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01/21/2009 06:48 PM

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sciteacher
sciteacher  
Posts: 447
Member

Any of you ever test high for liver enzymes. Didn't know if it was lyme or maybe the meds. The doctors said that lyme does not normally cause something like that. They were high before I started the doxy, but I was on ambien, nexium, neurontin, and mirapex...wondering if it could have been one of those. I had normal enzymes before I started taking any of the meds.Shocked

Any good herbal remedies to lower the enzymes?

Post edited by: sciteacher, at: 01/21/2009 18:50

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01/21/2009 07:15 PM
beauty4ashes
beauty4ashes  
Posts: 860
Senior Member

Hmm, I really don't have an answer for you, sweetie. Wish I did. Maybe someone else will come along with one... I know that with all those meds you have to be careful though if you have liver problems, but not if they necessarily cause them. What did your doctor advise? Is he altering the dosing on those meds, just in case?

Antibiotics can raise liver enzymes,.. but you said they were high before the Doxy. It could be side effects from some of your other meds though... anti-infammatories like ibuprofin, etc. can do it, too. How's your cholesterol? That can do it, too, I believe. Maybe even gallstones? Lyme could be behind it since our whole systems get depleted and all sorts of other bacteria take over as well. You could talk to your doctor about the possibility of doing a liver cleanse... I think it uses epsom salts. But talk to you doctor--

Gosh, honey, I'm just really not sure here,.. hope you get it figured out, and please let us know.

(((BIG HUGS)))


01/21/2009 10:55 PM
fluffyluggage
fluffyluggage  
Posts: 4722
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I'm an Advocate

Hey Sci,

I'm with Beauty. There are sooooo many things that can cause your liver enzymes to rise, including the meds you were one, plus the doxy, plus NSAID's, plus pancreatitis, plus gallbladder problems. You need to know what tests were run, how many of them showed elevation and how specific they were for what problems.

I learned when working with pets that if you only have one liver enzyme elevated, it's really hard to know what's going on, so you need to look more individually at other things that could cause that enzyme to rise. In some cases, one specific liver enzyme being raised could literally mean... wait for it... NOTHING! LOL--seriously, I'm not kidding. You need to do more in-depth studies and find out what is going on. It could point to any number of things. So, you gotta go further.

That said, yes, it could even be the Lyme, so have you talked to the LLMD? You're saying "doctors" but I'm not sure what you mean by that... Milk thistle and OLE (olive leaf extract) are the two alternative therapies used specifically for immune and liver support, but I'll think to take a look in my books for other things that can be used for liver support... If you'll send me a PM to remind me to check it out, I'll do so. It may take me some time to get everything back to you, but I can check it out! I'm not sure that it will actually LOWER the enzymes, but it can SUPPORT and care for the liver, make sense?

*hugs*

jen Smile


01/22/2009 06:54 PM
Cakeluva1980
 
Posts: 290
Member

I was just going through the same problem. They found out it was something going on with my gall bladder and that effected my liver. Now I have to get my gall bladder out.

01/23/2009 05:47 PM
sciteacher
sciteacher  
Posts: 447
Member

I looked up the different enzymes tested for in the liver and my ast and alt were the ones high, it seems that those are generally just affected by what goes on in the liver. I looked back at my liver enzyme tests from before I began any meds and they were normal. I have to have a test done again Monday. I was told to stay off all meds until then. I have bad heartburn at times, but can;t take nexium, went back to taking tums...anyone know of foods that reduce heartburn? I want to be "clean" when I have the test done, so I can find out if the meds were causing the problems.. I don't need another problem now..I'm sure most of us don't.

01/23/2009 06:09 PM
beauty4ashes
beauty4ashes  
Posts: 860
Senior Member

Ginger really helps me a LOT and so does ultra-refined fish oil caps-- I can let you know which ones & where I get mine, if you're interested. They're certified pure - no mercury. I have a natural antacid I use & it has ginger in it, too-- calms my stomach acids back down pretty quickly, but it's through a MLM. Just PM me & LMK, but you could go to any healthfood store & get Ginger Root. I'm going to be picking some up myself so I can try to get off the Zantac (600mg/day)-- I'm certainly heading in that direction. Wink

I'm so sorry you're dealing with all this, hun.

Hang in there--

(((BIG HUGS)))


01/23/2009 07:45 PM
Julie4848

I buy fresh ginger, peel it and then boil it in water...Drink two glasses a day...LOVE IT

01/23/2009 11:46 PM
fluffyluggage
fluffyluggage  
Posts: 4722
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

Sci--not necessarily so. At least not for pets. When I was working in the vet business, it was the prelim screening test for the liver, yes, but it was also used to test for pancreatitis and gallbladder problems, as I mentioned earlier. I know you've had some problems with Herxing and feeling nauseated... So you need to know that AST and ALT can reflect other things. What we did was a bile acids test, and that would give an idea of how everything was functioning from that... results would tell us what, if anything, was wrong after that. Often, honestly, they came back normal. In fact, more often than not...

As for heartburn reducers (and other stomach upset relievers), here's some info:

For indigestion, many people don't realize, but certain drugs can cause indigestion. These include (but are not limited to):

1.) Antibiotics

2.) Aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen

3.) Corticosteroids

4.) Digoxin (a heart medication)

5.) Iron supplements

6.) Narcotic pain relievers

7.) Theophylline (an asthma medication)

I've always believed that many things require behavioral modification along with medications, whether you choose herbs and natural remedies or conventional meds. Some simple steps to avoid indigestions include the following:

1.) Give yourself time for meals; don't eat on the run.

2.) Decrease your consumption of fat and sugar, which can increase gas.

3.) Eat smaller portions. If this means more meals spread throughout the day, then so be it.

4.) Chew food thoroughly.

5.) Eat whole foods that contain fiber, which move more easily through your intestinal tract.

6.) Drink plenty of water, at least eight glasses per day, to help keep your intestinal contents moving.

Herbal remedies include the following:

1.) Chamomile (Matricaria recutita). This is a time-honored soothing digestive herb. It helps dispel gas, soothe the stomach, and relax the muscles that move food through the intestines. Many people use it also as a sedative. It makes an excellent bedtime tonic for an upset stomach. Mix it with peppermint for a tasty, effective tea to treat indigestion (if you can tolerate peppermint). It may be more effective as a tincture than a tea since many of its components evaporate quickly. Typical dosage: 3-4 cups tea per day (steep 1/2 to 1 tsp dried flowers in 1 cup hot water for 10 min); OR 10 to 40 drops tincture 3 times per day.

2.) Peppermint (Mentha x piperita). Any member of the mint family is good for indigestion, so if you don't care for the taste of peppermint, try lemon balm (Melissa officinalis). Mint acts as a muscle relaxant and can calm an overactive digestive tract. Typical dosage: 6-12 drops essential oil in water 3 times per day; OR 1-2 caps 3 times per day after meals (if IBS is a factor, use enteric-coated caps); OR up to 3 cups tea per day (steep 1.5 tsp dried leaf in 1 cup hot water for 10 min); OR 10-20 drops tincture in water after meals. CAUTION: Because peppermint can relax the valve between the stomach and the esophagus, it can worsen heartburn. If this is one of your symptoms, don't use peppermint.

3.) Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis). The root of this herb soothes the digestive tract's mucous membranes. It's also a mild immune-system stimulant, good for those whose indigestion may have a viral or bacterial cause. Usually the root is used, but the leaves also contain some of the substance that soothes an upset stomach. Typical dosage: up to 6 400-500 mg caps per day; OR 1 cup tea per day, divided into 3 doses (simmer 1 tsp dried root in 1 cup hot water for 15 min); OR 20 to 40 drops tincture up to 5 times per day.

4.) Angelica (Angelica archangelica). The fruit, leaf, and root of this herb stimulate digestion, help dispel gas, and calm nerves. It's especially good when bloating or cramps are part of your indigestion. You might see it included with other bitter herbs, such as dandelion, in commercial bitters preparations. Typical dosage: up to 3 cups per day, taken 30 minutes before meals (steep 1 tsp dried root in 1 cup hot water for 10 min); OR 10-40 drops tincture up to 3 times per day. CAUTION: May cause sun sensitivity. Avoid during pregnancy and nursing.

5.) Ginger (Zingiber officinale). Ginger stinulates digestion and dispels gas. It also helps move food through the intestinal tract and reduces irritation. Studies show it can prevent motion sickness. Typical dosage: up to 8 500-600 mg caps per day; OR 1/2-1 tsp fresh ground root per day; OR 10-20 drops tincture in water 3 times per day.

6.) Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare). Fennel relieves gas and stimulates the digestive tract. If you expect to eat a vegetable that you have trouble digesting, such as cabbage, try adding fennel seeds to your recipe. Typical dosage: up to 2 tsp raw seeds eaten after meals; OR 1 cup tea per day (simmer 2-3 tsp crushed seeds in 1 cup hot water for 10-15 min); OR 30-60 drops tincture in water up to 4 times per day.

