I know some other people posted weird AST/ALT levels and it has been acknowledged that finasteride can damage/tax your liver.
My levels were double the normal amount when I went to the ER a year ago having a “panic attack”, but every other test I’ve had done (2 or 3 times in the past year or two) were normal. The levels came back down so the doctors said I was fine, but I’m not so sure…
for the past month, I have had off-and-on aches and pains in my upper right abdomen, directly where my liver is located (could be gall-bladder or something similar)
I will be getting this checked out as soon as I can – I want to rule out fatty liver, onset of hepatitis, or even cirrhosis or tumors – but I was just wondering if anybody else has had any THOROUGH liver exam done? (thorough means MORE than blood test: ultrasound, CT, or biopsy. The blood test is not accurate because it only reveals if RECENT stress or damage was done to the liver. The enzymes are released when liver cells can’t handle them, usually meaning damage to some cells… but the liver could be permanently damaged and thus not show anything abnormal in the LFTs - liver function tests)
I thought I was getting better for a while since my panic attacks subsided and my mysterious weight gain disappeared, but the pain in my liver area is getting to be more substantial and consistent – despite abstaining from alcohol and eating fairly healthy, staying hydrated, etc.
I don’t want to die because of a drug that said the only side effects were sexual, experienced by less than 2% of users, and would go away within weeks. If they had mentioned anything about any internal organ important for vital function (heart, liver, lungs, brain, kidney, etc) I would not have touched it with a ten-foot pole
Would several liver tumors (hepatocellular carcioma) and ten and a half hours of liver surgery qualify me able to talk?
I think so…
If you have symptoms of liver problems and have had poor liver function results in the past a serious raft of tests would be the following;
Renal function tests
A complete blood count and ESR
Iron panel tests
Viral testing for Hep A, B and C
CMV, EBV and leptospirosis serology
ANA autoantibodies and smooth muscle antibody
Blood cultures- if there are chills and fever
and if reqired an ultra sound, CT/MRI and possibly a liver biopsy (which can really seriously hurt if you have massive tumors in the way like I did).
Unfortunately, I just moved across the country and took a new job; the new job pays me far less (under $30k per year, because it is a half-time position) and expects me to pay my own health insurance costs (about $500/mo if I get it through them)
Clearly, that wasn’t an option. So I signed up for an independent provider that will cover these things I need done, but… my health insurance hasn’t kicked in yet. I am very anxious to get tested again and see what is going on, because I am worried and my upper abdominal aches and pains continue…
I plan to go ASAP, which should be before mid-October
I came here to try and help people where possible with the ramifications of finasteride effects, something that was of interest to me because of the associated conditions of hypogonadism and gynecomastia. I found lots of people were appearing with hypogonadism as a result of finasteride and a lot of guys with gynecomastia…all on other sites I was helping on. I also noticed Dr Shippen detailing the problems of finasteride on a hypogonadism site for endocrinologists in 2002.
Being a guy who has had hypogondism I could not believe that there was a drug on the market that could quite easily cause this problem, and difficult to treat version of it too. I was trying to warn people of the dangers of finasteride for a couple of years before coming here.
I have felt almost all the same symptoms as those described and feel a bit of a kindred spirit to those who have faced finasteride problems and I want to try and help where I can.
What a mealy mouthed load of talk that was hey…sorry for the big explanation…
The cancer I had as mew correctly pointed out is absolutely not finasteride related.
On a separate note I have just had test results today and it looks like I now also have severe adult growth hormone deficiency. A good job I have fought for over four years for an answer then. I will find all the answers humanly possible and get to where I need to be in the end, just as men here can. In supporing one another you guys here can give each other hope and with hope you have a better chance of fighting for answers, treatment and getting your quality of life back.
Just out of curiosity, Hypo, what then do you think this tells you about your own condition?
Growth hormone is produced by the pituitary, just as gonadotropins are…do you think this GH deficiency might be just another consequence of a larger pituitary dysfunction, having commensurate effects on gonadotropins. Or, is there is any possibility that GH deficiency alone could be the cause of gonadotropin dysfunction?
Remember my condition is NOT finasteride related- I have never taken finasteride.
