help it work properly.  So it may have been clearing the liver but it needed help to remove those toxins from the body.  Meaning, those toxins have essentially just been stewing in my body for the last year.  They had no outlet.  It makes sense to me now as I noticed I started hating the smell of my own sweat probably nine months ago.  It never occurred to me that it was a sign that my body was struggling to clear itself of toxins.  I now have a second supplement to help the first one work properly and my sweat no longer offends me, so I have to assume it is working.

I made a deal with my doctor that I would continue working with Ellen and eating as cleanly as possible (although I do allow planned sweets so I don't push myself into a binge).  I didn't let Halloween ruin me this year as it did last year.  I even went through a horrible tragedy at work (my boss committed suicide -- I will probably write more on this topic later after I have had some time to heal) and didn't fully turn to food for comfort.  If I take these tests again in January and my numbers have not gotten better, then I told my doctor I would consider the diet pills and referral to the liver doctor.

For now, I am trying to enjoy my life, hang out with my family as much as possible, and not allow food to continue to control me.  I exercise to feel good and I eat to heal my body.  My friend Ginger started Operation Love Lori's Liver.  So I make sure everything I do is geared towards that.  Join me in this operation and do something to love YOUR body so you can be the best you possible!