For nausea, one must remember that it is the body's way of purging itself. If it is caused by toxins or parasites, one doesn't want to completely stop the process of purging. Regardless of the cause, treatment always includes lots of clear liquids, as dehydration alone can provoke nausea in some. Drink small frequent amounts: sip water, broth, or tea, or suck on chipped ice or frozen herbal tea. Drinking sports rehydration fluids helps replace not only water loss but also essential body salts. However, too much of that can cause indigestion, so be careful what you choose. My favorite is the Powerade, as it seems to have the right balance of electrolytes. Remember, if you feel very ill, can't keep down fluids, and haven't urinated in 8 hours, or if nausea and vomiting continue for more than a day, call the doctors. You have probably become dehydrated.

When nothing stays down, fortunately, the healing chemicals in many herbs can be absorbed through the skin. If your stomach turns at the idea of the recommended teas, make one but don't drink it. Instead, let it cool, then soak a clean cloth or hand towel with the tea and apply the cloth to your stomach. Another option: Make a large pot of bath tea by tossing a handful of any of the recommended herbs into a quart of just-boiled water. Allow to steep off-heat 10-15 mins, strain the tea into a warm bath, and soak. If even tea is too much trouble to make, add 10-15 drops essential oil (NOT more—essential oils are VERY concentrated!) to a tub of bath water. Or put the same number of drops into 1/8 cup veg oil and have someone give you a massage. After one of these topical treatments, you may be able to keep down some fluids.

Herbal remedies include the following:

1.) Ginger (Zingiber officinale). This pungent root has a reputation for controlling nausea of all types. Studies have shown ginger to be especially effective in curbing motion sickness, morning sickness, and postoperative and chemo-induced nausea. You can take it in many different forms, whatever appeals most to you—fresh, crystallized (has sugar, just be aware), dried, or powdered. Typical dosage: 2-3 cups tea per day (simmer 1 tsp fresh, grated root or 1/2 tsp powdered root in 1 cup water for 10 min); OR 2 dropperfuls tincture in water 1-3 times per day; OR 4-8 500 mg caps per day. CAUTION: People who have gallbladder disease or bleeding disorder and those who take blood-thinning medications should consult a physical before taking medicinal doses of ginger. The amounts used to season foods are ok.

2.) Peppermint (Mentha x piperita). Stomach-settling and cramp-easing, peppermint has a well-earned reputation for quelling nausea. It is also a good choice if your nausea comes with a headache of cold, since peppermint is a traditional remedy for both ailments. Sometimes just sucking on a lozenge that uses peppermint or menthol as a main ingredient can tame nausea. Typical dosage: sips of tea as needed (steep 2-3 tsp dried leap in 1 cup hot water for 10 min); OR 10-20 drops tincture in water 3-4 times per day. CAUTION: Avoid peppermint if you have GERD or heartburn, as it can relax the muscle between the stomach and the esophagus and cause the GERD or heartburn to worsen.

3.) Catnip (Nepeta cataria). Another herb that can help unwind intestinal cramping, catnip has a somewhat musky taste. It combines well with peppermint and chamomile and is also a very mild sedative. If your nausea is provoked by nervousness, catnips might be a good choice for settling it. Typical dosage: 1-3 cups tea per day (steep up to 1 tsp dried herb in 1 cup hot water for 10 min).

4.) Lemon Balm (Melissa angustifolia). This third mint-family member helps expel intestinal gas. It also relieves spasms and works against viruses. Perhaps most important when you're queasy, lemon balm tastes good. Typical dosage: 1-3 cups tea per day (steep 1/2 to 4 tsp dried herb OR 1-3 Tbsp fresh herb in 1 cup hot water for 10 min). CAUTION: DO NOT use during pregnancy.

5.) Chamomile (Matricaria recuitita). The German Commission E, that country's versions of the US FDA, endorses the use of chamomile for relieving intestinal spasms. Chamomile also reduces nausea and helps expel intestinal gas. It's widely used as a sleep aid that's mild enough for children, so if nerves play a role in your bout of nausea, chamomile is an excellent choice. Typical dosage: 3-4 cups of tea per day (steep 2-3 tsp dried flowers in 1 cup hot water for 5-10 min); OR 10-40 drops tincture in water 3 times per day.

6.) Lavendar (Lavendula spp.). One study has shown that lavendar helps decrease motion sickness in animals. While lavendar is safe to take internally, its mere scent helps reduce nausea. You can put a few drops of lavendar essential oil in a diffuser, blend 10 drops into an ounce of massage oil, or add 10 drops to a warm bath.