I was the only person who had the type of liver cancer I did at my age in the UK in 1991, possibly the only person in Europe that year and was the first person in my city to have that cancer at that age in over 35 years.
When I tried to find other people who had the cancer that year I found one person only, and then found that the name was mine- that it was me.
The odds of what happened were many millions to one (anywhere between the total poulation of the UK and Europe for my age).
The second cancer I had was also primary and supposedly unrelated to the first. So you have the odds on the first cancer multiplied by the ods of having bladder cancer that I had at 25, which again is very rare.
So then you reach astronomical odds and you are probably looking at something of a genetic basis that is completely unknown.
With having two pituitary hormones out, I am now classified as being hypopituitary.
The lack of GH would explain why the bone density has been decreasing despite testosterone therapy and makes the osteoporosis understandable.
There is still the possibility of a complicated form of iron overload/hemochromatosis in my case given elevated total iron and iron saturation. The genetics for hemochromatosis have not all been mapped out and so despite not having c282y this might still be the cause as it would explain the loss of LH/testosterone and GH and the hepatocellular carcinoma and the opsteoporosis.
If it is not the cause then I don’t think the cause will be found.
At this point, I am quite frustrated… I continue to have pains in my liver area (not MAJOR, or I would go to the ER, but fairly achey and pretty frequent)
I wrote an email to my doctor (Kaiser) and set up an appointment. He ordered lab work for me, including various blood-sugar tests, a liver panel, etc.
Everything came up in normal range.
What happens next? They just CANCELED my appointment!! One would think that the fact that I am having ongoing, inexplicable abdominal pain is enough to warrant at least a LOOK/TALK by the doctor. But apparently not? When my blood tests came back normal, he emailed me to say “Keep up the good diet” and canceled my appointment. Now, one reason that this bothers me is that normal AST/ALT levels do NOT mean the liver is undamaged. It just means there is no current damage ensuing (so, no hepatitis, probably not fatty liver, but MAYBE cirrhosis is there, and MAYBE cancer could be there)
When I look up the possible causes of pain in my upper right abdomen, all I can find are:
Gallstones (not TOO serious, but can be life-threatening if untreated)
Liver cancer (pretty deadly)
Other major liver disorders (that can be life-threatening or can lead to liver cancer if untreated)
Those are the ONLY things I can find that list this kind of pain as a symptom. Yet they can’t be bothered to even talk to me or take a quick look at it? Now, the only way I can really know if it’s something like (for example) liver cancer, would be a CT, MRI, or biopsy. But even an ultrasound (cheaper and less intensive than those other options) MIGHT be able to detect an abnormality (such as different liver size or an abnormal growth)
But nobody can be bothered.
I’m pretty much ready to give up the fight, though. I can’t afford $500-$800 or whatever it would cost me to pay for it myself (I have insurance, but they clearly don’t seem too interested in helping me), and if it IS liver cancer, the survival rate is pretty crappy anyway so I guess it doesn’t really matter…
the main reason I would like to know is so that: a) I can plan the remainder of my life accordingly; b) if it’s something that can be treated before it becomes life-threatening; c) so I can let people know that Propecia can have consequences even far more grave than erectile dysfunction (as bad as that is, death trumps most side effects I think)
Don’t give up. Find another doctor to give you a referral for such tests, since the other won’t. The fact that you are still having pains despite normal blood test results should warrant further investigation.
There is an interesting article in the New York Times today on liver proteins and how they’re affected by exercise. When you exercise, the protein produced “energizes” the brain, improving its function.
To me, this ties into the theory that finasteride affects the liver, and this contributes to the mental and memory issues we feel.
The liver is both affected by sex hormones and contributes to them. I’m at least 12 years into PFS, otherwise live a healthy lifestyle, and now have abnormal liver test results. I don’t know if the liver issue is a primary or secondary symptom resulting from finasteride use, or if it’s even related, but finasteride warnings include liver issues.
After a series of tests, my labs shows results that point to a “fatty liver”, which is something documented to have an affect on the endocrine system. Because I’ve had PFS for over a dozen years, I don’t know if I had that before, or it developed after, maybe because of the high fat Keto diet that made me feel better.
Regardless, it’s time for a diet change for me, and back to the drawing board.