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Unnecessary Tests?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 10:49 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Unnecessary Tests? Reply with quote

This happened to me a while back. I went to my primary care physician for a checkup. During my visit, he unexpectedly ordered a blood test and found symptons of Fatty Liver.

I did some research and this is most commonly related to alcohol abuse or obesity. I do not fall into either of these categories. However, he ordered a sonogram of my internals to further investigate these results.

When I dug a little further, I found that elevated results from liver function tests can occur after strenous exercise. I did not know the Dr. was going to be taking blood. My visit to the Dr. was the morning after the hardest race effort of my life.

The test was negative. I had him re-test my blood after three days of rest and the numbers had returned to normal.

If you have to pay part or all of your medical expenses, you might want to be aware of falsely elevated liver function test results due to recent physical exertion.
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The Bike Doc

Joined: 08 May 2003
Posts: 1371
Location: Corpus Christi and Warda, Texas

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 5:04 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote


You are correct, strenuous exercise can elevate certain liver enzymes as well as renal function blood tests. The source of the elevated enzymes are from the muscles. Certain muscle breakdown products are also similar to the enzymes released by the liver when there is liver injury or inflamation going on and some are related to the waste products that rise when the kidneys are not working well. Additionally, another enzyme, prostatic specific antigen (PSA), can be elevated after a long hard ride in the bike saddle. It is wise to wait on having "routine" (meaning elective non-emergent) blood testing drawn a week or more after an episode of strenous exercise or long hard bike rides.

Paul K. Nolan, MD
AKA: The Bike Doc
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