For heartburn, it's caused by GERD. Prevention is CRUCIAL! Studies show that the leakage of stomach acid into the lungs while a person sleeps is at fault in some cases of asthma. Medical studies have shown that recurrent reflux over months or years can lead to inflammation of the esophageal wall, which can lead to esophageal cancer. Take GERD seriously!

DO:

1.) Stick to smaller, more frequent meals.

2.) Cut back on saturated fats—especially deep-fried foods—and alcohol, coffee, tea, white sugar, and unrefined carbohydrates.

3.) Try elevating the head of your bed 6-9 inches. This slant may prevent acid reflux during sleep.

DON'T:

1.) Eat a large meal just before bedtime.

2.) Lay down for a nap after eating.

3.) Eat spicy foods, onions, and acidic juices such as citrus or tomato.

4.) Take NSAID's, unless you absolutely must, because these drugs can further irritate the esophageal lining.

Herbal remedies include the following:

1.) Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra). Studies have shown that licorice accelerates healing of intestinal ulcers. It's anti-inflammatory and very soothing to mucus membrains. To use for heartburn or reflux, choose a special kind called DGL (deglycyrrhizinated) licorice. It's just as effective as regular, without affecting the body's sodium-potassium balance. Typical dosage: for mild heartburn, drink 1 cup tea after meals as needed (steep 1-2 tsp dried, chopped root in 1 cup hot water 10-15 min); for moderate to severe symptoms, use 1/8 to 1/4 tsp powdered root of liquid extract dissolved in 1/4 cup water after meals and at bedtime; OR 1-2 tabs DGL licorice chewed thoroughly just after eating or as needed, up to 8 tabs per day. CAUTION: DGL may cause diarrhea in some people. Whole licorice should not be used if you're pregnant or nursing, if you have heart disease, liver disease, or diabetes, or if you are taking heart or blood pressure drugs. Limit use of whole licorice to 6 weeks unless under the supervision of a qualified health practitioner. DGL CAN be taken by people with high blood pressure and those who take blood pressure and heart medications. If you have a medical condition such as those, however, it may be best to use this herb under the guidance of a qualified health practitioner, or simply choose a different herb.

2.) Aloe (Aloe vera). Aloe gel contains very large sugar molecules. These special sugars have been shown to help heal burns, ulcers, and inflamed intestinal walls. Side effects are uncommon, but be sure to obtain a pure source of aloe pulp and not the rind. Rind can cause stomach cramps and diarrhea. Many commercial aloe juices contain citric acid, which can aggravate reflux, so beware! The best form of aloe for treating heartburn is a food grade freeze-dried powder. Typical dosage: 1/4-1/2 tsp in 1/4 cup water just after meals or any time symptoms occur. Increase dose to 1 or more tsp if necessary.

3.) Cabbage (Brassica oleracea). Cabbage juice isn't just a folk remedy. A medical study has shown that regular consumption can heal stomach ulcers, and the active ingredient is an amino acid, L-glutamine, which appears to work by nourishing cells lining the esophagus and stomach so they repair themselves. It also contains cancer-preventing agents. Typical dosage: 4-8 oz. fresh or bottle juice after meals. If taking the juice gives you gas, instead take 1/2 to 1 tsp L-glutamine mixed in 1/4 cup water, just after eating.

4.) Calendula (Calendula officinalis). A time-honored remedy for wounds, mouth sores, ulcers, and gastritis, it is so gentle, it's often given to children for an upset stomach. Its astringent and anti-inflammatory properties make it particularly useful for treating heartburn and reflux. Typical dosage: 1-2 cups tea as needed (steep 1-2 tsp dried flowers in 1-2 cups hot water for 10-15 min); OR 15-30 drops tincture 4 times per day after meals.

For stomach ulcers, there are several strategies that seem to work. They include the following:

1.) Avoid foods the worsen symptoms.

2.) Take supplements of Vitamins A and E if you think you may not be getting enough of them. You need 10K IU of Vitamin A (or 15-25K beta-carotene) per day and 400-800 IU of Vitamin E per day.

3.) Booster your fiber intake.

4.) Avoid smoking and coffee (including decaf—decaf is only 1/2 decaffeinated!)

5.) Avoid NSAID's.

