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Milk Thistle and Elevated Liver Enzymes

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123Donna View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jan 19 2011 at 11:17am
I just wanted to post these links in the Talk section in case anyone else has problems from chemo and elevated liver enzymes.  I've had problems with this since the first tx.  Now with going through tx again, it's gotten worse.  Someone recommended Milk Thistle Seed Extract (80% Silymarin), 200 mg x 3 times a day.  It's really helped with lowering my ALT/AST levels.  If you're having a similar problem or if your ALT/AST levels are still higher after finishing chemo, this may be something you want to ask your onc about to make sure they agree with the alternative therapy.

http://www.chemocare.com/managing/liver_problems__liver_dysfunction.asp

Here's a link from Mayo Clinic on Milk Thistle:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/silymarin/NS_patient-milkthistle

Donna



DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mainsailset Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 19 2011 at 3:01pm
Thanks for sharing Donna, it seems some of the very best information comes from sharing of ideas here.
dx 7/08 TN 14x6.5x5.5 cm tumor

3 Lymph nodes involved, Taxol/Sunitab+AC, 5/09 dbl masectomy, path 2mm tumor removed, lymphs all clear, RAD 32 finished 9/11/09. 9/28 CT clear 10/18/10 CT clear
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 08 2011 at 8:58am
I wanted to update this thread with what I've been doing to lower my elevated liver enzyme levels (ALT/AST) .  Two weeks ago they were 223/117 respectively.  Yesterday, the ALT was 65 and the AST 25.

I have been having acupuncture weekly and the last 2 weeks he really concentrated on the liver channels of the abdomen.  I've been taking Milk Thistle 3 times a day and in the last week I've been drinking an herbal tea product I bought at the grocery store called Every Day Detox promotes Healthy Liver Function by Traditional Medicinals.  It's Organic and contains ingredients like Dandelion Root, Chicory Root, Licorice Root, Ginger, Star Anise.  I don't know which or if all of this combined helped lower my ALT/AST levels.  I really can't remember when they've been this low (for me).

I just wanted everyone to know that sometimes we can help our situation through Complementary medicine.  Last time I had a 3 week delay in treatment.  All of this work has been worth it to prevent treatment delay.

Donna
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sstefano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 08 2011 at 10:05am

This is great news! Thanks for sharing. I am going to write down and try to remember what helped you with the liver function.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 07 2011 at 8:39pm
I wanted to give you an update on my experience with taking Milk Thistle.  This is my fourth treatment cycle (2 weeks on, 1 week off).  Usually after the first week of chemo, my liver enzymes jump to over 220 (ALT) and over 100 (AST).  I've been consistently taking the Milk Thistle.  I just had my lab work today and instead of the normal high levels after week one of chemo, they were 91 (ALT) and 41 (AST).   I attribute this to the Milk Thistle cleansing out my liver, allowing it to process the chemo better and get back to normal levels quicker than ever before.  I just want to share my experience so that it may help others that are facing a similar situation.

Donna
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zoomommy2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 07 2011 at 9:48pm
Way to go, Donna!  What else could it be!
Lee in Denver
dx6/09,stageII,gr3,(L)mastectomy 7/09,ACx4,Taxolx7,Avastin study,gall bladder surgery 1/10,4/11 Stage 4, mets to lung, 4/11 Started Taxotere and Xeloda, 5/11 Taxotere stopped, off Xeloda
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 13 2011 at 8:20am
bump
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DPage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 17 2011 at 4:06pm
I concur with what Donna has posted. Keeping the liver strong is important through chemo. Milk Thistle is legendary for protecting the liver from damage. It is highly regenerative to liver tissue as well. It has been shown that women who take milk thistle throughtout chemo have a strong liver function and white blood count.  Milk thistle also improves appetite, eases indigestion and soothes mouth soures and tongue issues without side effects.
 
I have been taking a liver and kidney cleanse by True Health. It has 300 mg of Milk Thislte Extract (80% Silymarin) Phosphatidycholine (from soy lectin) 50 mg, Artichoke Leaf Extract 4:1 200mg. Turmeric Root Extract (95% Curcuminoids) 200 g, Budock Root and some other good stuff.
 
I just has a full panel blood work done after round one of chemo and all of my numbers were in
the very good range.
 
