i've been vegan for 16 weeks! i'm very excited about this. after the first six weeks, i had blood work done and my liver enzymes were elevated. i did a gall bladder scan and found that my gall bladder was functioning pretty normally at 25%. 30-50% is normal. the doctor has ran all kinds of blood tests on me. his conclusion...i'm not getting enough fat and i need to go back to eating meat!!!
I include nuts, beans, avocados, peanut butter, olive oil in my daily diet. i recently bought some nutritional yeast but i'm not sure where to use it. i also bought flax seed oil but the thought of pouring it over food and eating it cold sounds nauseating! i don't want to go back to eating meat. the doctor wants me to go back to eating "normally" and see if my enzymes return to normal levels. i don't want to do this.
has anyone else had this problem? they also think my gall bladder would function more normally if i was eating more fat.
Hi Anna, Have you lost weight recently? Take any alcohol? or supplements? Have you ever had these enzymes elevated before? or, where you ever told you were anemic?
I have my patients with elevated enzymes go with the superhero plan. It is possible that your body is reacting to a food or ingredient in the common vegan fake foods. These are highly processed and could be the culprit in your case. Consider superhero for a few weeks then re-test.
Are you eating pine nuts? I learned about a condition called "pine mouth" from this forum from bad pine nuts. There is a horrible metallic taste in the mouth that is actually an overproduction of bile from the liver. Goes away on it's own if you stop eating them, but when I saw "liver" that was my first thought.
I've had an elevated liver panel once that dissapeared when they retested. Nothing was wrong it was just a fluke. I don't think I'd start eating meat, I don't think that is the problem....but I'm also not a Dr. If anything being vegetarian and vegan will be healing for your liver as long as your not eating a lot of processed foods. Try to eat whole clean healthy foods in their natural state. Stay away from the processed foods. There are a few teas that are cleansing to the liver. I think Nettle and Dandelion Root are two. Look for teas that are organic.
Keep in mind that some Dr's don't know enough about vegan/vegetarianism and might not know all the facts.
Justin - i've lost about 13 pounds, but i'm only 5'2. I weigh 113 lbs, well within a normal bmi. my enzymes have been consistently elevated for about two months now. i don't eat any "fake" meat, mostly just beans, veggies, fruits, and almond milk. occasionally i'll use a vegan butter. i most recently ruled out an adrenal insufficiency.
i haven't had any alcohol, or supplements.
Before eating vegan, my diet was horrible; loaded with fats, and sugars. Why is my body reacting in such a negative way to finally treating it with respect? it's frustrating.
A mystery of this type is frustrating. If you lost weight quickly it could raise the enzymes as your body metabolizes your stored fat. It doesn't make sense that they would remain elevated.
Have you travelled out of the country? gotten sick from drinking the water somewhere? or been vaccinated or inoculated? Do you have any symptoms? tummy ache? fatigue? loose stools?
It makes sense to keep testing with your doctor in the hope that they can find out why. Unfortunately I haven't been able to figure out the reason why any particular enzyme being would be out of range, it's all quite complicated.
I would check out another doctor - I mean if any doctor told me that I should convert from a healthy diet to one full of meat to see if it normalized my liver function.....I'm just sayin', another medical opinion might be nice!
Also, when was the last time you had had your liver enzymes tested before this? Is it possible that (since you have been vegan for 16 weeks) they have been elevated for some time now, dating BEFORE you changed your diet and have nothing to do with eating no meat/processed crap now? just a thought.
And I agree - retest and see if they normalize, it happens a lot - you could have had the test on a day when your body was reacting in some way. Are you having any physical symptoms? Because another thought is.....perhaps this is normal for YOU? I have sent doctors into near hysteria when receiving my blood tests - my white blood cell count is always way below normal. After YEARS of it being that way, the conclusion - with no symptoms, no illness etc.... - is that my normal range is different than the average normal range.
Regarding the flax seed oil - try it! I love it straight off the spoon! But then again, I'm the freak with the small amount of white blood cells......
actually, this all began as my daughter's biology project. we had our blood drawn before we started the "diet" and then again, six weeks later. my blood results were all normal then. the concern is that the enzymes elevated quickly and have stayed elevated. i have blood work every week. the count may go down eight points or so and then up again the next week. i am very fatigued! i'm still losing weight every week. do you think it could still be the fat leaving my body? the doctor did note a fatty deposit on my liver? should i do a liver biopsy?
i haven't travelled out of the country or gotten sick from drinking water. no vaccinations or innoculations. occasionally, i have symptoms that would resemble gall bladder attacks; severe heart burn, pain in the shoulder blade area, lower back pain, stomache pain. but i have been having these symptoms for years off and on. thats why originally they thought it was my gallbladder. gallbladder wasn't that bad on functioning test. i did a gallbladder/liver cleanse with epsom salts and then olive oil. i flushed out many "stones" and lots of sand? i expected my liver enzymes to lower after that, and they did not. they stayed the same...
i appreciate everyone's help in this matter. maybe i should just start with the gallbladder and do a liver biopsy while they are in there? the thought of getting rid of a healthy organ just to rule it out as the offender; makes me weary!! ugh!!
oh no! hang onto that gallbladder as long as you can! if you have a history of gallbladder attacks, is it possible that if you had tested your enzymes in the past, when you were having one, they would have been high for a while and then eventually come down? And that when you took the blood at the begining of the diet and it was normal, you just weren't having gallbadder issues, and when you took it 6 weeks later - and subsequently - you were having gallbladder issues? Does that make sense? As in perhaps lets say last June if you had taken a blood test it would have shown elevated levels, and maybe they would have stayed up until July or August, then gone down again, then up - depending on what your gallbladder/liver were up to - so its been an ongoing thing that you are just now detecting in the blood as you just had the blood test but may have always been in the blood off and on but you just weren't looking at the blood levels. Since diet is so implicated in GB issues, and you seem to have been eating one that could aggrevate such things and were having symptoms before......having just cleaned up the diet three months ago it would be great to give your body more time to get into balance - you may just be experiencing the same thing you have always been (but hadn't been looking at blood values), but now are eating great so maybe it will start to normalize - if you aren't having physcial symptoms and the numbers aren't out of hand, see if you can ride it out (with the support of your doctor). something I have numerous Hepatitis C patients take with miraculous results in lowering elevated liver enzymes - Milk Thistle. Oh - and also, if you are on the birth control pill I want to add that I have had more than a few patients who were on them, in their early thirties and had to have their gallbladders removed in emergency surgery - oral contraceptives definitly affect the gallbladder!
I would suspect your weight loss is elevating your liver enzymes. Loosing weight rather quickly is like going on a high fat diet. I would have suspected that they would have normalized over this amount of time but maybe the weight loss has continued and so has the result.
If you tried a liver cleanse in the middle of this process in the attempt to clear your enzymes, it could have inadvertently allowed the process of rapid weight loss to continue. I would suggest you follow up with your physician and when your weight stabilizes, hope to see you numbers normalize.