Herbal remedies include the following:

1.) Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra). This is truly the premier ulcer-healing herb. It seems to work as well as ulcer-treating drugs, but with fewer side effects. Instead of inhibiting acid production, it strengthens the stomach's normal protective mechanisms and induces healing. Licorice has also been shown to decrease ulcer formation caused by drugs, and it may help eliminate the bacterium H. pylori, which is known to cause many ulcers. Typical dosage: 3 cups tea per day (simmer 1 tsp dried root in 1 cup hot water for 10 min); OR 1/8 to 1/2 tsp tincture 3 times per day; OR 1-2 tabs DGL licorice chewed thoroughly just after eating or as needed, up to 8 tabs per day—because DGL is activated by saliva, it doesn't work as well if it is simply swallowed; chew it instead. CAUTION: DGL may cause diarrhea in some people. Whole licorice should not be used if you're pregnant or nursing, if you have heart disease, liver disease, or diabetes, or if you are taking heart or blood pressure drugs. Limit use of whole licorice to 6 weeks unless under the supervision of a qualified health practitioner. DGL CAN be taken by people with high blood pressure and those who take blood pressure and heart medications. If you have a medical condition such as those, however, it may be best to use this herb under the guidance of a qualified health practitioner, or simply choose a different herb.

2.) Chamomile (Matricaria recutita). This lovely, old-fashioned herb promotes healing, decreases inflammation in the stomach, and can ease the anxiety that may be perpetuating the ulcer. Typical dosage: 3-6 cups tea per day (steep 1-2 tsp dried herb in 1 cup hot water for 10 min); OR 1/4-1 tsp tincture or glycerite 3-4 times per day.

3.) Calendula (Calendula officinalis). These beautiful orange or yellow flowers are anti-inflammatory and wound-healing. They are also mildly astringent, which helps reduce bleeding. If bleeding is one of your ulcer symptoms, calendula is a great choice. Typical dosage: 3-6 cups tea per day (steep 1-2 tsp dried flowers in 1 cup hot water for 10 min); OR 1/4-1 tsp tincture or glycerite 3-4 times per day.

4.) Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria). This remedy for the GI tract contributes to ulcer healing by decreasing inflammation, protecting, and soothing the stomach lining, and reducing excess acidity. It is also mildly astringent. Typical dosage: 3-6 cups tea per day (steep 1-2 tsp dried herb in 1 cup hot water for 10 min). CAUTION: Avoid meadowsweet if you're allergic to aspirin, as it contains a chemical relative of aspirin.

5.) Marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis). When water is added to this soothing root, a rich mucilage, or slippery substance, forms that helps it coat and soothe an irritated ulcer. Typical dosage: 3-6 cups tea per day, sipped frequently throughout the day (steep 1-2 tsp dried root in 1 cup hot water for 10 min OR steep same amt in cold water overnight); OR 1/4 -1 tsp tincture or glycerite 1-4 times per day. CAUTION: The mucilage in marshmallow may absorb other drugs taken at the same time, so if you are using other drugs, ask your practitioner's advice about a dosage routine, or avoid this herb altogether and choose a different one.

6.) Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra). The bark of this tree is another herb that forms mucilage to protect, soothe, and heal the stomach lining. Typica dosage: 3-6 cups tea per day (steep 1-2 tsp dried bark in 1 cup hot water for 10 min, OR steep same amt in cold water overnight); OR 1/4 -1 tsp tincture or glycerite 3-4 times per day.

7.) Mallow (Malva sylvestris). Another mucilage-former, this herb can be prepared the same way as marshmallow or slippery elm. Typical dosage: 3-6 cups tea per day (steep 1-2 tsp dried bark in 1 cup hot water for 10 min, OR steep same amt in cold water overnight); OR 1/4-1 tsp tincture or glycerite 3-4 times per day.

8.) Plantain (Plantago major). A common garden weed that grows almost everywhere in the wrodl, it has soothing, astringent, and wound-healing properties. Typical dosage: 3-4 cups tea per day (steep 1-2 tsp dried leaves OR 1 Tbsp fresh herb in 1 cup hot water for 10 min); OR 1/4 -1 tsp tincture or glycerite 3-4 times per day.

*hugs*

Jen


01/26/2009 05:46 PM
sciteacher
sciteacher  
Posts: 447
Member

Went to the regular doctor today. Since I have been off all meds due to my liver my allergies have taken over. The doctor said my liver enzymes were not super elevated and that due to my history it was most likely the meds. He said not to worry. Put me on antibiotics for sinus infection and allegra..going to have an ultrasound on my gallbladder and liver in a few weeks to see if that is the problem. The pain in my ribs I have been having, he seems to think that I broke a rib at some point and maybe damaged the muscle. I guess when it rains it pours. Lyme meds are on hold for now....

01/26/2009 06:51 PM
fluffyluggage
fluffyluggage  
Posts: 4722
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

Oh, poor hun! I hope you get to feeling better soon. Let us know what's going on as soon as you get more info!

*hugs*

Jen

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