Big Hugs! Diane
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zoomommy2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 17 2011 at 6:34pm
Great news, Diane!  I may take milk thistle this go-round with chemo.
Lee in Denver
dx6/09,stageII,gr3,(L)mastectomy 7/09,ACx4,Taxolx7,Avastin study,gall bladder surgery 1/10,4/11 Stage 4, mets to lung, 4/11 Started Taxotere and Xeloda, 5/11 Taxotere stopped, off Xeloda
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DPage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 17 2011 at 9:45pm
Another good detox for the liver is to take a fresh lemon and juice it. Add warm water and drink  the combination each morning. Lemon does wonders for the liver and the blood.
 
Big hugs on your upcoming chemo. I just read your little bio at the bottom of your post. You will be in my prayers.
Diane
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 26 2011 at 10:03pm
As some of you might know at the end of March I missed my last chemo due to really high liver enzymes (and low wbc/neutraphils).  In one month's time, I've gotten both the ALT/AST levels down into the 20's (normal range) by taking 3 capsules a day of 200 mg standard extract of Milk Thistle.
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DPage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 26 2011 at 10:34pm
Great news Donna. I had round two of chemo today and my liver enzymes were right on target. I attribute it to Milk Thistle.
 
Big Hgs! Diane
DX at 52. 1.0cm lumpdectomy , Clr margins, - nodes, Partial breast radiation. 4 T/C/21 dsys. Round 2 on 4/26.
Life is not about avoiding the storm. It's about learning to dance in the rain

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zoomommy2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 26 2011 at 10:57pm
Donna, great news. My laptop has been hating me the last two days, but my son just came over and fixed it!  I have great sons!  I probably should be taking some milk thistle since one of my liver enzymes runs a bit high for no known reason already.
Lee xoxoxo
dx6/09,stageII,gr3,(L)mastectomy 7/09,ACx4,Taxolx7,Avastin study,gall bladder surgery 1/10,4/11 Stage 4, mets to lung, 4/11 Started Taxotere and Xeloda, 5/11 Taxotere stopped, off Xeloda
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 18 2011 at 4:28pm
bump
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 13 2011 at 5:21pm
bump
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DianeEE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 13 2011 at 6:43pm
Thanks for sharing your good luck with some complementary therapies.  It's hard to know which therapies out there are actually effective & I so appreciate your keeping us informed.  I am on statins which can effect liver function.  I will keep this in mind if I ever have any liver issues.
 
Diane
DX 11/2010 age 43,BRCA2+,6 rounds TAC,bx mast/ovary removal 5/2011,TNBC tumor 5.1 cm,02/14 nodes positive,37 rads,Cisplatin&PARP trial.Recurrence 2/2012,TN IBC,Abraxane didn't work, Ixempra & Xeloda
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Craig76 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 15 2011 at 9:20am
We just bought some milk thistle yesterday to help with her slightly elevated enzymes.  Thanks Donna. :)  Question...has anybody experienced pain coming from the liver area?  Her doctor seems to think it was from her bout with the stomach flu but it has not subsided in the last couple of weeks so we are beginning to think it is something else. I have looked online at some different cancer sites and it seems quite a few people deal with pain in that area but most posts that I read stated their doctors were not sure as to what was causing the pain.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sstefano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 12 2011 at 9:19pm
Donna,
 
What brand milk thistle did you use? Does it matter or I can just buy any brand 200 mg? Have you heard of SAMe? I bought it but it is more expensive. Do you k now if dandelion is good for the liver?
 
Craig,
 
I do have pain in the liver area. It is more like cramping and not very strong. I also have pain on the right side of my waist. Again, it is more like pulling and it is not all the time.
 
Thank you!
DX 04/97@32 stg 3 ACx4; DX 06/06@41 stg 2 Xeloda x6; 10/10@46 mets carboplatin x10, 07/11 - Xeloda; BRCA1 positive 5382insC
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 12 2011 at 9:37pm
I just bought the GNC Milk Thistle.  It's 80% Silymarin (Milk Thistle Seed Extract).  I really haven't compared other brands.  If it has the same ingredient, it should be comparable.  I don't know anything about SAMe.  

When I was having the elevated enzymes, I also tried the Traditional Medicinals Every Day Detox herbal tea, made with organic dandelion root.  The packaging claims it promotes healthy liver function.  It was an herbal tea that had dandelion root, chicory root, licorice root, ginger and star anise to name a few of the ingredients.  It wasn't bad and to me tasted like black licorice.  
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Horse Lover Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 13 2011 at 12:34am
Donna: You always amaze me! Thanks for the knowledge! Clap
57 years old, mother of two daughters. 5/09 lumpectomy, rad; 3/11 C/T 6X, clear scans; 9/11 bilateral/lymph nodes surgery, NED
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