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Digestive Disorders

High Serum Albumin Level 52 g/l Good or Bad??

01/15/2009

Question:

Hi hope you can help. Sorry, I know this isn`t a kidney question but I can`t find any liver related Q&A`s :-(

I`m 38, 160cm, Male. Good diet, drink once a week, do not smoke. Cycle on average 100 - 180 miles per week at a hard pace (between 70 - 90% of Heart rate max).

15 years ago I had a problem with my liver. Not sure what it was as my doctor is impossible to extract information from!! But I would guess it was Hep`A` or someting simular. All I know is that it made me very ill (and yellow) for about 6-8 weeks.

Even though I`ve now recovered I still have yellowish skin/eyes. But my main concern is I think I take longer to recover from hard exercise than I should. Sometimes 48hrs before I can go again. Not too mention a more distictive yellow tinge in the following days.

Because of my concerns I`ve recently got re-tested and my doctor stated that my liver tests were satisfactory. However, looking at the results my Serum Albumin Level is high at 52 g/l and my Serum Protein is also high at 78 g/l. I`m no expert but is this statisfactory and something I should accept?? Other results are : Serum Globulin is 26 g/l. Serum Alkaline Phosphatase 52 lu/l. Serum Bilirubin 10 umol/l and ALT/SGPT Serum 24 lu/l.

If I wasn`t so active with sport (cycling) I would just ignor my liver function an get on with life, but I feel my liver might be stopping me from reaching my full potential.

Hope you can help.. Because my doctor just keeps everthing to himself. When I raise any questions he just gives limited answers and never elaborates. I wouldn`t mind but I haven`t seen him in 15 years!!

Anything you can suggest is much appreciated.

Cheers, Andy.

Answer:

I do not think you have a liver problem. People that exercise like you get funky lab abnormalities. My heartfelt advise is that if you are not happy with your doctor, you deserve to find a new one. People stay with docs, even if they do not like them because it is so much of a hassle to find a new one, like finding a new wife or girlfriend. I think you need to be seen by a reasonable primary care doc and have some additional studies done of your serum. When you exercise a lot sometimes your red cells hemolyze (break apart) causing you to look yellow. I am not bothered by that so much. Get a new primary doctor, one whom you can talk to and get some answers. I am not sure I would be looking at your liver for the source of your "weakness".

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Response by:

Steven  M Rudich, MD, PhD, FACS Steven M Rudich, MD, PhD, FACS
Formerly
Professor of Surgery, Director of Liver Transplat and Hepatobiliary Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati