Milk Thistle

How many have tried Milk Thistle and have you noted any bennifits or problems taking it? Any info would be great!


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hi michelle, i have been taking 1000 mg twice daily for 3 yrs. i have not kept it a secret from my doc and none of them have had any negative views of this,i take it rite along with all my other meds. i have hep c,stage 4 cirrosis geno type 1 and am on transplant list...i have done and continue to do well with all this and i think the milk thistle is playing a substantial role in this,you will not find any docs that tell you to take it but you also wont find any that will tell you not to either, they are not trained in natural herbs and remedies even though most all of our meds come from advise is that it aids in good liver function and anything we can do to help our liver should be done !!!good luck jeff

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Thanks Jeff! I need to get this as healthy as possible .. My son was paralyzed a little over 2 years ago and I am his primary caregiver. Anything and everything I can do I need to do. Has me pretty freaked out.

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Hi Michelle:
Sorry about you son, but yeah you have that right about being you own advocate.
My GI doc gave me a list of meds to take after I was diagnosed with Liver Cirrhosis, which included Milk Thistle 1000 mg twice a day. Let's see there was also Omeprazole, spironolactone and something else that I don't use anymore. I've had no trouble with either of these and they really help. I feel pretty good except for the fatigue.

Peace and Joy to you Paul

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Paul you don't use Omeprazol anymore? I stopped taking my Nexium a few days ago after reading you should not be on more than 20mg if you have any sort of liver disease.. something I read in a Mayoclinic journal. I went through all my medications and found that all I really shouldn't be taking as they can cause issues with your liver... Hydrochlorothiazide Nexium Gabapentin and Singulair I have quit.. now the Singulair I have to start taking again as my lungs and asthma issues outweight the little risk and my coozar I have to take for my bloodpressure and now I will take the Milk Thistle.. I got the standardized.. they said the extract was stronger so you didn't have to take as much. Hope they were not pulling my chain but will do this and then let the doctors know I have added it. I am going to see about seeing a specialist.. my primary doctor scares me... sent my husband out after doing an EEG telling him he was fine and he was having a heart attack.. Shot my trust levels down big time after stints were put in hours later on an emergency basis.

I have been weening myself off the gabapentin for the past month this is an antiseizure medication they gave me for nerve pain but honestly .. I have not noticed much of a difference going from 1600mg down to 300mg down to 0mg in the past few days. Feet feel good and my burning and such seems to have subsided with the diatary changes...i.e no refined sugars.. I feel better since stopping all the artificial sweeteners. I am tired.. but have been since Matt was hurt.

When you have Cirrhosis how high do your AST and ALT's get?

Thanks for the help!

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Hello Angel,

When I was diagnosed with cirrhosis in July of 2009 my AST was 80 and ALT was 82 with a MELD score of 12 now it is AST 70 and ALT 63 with MELD at 10. I am also on Gabapentin 800mg x3 daily for my legs after my failed back fusion surgery at L4-S1. Also I take Sucrafate for esophagus, beta-blocker for portal hypertension and protonix for acid reflux. What is wrong with taking Gabapentin and liver disease?


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Gabapentin, a water-soluble amino acid, is eliminated unchanged by the kidneys and there is no appreciable metabolism by the liver. However, there are a few descriptions of gabapentin-related liver toxicity .. but it is so rare that it really is safe to take for the most part. I initially started to ween myself off of it because of the related weight gain and my risk of type 2 diabetis. I am at the boarderline and they tried me on lyrica and the weight shot up even higher. Took me off of it and increased the dose of Gaba and still the weight was piling on with out eating much. It was crazy.

Can you tell me what a Meld score is?

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Hi Michelle: I still use Omeprazole 40 mg twice a day. I have cirrhosis and Portal Hypertension and a slightly elevated INR so the Omeprazole is being used to prevent stomach and intestinal ulcers which can bleed. I don't know if it will help prevent Varices I think my doctor is hoping so. It was another drug for the same thing but I can't find what it was that the doc. took me off and said that Omeprazole would work better for me.
Doctor who I wonder if you might know more about that, I haven't had any Varices yet and I'm hoping that the Omeprazole will help keep it that way.
Thanks for the info about Gabapentin, my wife takes that for her sciatica and arthritis, so its good to that she can take more if she needs to.
Meld stands for Model of End Stage Liver Decease. Most, I think all the liver transplant hospitals use it to prioritize patients. Doctors need a method to determine who will be on the transplant waiting list and who will get a transplant this week, so they use this scale (all the patients hate it) it's a formula which uses INR, Creatinine, and total Bilorubin to determine how sick each patient is and how badly they need a transplant. Go to the UNOS site. there is a meld score calculator there. I'd post the link but I'm that good with computers.
If anyone sees that any of this info is incorrect (very likely) feel free to correct me.

