Alcohol the liver therory

General Topics

Moderators: JohnV, Arron, garym

Alcohol the liver therory

Postby Floater on May 28th, 2004, 10:31 pm

How many of you all were drinkers before BFS?


just wondering (liver therory)

Anybody with BfS know what their exact liver test numbers are??

i heard alot of people with BFS have slightly elevated ALT and AST...or if it was normal it was in the high normal

optimal ALT and AST range is 21

I was a moderate drinker...weekend liver ALT averages Around 58 high normal and My AST around 40-80 again slightly elevated

again your doctor might have told you your blood work was normal....but it might be in the high normal range..Just pursuing the liver theory...would love to know about the rest of us

User avatar
Posts: 978
Joined: March 17th, 2003, 6:24 pm
Location: Portland OR

Postby tlotoxl on May 31st, 2004, 12:54 am

a severe hangover preceded my first twitches back in january, 2000. my liver tests have all been normal, even better than normal, though, so i don't think alcohol or liver function is involved. haven't had a biopsy, mind you, but with all the other numbers looking good i don't see much point.
Selfless giver of time
Selfless giver of time
Posts: 223
Joined: August 16th, 2002, 8:17 am
Location: Fukuoka, Japan

Liver Connection

Postby ShakesTheClown on May 31st, 2004, 11:56 am

I am fascinated by the theoretical connection, as alcohol is indisputably toxic to the CNS, and alcoholic neuropathies/myopothies are well known.

What I do know is that a hangover tends to exacerbate the fasciculations -- the mechanism is unknown to me, but it intuitively makes sense. Of course, it could just be another feature of thw withdrawal syndrome that "we" BFS-types just happen to suffer in addition to the unpleasant constellation of miserable stuff you endure from over indulging.

I do not believe that alcohol, however, is a "trigger," as it were for ALS or other MNDs. There is absolutely no evidence for that proposition, and I have put the question to a few good neurologists, and they concur that it's bunk.
New Member
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: April 22nd, 2004, 11:54 am
Location: New York

Postby kent1915 on May 31st, 2004, 2:21 pm

Nope. Sorry. Drinks are few and far between and when I have had them it has been one or two. For a guy my size (6'4" 230 lbs.) one beer makes the world spin. I figure it is best to avoid it.

My problems started after a back,neck, shoulder, arm injury jumping off a telephone pole on a ropes course.
Posts: 35
Joined: April 22nd, 2004, 3:13 pm
Location: Wisconsin

Alcohol is unrelated biochemically!

Postby Bradford on May 31st, 2004, 4:25 pm

Lets take the guess work out and replace it with facts. Nerve transmission is based on flow of ions in/out of the cell components of the CNS. The flow of these ions (ions are charged particles thus we have electrical activity at work) is regulated by pores in the wall of the cell, referred to as the cellular membrane.

When the brain initiates a signal to move a muscle, a chain of chemical reactions occur along the nerve by the flow of these ions that changing the voltage potential from positive to negative and so on until it reaches the synapse-the junction between the nerve and muscle. At the synapse, neurotransmitters (there are many in the body) are released that bind to the neuro-receptor at the muscle that ultimately creates a muscle contraction.

On the flip side, inhibitors are also released (GABA is the main one) that stops or inhibits the neurotransmitter from having a prolonged effect (e.g. continued muscle contraction). Alcohol or more specifically ethanol, is a chemical that changes the cell membrane potential by allowing more flux of Chlorine ions in/out of the cell. Ethanol binds to the protein on the cell membrane and ultimately increases the effect of the “inhibitory” response to a neurotransmitter.

In contrast a muscle twitch is a spontaneous and involuntary muscle contraction which involves the flux of potassium ions related to an “excitatory” state not an “inhibitory” one. That’s why neurologists call it bunk (and so do anesthesiologists).

If there was any relation to alcohol and muscle twitching the alcohol should reduce it because it in directly increases the inhibitory effect in a muscle contraction. That’s why our great-great-great grand daddies were given a bottle of J/D whiskey when the doctor pulled the bullet of their guts. Alcohol is an anesthetic!

