Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Abnormal Bile Pigment

For those of you who have been following my previous posts on some of my health issues, I thought I would give you a quick update. As stated in some previous posts my blood tests showed "slightly elevated liver enzymes."

Well I was to wait 6-8 weeks to a get a new set of blood tests. I went back this past Thursday (finally) for the repeat tests. I did not expect to hear back from them for at least a week. If it was to be like the other ways the Doctor's office has dealt with things, then I was expecting just to receive a letter in the mail.

But the nurse called me Friday night, around 5:30. This is where I get mad again at this Doctor's office! I was unable to answer the phone at the time, and shortly after checked my messages. The message said, this is so-and-so from the Dr.'s, please call back Monday morning after 8:30 AM!

Gee thanks for calling me so late on a Friday and then leave me hanging and I can't even find out what it is about until Monday morning! I was so #$@! MAD!!! Let's just say I didn't exactly have a great weekend! I basically worried all weekend on what they were going to tell me. How nice of them, couldn't they have either called me a little earlier in the day, so I'd have a chance to get back to them. Or leave a more specific message, so I would know what it was about. Or better yet don't even call me then until Monday morning!

So anyway, I called them back Monday morning. And the nurse told me my blood test showed I have "Abnormal bile pigment." Have no idea what that means, and she wasn't exactly forthcoming with the info to me. So I have to go back in another couple of weeks for another blood test. Then I will actually meet with the Doctor, at the beginning of August.

Maybe then I will get an answer to what is going on. Geez, it's like a mystery that either the Doctor knows the answer to, but for some reason they won't tell me. Or a mystery that I end up having to figure out for myself! It's like I'm not a Doctor but I play one on TV. I have been doing my own research as to what this all means. And I still think this is going to all lead to my gallbladder. When I looked up "Abnormal bile pigment," that is one of the things that came up. And that is what previously my research has pointed too.

Why can't this stupid Doctor just come out and tell me this, I guess that would be to easy. They want to make you sit around and worry. Well that's it for now. I guess I can't worry about it constantly or I'll go crazy. And like my husband keeps telling me, if it was some life or death thing they are not going to make you wait all this time in between all these tests. Gee that's comforting, kinda.


  1. I am not a doctor, so take this with appropriate grains of salt (unless you've been asked to reduce your salt consumption).

    Both my wife and I have frequently tested positive for elevated liver enzymes. The first time I tested positive for elevated liver enzymes, they sent me for an ultrasound of my liver. It came back showing there was nothing wrong. Apparently, having elevated liver enzymes isn't all that uncommon, and often doesn't indicate anything wrong.

    Years later, I needed to start on a new medication that warned about being taken if there was any liver damage. Again, I tested positive for elevated liver enzymes. They sent me for another ultrasound. This time, I was much less concerned because I had been through this once before.

    This time, they did an ultrasound of more than just my liver and they found that I had a cyst on one of my kidneys. It turns out that cysts like this are also very common and nothing to worry about. I don't know if the cyst is related to my elevated liver enzymes.

    As to abnormal bile pigment, I don't know much about this.

    At one point, a doctor recommended that I add fish oil pills to my diet. They help with cholesterol. She said to slowly add more and more to my diet. When I got up to around three pills a day, my stools started turning green.

    As I read about this, I found that "The bile that is secreted in the first part of the small intestine is actually green. As a stool passes through the large intestine it is turned into a darker brown color. If a stool is still green by the time it is excreted, it could mean that it passed through the large intestine too fast to be changed in color."

    I cut back on the fish oil pills and my stools returned to their normal color. My understanding is that abnormal bile color is frequently a dietary issue.

    Two final notes: If the doctor leaves a message to call back after the weekend, that is probably a good sign that it isn't anything urgent and you don't need to worry too much. As long as you are following up with the doctor, things will probably be fine.

    On the other hand, I just got a joke in the mail:

    Doctor: I have good news and bad news.
    Patient: Tell me the good news first.
    Doctor: You're not a hypochondriac.

    I hope some of these thoughts are helpful. Keep us informed and be well.

  2. I do hope everything turns out good. Give that doctor a piece of your mind when you get to see him again.

    Take care!