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Liver function tests. What can cause a large variation from one week to the next?

(9 Posts)
trixymalixy Thu 16-Feb-17 10:16:36

DH had some liver function tests done last week at the GP. They were normal.

He then had a work medical this week and his LFTs are way above normal.

Obviously he's going back to the GP, but has anyone any insight into what may have caused this variation in one week?

Differences from one week to the next are that he started taking citalopram and was following a very healthy diet before the good tests and had a bit of a heavy fatty meal before the bad test.

Could these things have had such an effect?

trixymalixy Thu 16-Feb-17 12:07:04


chloesmumtoo Thu 16-Feb-17 17:55:09

Hi trixymalixy, I know what can affect it, drinking heavily prior to test, so don't overly worry. I have had a raised test before and then my next one was fine as I was called back in and I had not had alcohol either.
My dp, however had many raised liver tests years ago and we were very worried what was wrong, it turned out he had non alcoholic steto hepatitis, basically fatty inflamed liver. He had biopsy and scans to diagnose this and they prescribed him to have a low fat diet and stop alcohol intake. They said it would never go away and poor care could lead to problems with the liver like scarring. However following advise, his tests results improved and then he was allowed to drink in moderation again and now his tests are always deemed normal enough not to warrant any further action. Maybe had had a poor diet/lifestyle previously which may have contributed to things but once we got stuck in to low fat ect things went well. Its the same thing that you may have seen on tv where they do an experiment of someone living off takeaways and this is what it ended up causing. I don't think much was known when dp was going through it. We eat just sensibly now, not too low in fat as dd came along with a life threatening nut allergy and we had to concentrate on her diet more. I don't think we eat badly just normal and dp seems fine now. You wouldn't know. It used to cause him extreme tiredness when levels were bad.

chloesmumtoo Thu 16-Feb-17 19:01:32

I expect your dh test results are just a blip and it will probably go back to normal. I wonder if citalopram causes any effect on the tests? My dp is not alowed paracetamol, only ibuprofen. Cant remember the name of what was high, dp says it was the enzymes.

chloesmumtoo Thu 16-Feb-17 19:31:50
It states : Antidepressants may affect liver enzymes, as noted by the “Annals of Pharmacology” article. After starting antidepressants, the liver enzyme count in the bloodstream may rise. In many instances this rise is not concerning and the enzyme levels return to normal in a little over a week. Once in a while, an antidepressant will truly damage the liver, elevating liver enzyme counts to high levels, which is serious.

trixymalixy Thu 16-Feb-17 21:38:11

Thanks. He hadn't had anything to drink since before Christmas and certainly not in between the two tests so not that.

GP thinks the citalopram potentially the cause and doing more liver function tests.

chloesmumtoo Thu 16-Feb-17 22:20:04

Atleast they are keeping him well checked. Fingers crossed the results settle back down this time round smile

willdoitinaminute Sat 18-Feb-17 20:24:04

I had a drug induced hepatitis (fertility drug) some years ago and have to be very careful taking any new medication. I also have mild symptoms of hepatitis if I drink alcohol so I am pretty much T-total nowadays. It sounds like your DH has had similar liver damage and the new meds may have caused elevated LFTs. His GP will hopefully do follow up tests and possibly suggest alternative to citalopram. In future it's probably worth reminding GP of liver problem when prescribing drugs.

Silvercatowner Sat 18-Feb-17 21:37:38

My liver does this. It was very disconcerting first time, lots of panic and emergency scans. I have Gilberts Syndrome and it is now mostly blamed on that.

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