Hope I've been helpful. Paul

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Hello again, I just wanted to check my last ALT and AST since these can be deceptive. Mine are ALT 28 and AST 23. That looks very good and if a doctor was just using those to check liver function he would tell me that I'm fine. These two alone don't always tell you the story. I also have extra large Liver and Spleen a Platelet count of 56.000 WBC of 2.6 thou. and an ultra sound (3 really) that show Cirrhosis. Nobody want's to do a biopsy because of the platelet count and the elevated INR, the combination makes it much more risky.
I was going to a doctor like that until Jan. 2010. his last blood tests showed ALT 101 and AST 87. That's why he had me on Atenolol instead of Lipitor for my high blood pressure. He just told me I had a little fat in my liver and that I ought to lose some weight and didn't check any further to how bad the liver problem really was.
Later I found out that I have Cirrhosis and that my high blood pressure is caused by Portal Hypertension. So if some one has high blood pressure and elevated liver enzymes, they might want to check more.

Peace and Joy Paul

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Thank you for all the information.... I need to go have a liver doc look at this and get ahead of the game before it gets worse. I have hypertension.. it isn't easy to control. If I get anxious it goes nuts.(like it has since this started) I have had an ultrasound and a nasty barium CT scan TWICE.. once when I was rushed to the ER for right side pain... Nothing shows accept a little fat in my liver. I had a colonoscopy and that was fine .. they wanted to do an endoscopy but after being put to sleep for the colon one I havn't gone back.. right before I went out I had horrible chest pains and thought I was dying I remember screaming right before I went out.. I am afraid to go. I had one a few years ago.. showed GERD but nothing else. This has me so anxious its nuts... I have tried to keep busy and I am eating right.. Ok I ate lentils tonight (NASTY BUGGERS).. but I choked them down with a little cantalope and I found a fatty liver diet online. Hope to be able to talk to a nutrition councelor. I eat a lot of seafood.. sushi and sashimi .. shrimp and crab.. clams .. can you not have these any more? I didn't see them on the list... :( I was sad. Is there any good books out there? Oh I did find a MELD calculator but I don't have an INR score so you can't do it... and all my other bloodwork is normal .. just the A1C is 6.0 and the AST 67 and the ALT 89 .. my triglycerides are normal and my billirubin is normal. the rest are normal and I have no clue what they are.

Again thank you.. your info has kept me almost sane through the weekend. Hoping my Alfafetoprotien and the hemocromatosis test is done tomorrow.. hate waiting.


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Micheele, Try the Liver Cleansing Diet by Dr. Sandra Cabot you can find it on Amazon, it's helped me a lot. There are a lot of really yuky stuff in there that my wife keeps trying to get me to eat, but there are some recipes that are really good and others that can be modified slightly, you'll find there are still a lot good tasting things that you can eat.


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I have hep c I am a Non responder for interferon RIBAviron treatment. I take
Milk thistle sikymarin for t
He past 10 years along .with lglutathione and
Some chinese herbs and have lowered by viral load and alt ast. I have annual testing and am doing well.

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I take so much milkthistle,I do not want people to think I,am nuts, but I Dont't care I also pray ALOT.....patnc

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I am taking over the counter pepcid for my inflamed stomach and gerd. Does anyone know if this is okay to take? I have 4th stage liver disease compensated.


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If it works for you then I don't see anything wrong with taking it. It isn't as strong as protonix or nexium but if you don't need it stronger then thats great.. but the doc told me if you take your pills and you still have any sign of reflux or burning then we have to go in and take a look. So you should really let a doctor follow your tummy troubles so you don't end up really sick. Gerd can really trash your insides and get bad real fast if not monitored.

Good Luck!

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Dear Angel Bird,

Thank you for your wisdom and knowledge.

Blessing you,

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Ive been on generic prilosec for almost 2 years now, even after my transplant my docs still have me on it. 20 mgs a day, every morning.
I have also been taking generic synthroid since 05 an its also cause liver problems?

I think everything cause liver problems. You just have to really pay attention to your body, an its out put.
What I've heard from my drs. about milk thistle is, its just not FDA approved in the US. But alot of people over seas swear by it.

Hope its helps some. bye

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milkthisle is exellent it will work, pharmicutal is the best yet if u can not afford then regular will work/

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where do you get the pharmicutical Milk Thistle?

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