[Question #3243] Hepatitis
39 months ago
I’m 26 years old. I had a routine blood test recently and my results came back normal, except my liver enzymes. I was told to come back in 2 weeks to check the liver. My doctor also ordered tests for hepatitis B and hepatitis C. I’m very worried why my liver enzymes would be elevated and the possibility of me having hepatitis. I had my blood work done on a Monday. That Friday into Saturday early morning before the blood test, I had at least five strong alcoholic drinks then followed by taking excedrin Saturday morning to help my headache. Could this have caused my enzymes to elevate? I have never used drugs, IV drugs, I don’t have any tatoots. I’m currently in a monogamous relationship for about a year, but prior to this relationship, I have had unprotected sex with men I have had brief relationships with. I had my hepatitis B shots. I’m just very worried I could have a liver problem and why those hepatitis tests were ordered.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
39 months ago
Welcome to our forum. I'm be glad to comment and hope that my comments will relieve you of any concerns that your abnormal liver tests might reflect a sexually acquired hepatitis infection. The liver can be affected by a long list of possible problems. Viral hepatitis is one. You indicate that you have had your hepatitis B vaccinations so you are almost certainly protected from that infection and hepatitis C is almost never transmitted by sex and when it is, it in the setting for being the receptive partner in rectal intercourse. Even then it is so rare as to almost be a curiosity.
Ordering hepatitis tests as your doctor did is a standard start to evaluation of abnormal liver tests because they are accurate and easy to do. Other causes of abnormal liver tests such as excessive alcohol use, the toxicity of acetaminophen (Tylenol), the birth control pill, other medications, obesity and a long, long list of other causes. In many instances, minor abnormalities of liver tests are transient and go away without there being a good explanation.
I anticipate that your tests for viral hepatitis will be negative and at that point I would talk things through with your doctor. In many situations the doctor may make some suggestions about changes in your lifestyle and/or medications and chose to observe your tests with the passage of time. If the liver tests are not changing rapidly in many situations health care providers will choose to observe things over time, depending on her/his finding on examining you and taking a thorough history. For the moment, the thing to do is not worry and to wait for your test results.
I hope test comments are helpful. If some of what I said is unclear or raises other questions, you may ask up to two follow-up questions as part of this thread but I would save at least your final question for once you have your test results and have spoken more with your doctor. In the interim, I would not worry. EWH---