Further evidenced by Isaac in 1961 who observed that application of a local anesthetic to the nerve did not make muscle twitching stop in patients presenting with BFS type symptoms. This led to him to use curare to block the neurotransmission chemical at the neuromuscular junction (synapse) where upon the twitching ceased. Therefore, benign muscle twitching has root in the hyper excitability state of the peripheral nerves.

More specifically, recent research has accumulating and mounting evidence that our muscle twitching is caused by changes in the cell membrane that controls the flux of potassium ions. Potassium ions are responsible for controlling the cells membrane potential at the neuro-receptor. At this hyper excited state, neurotransmitters are released to elicit an involuntary muscle contraction-has not relation to the loss of neurons in a motor neuron disease like ALS.

Nice theories, but bio-chemistry rules in this case!
Selfless giver of time
Selfless giver of time
Posts: 109
Joined: April 19th, 2004, 3:30 pm

Good Analysis

Postby puggriffey on June 4th, 2004, 6:10 pm

Agreed on the explanation of the lack of correlation between alcohol and BFS, but that does not necessarily eliminate the possible connection between neuro-transmitter activity generating the excess secretion of various enzymes and chemicals in all body organs (including the liver), and not just where the focus has been primarily placed to date - the brain.

I suspect with as much science as has been applied to studying this area to date, the problem(s) are probably more systemic than the scope of the initial focus - the tough ones to "figure out" always are. In this particular case, it is striking how many, drinkers AND non-drinkers alike, BFS'rs DO HAVE elevated liver enzymes, but most often NOT seriously elevated and not significant from a liver disease standpoint. How many negative hep-B/C tests have been administered to the folks on this site alone I wonder? Many, I'm quite sure.

This forum will never figure it all out, but I wouldn't dismiss altogether the activity connection between what's triggering the BFS symptoms and what is behind other body imbalances that are too numerous to be just coincidental, IMHO.
Posts: 494
Joined: May 29th, 2004, 11:29 am

Liver disease and BFS connection?

Postby Bradford on June 4th, 2004, 10:21 pm

I agree and disagree on many points. It certainly holds true that enzymes are the catalyst of metabolic processes throughout the body and with liver disease (and bone disease for that matter) anything that would affect enzyme production may manifest as problems.
There is a member here who had a muscle biopsy that detected a 55% decrease in a specific muscle enzyme I’m sure he can attest to some difficulty.

As far as BFS symptoms, this stuff has been studied as far back as 1940 where they used to call BFS Quantal Squander or something like that. Last year the 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was given to a group of researchers who were instrumental in identifying
cell membrane protein structures that previously couldn’t be determined by the conventional way. Out with the old and in with the new!

Specifically, potassium ion channels which by the way play a big part in the peripheral nervous system at the cellular level. Add in the fact that research has identified an antibody that changes the cell membrane potential that regulates the potassium ion in the peripheral nervous system, then you have a pretty good reason to direct research to this area and maybe not so much the liver.

Where there’s smoke there’s fire and a fireman always goes to the smoke wouldn’t you agree? As for the current research, these prize winning researchers are currently directing their efforts on identifying the complex binding processes of the cell proteins to see exactly what happens in ion gate regulation. It has a significant impact on what they may be able to find when the antibody binds to the cells of the peripheral nervous system.

As far as liver enzymes are concerned, physicians who deal with the digestive system and the hepatic system find that mild elevations in no way reflect the extent of hepatocellular damage. Liver enzymes can be elevated from a variety of reasons including medications, congestive heart failure, polymyotosis, and even acetaminophen toxicity (Tylenol) to name a wide sampling. On the other hand, even mild elevated levels could indicate extensive damage.

With a wide diverse of BFS sufferers who may have elevated enzymes, there is equally wide diverse reasons for elevated levels. Whatever is at the root of BFS may be a reason as well and that you make an excellent point and observation! I for one have a hard time correlating liver function to neuromuscular function so I would be a hard sell.

Thank you for your reply and I enjoy the rapport we members have especially on matters like this. You make excellent points and I hope to see more. It sure beats reading about everybody’s daily symptom status.
Selfless giver of time
Selfless giver of time
Posts: 109
Joined: April 19th, 2004, 3:30 pm

Liver disease and BFS connection?



Return to General Topics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest