Liver function

Old Apr 3rd 2012, 5:45 am
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Default Liver function

We haven't started the application process yet and don't plan to for another 2 1/2 years at the earliest, however, I do like to keep abreast of the requirements for entry so that I am prepared for any/every eventuality.

The hubby, who will be the main applicant, suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, at first I thought this would rule us out of going to NZ, but then I read the guidelines and found that more commonly it is osteo that is the problem, so I could breathe a little.

Our newest problem is that the medication he takes for the arthritis is elevating his liver function tests. The doctors have taken lots (16 vials) of blood and are fairly confident that it is just a fatty liver problem (which apparently is fairly common). It currently sits at 70 and apparently should be under 40

So, since I am trying to combat any potential problems in the run up to our application, could anyone give me any advice as to how to lower these test results?
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Old Apr 3rd 2012, 7:48 am
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Default Re: Liver function

surely the best person to speak to would be his own GP as he knows his history and if it should be that low surely your GP should be managing it NOW and not let it get any worse
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Old Apr 3rd 2012, 8:26 am
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Default Re: Liver function

Originally Posted by kazmac72 View Post

The hubby, who will be the main applicant, suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, at first I thought this would rule us out of going to NZ, but then I read the guidelines and found that more commonly it is osteo that is the problem, so I could breathe a little.
I am not meaning to be a damp squib, but Rheumatoid Arthritis is an Auto-Immune disease. I know coz it runs in my family big-time & my Mum was riddled with it until her untimely demise at the age of 64. I grew up with this. That demise was not RA but it was ,sort of , a factor.

NZIS say this

A4.10.1 Medical conditions deemed to impose significant costs and/or demands on New Zealand's health and/or education services

Severe autoimmune disease, currently being treated with immuno-suppressants other than prednisone
What are his meds.
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Old Apr 3rd 2012, 8:59 pm
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Default Re: Liver function

To add. Diet is one way to combat fatty liver. However, if it is methorexate or similar that is raising the levels then the GP should be looking at his meds.
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Old Apr 4th 2012, 3:12 am
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Default Re: Liver function

wow bevs I didnt know you were such a smarty pants
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Old Apr 4th 2012, 3:49 am
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Default Re: Liver function

Originally Posted by Justcol View Post
wow bevs I didnt know you were such a smarty pants
I'm not Col. As I said. My lovely Mum was riddled with Rheumatoid Arthritis from quite an early age . It was a huge part of my life for decades.
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Old Apr 4th 2012, 6:19 am
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Default Re: Liver function

Hi Bevs, thanks for the info.

He is not currently taking Methotrexate, that was an option but was decided against, I am presuming because of his liver function tests??

I am aware that RA is an auto-immune disorder, but as yet he has not been prescribed immunosuppresants. Also his condition is not severe, its just something they happened to fall upon after he was knocked off his motorcycle.

Mrs Fychan, his GP is next to useless, and two years ago when he went to see him for his constant aches, the doctor asked him if he would like to prescribe him a 'magic pill'.

He is currently involved in trials at our local hospital which involve him having scans, MRI's and x-rays on a regular basis, as well as lots of bloods every visit. I believe the trials are to better understand the early onset of RA or the markers in the blood that can point to RA (which is what he has). The medication he is on is to slow any symptoms down, and so far (touch wood) it has been working.

I knew the chance of us emigrating was small because of his health, but I have to keep a smidge of hope that perhaps one day we will make it.
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Old Apr 4th 2012, 6:45 am
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Default Re: Liver function

If he's involved in a drug trial at the hospital then surely there's a rheumatologist involved. And I would think they would be keeping an eye on his liver function tests. Wouldn't it be better to ask the study coordinators or the doctor who sees him at each study visit?
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Old Apr 4th 2012, 6:52 am
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Default Re: Liver function

I know. I totally understand that. My Mum's condition meant I made choices I might not otherwise have made, if you see what I mean. I loved my Mum.

Oddly enough , my Mum's onset happened after a car collision with a pair of donkeys in the New Forest.

She was also involved in trials way back. Long story but I wrote to a specialist at Stanford University in the USofA after reading an article in something like New Scientist and he put my Mum on his list for when he came to the UK. Caused quite a stir of disapproval at the time but she was seen by him at The Min. Hospital , Bath. It's still a centre for these problems. In her own small way she helped move forward an understanding of the disease. Wish I could remember the chap's name. It'll come to me.

Rheumatoid Arthritis , as you know, flairs. Diet, stress etc are all factors. There is no magic pill. That much is true ,but your GP sounds like 'cold comfort farm'. Change him/her.

Our newest problem is that the medication he takes for the arthritis is elevating his liver function tests
So. Even though not the meds I thought, something is occurring.

May I suggest that if he is involved in trails then you really need to nail those at the local hospital on what has been given & make sure you know what the knock-on effects could be. I'm sure you do but old habits of mine die hard.
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Old Apr 4th 2012, 8:42 am
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Default Re: Liver function

Thanks again Bevs, the hubby has suggested that I accompany him to his next appointment at the hospital because he 'forgets' to ask these questions and basically just nods and gets on with it.

He did ask them about the fact that his liver levels were elevated, which they agreed with, but they assured him it was nothing to worry about and that it was probably just fatty liver and could be diet controlled. He is not overweight by any means and we eat a fairly varied diet, so I would like to talk to the specialists to discuss any dietary needs with them.

Just been looking at the meds he is taking and googled the list of subsidised meds in NZ. The cost for all of his meds on a yearly basis over there would be no more than $300 a year. Obviously that doesn't take into consideration the cost of any hospital visits, he currently has approx 4 - 6 a year because of the trials, I am unsure as to whether this would reduce if he was not on the trials. So I am wondering whether they might consider a medical waiver since his occupation is on the LTSSL?
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Old Apr 4th 2012, 11:05 am
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Default Re: Liver function

Umm. My first thought , quickly reading your post, is that one needs to look for the best care for the condition. I'm not at all sure that would be in NZ , from what I know, to be honest. Not saying there is no care here but it may not be ........current.

It's not just about the cost to NZ. It is about it being a degenerative disease, which it is. The possible future costs to NZ & with that, how the condition would be cared for if it should major flair here.

This place , honestly, doesn't have hardly anything to spare for people like your OH. Had my Mum been here I can see her life would have been the more impoverished simply because there were not the resources.

I'm not about putting you off. I'm not about putting anyone off. I'm personally all about giving people facts they can work on so they can move themselves here if they so wish.

I'm sorta hoping he is not rejecting auto-immune suppressants because he doesn't want that to show on any emigration meds. He needs to do what he can for him. His bones crumble. Hope no offence is given with this.
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Old Apr 4th 2012, 1:58 pm
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Default Re: Liver function

Thanks (again).

Firstly, let me assure you that the doctors made the decision not to give him the Methotrexate, he would willingly go along with whatever the doctors suggest. I believe the doctor decided against it because of the elevated liver levels, instead they have decided to keep him on the same medication, plus he has some capsaicin cream to use if needed and he has a steroid injection every few months.

The move to NZ would be for a better quality of life for the whole family, obviously if it doesn't offer that for all of us it may be better to stay in the UK. At the moment we are simply exploring all the options and I appreciate that you have taken the time to give me your opinion, particularly as you have dealt with this disease personally.
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Old Apr 4th 2012, 10:24 pm
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Default Re: Liver function

I've been thinking about you this morning. Saddo that I am

My view & of course it is only a personal opinion. My view is that you would do well to consider hiring a quality immigration consultant & lawyer for when the time comes. One that specialises in those cases where it is known there will be a problem with the medical & that the medical would go immediately to referral and then to medical waiver.

If you have kept or can obtain good records & consultant notes to show the past time period that the RA has been stable & the same for the next couple of years, it would give the Immy lawyer something to work with. Further if you were to consult with one now, they would be able to tell you what would be needed to make for the very best case.

I feel the aim would be to show that his RA was contained or a phase & holds virtually no risk of being degenerative provided he stays with his meds. Further, that his RA does not interfere with his HGV occupation . A + point being that HGV is always on the Immediate shortage list.

Also, once you have your management BTEC /HNC you would strengthen your case hugely by having a job offer to come to. Managers are seen skilled even though not in shortage.

If you had a job offer, you would be the main applicant . The application would hang on his medical.

If he had a job offer, the occupation being in immediate shortage as always, it would be temp work visas/student visas & those would also hang on his meds BUT if he was accepted for medical waiver then that would get you all here & him working.

From there as you have an open work permit you could find a managerial job. Once you had that you'd go for PR. The sticking point would still be his meds ( PR criteria is different to WP criteria) BUT there would be a precedent & you might well gain the PR medical waiver.

You get my drift? There are ways and ways to prepare for & to present a case.

I'm thinking quality consultant & lawyer here. One that is NZ based & solely NZ interested.

Lane Neave
for instance have an excellent reputation. Their dedicated website Live In New Zealand.

I realise this costs money but I do feel your best chance would be to use an NZ immy lawyer. One that specialises in possible medical waivers.

Meanwhile , back to getting his liver to behave.
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Old Apr 5th 2012, 5:12 am
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Default Re: Liver function

Thanks for your thoughts, it is really appreciated. He has actually retrained (well we both have) as an electrician, this was for two reasons, firstly he was sick of just driving and has always loved 'fiddling' and secondly because we thought it might give him a better chance if we did decide to emigrate.

We had a long chat last night, because this dream has been on the cards for many years, and have decided that we will stay in the UK. Our lives here aren't bad (save a pay loss because of the economy), we were (and have been for many years) disenchanted with the UK. But we live in a nice area and he has a good job. I will continue with my Cert Ed and see where my new found career may take me and we hope to finally be able to buy a house with the money we would have taken to NZ with us.

I do appreciate all of the time and effort you have put into giving us advice.
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Old Apr 11th 2012, 9:26 pm
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Default Re: Liver function

My partner recently had the liver function test and they were all raised by a considerable amount, the doc sent him to get ultra sound etc which came back normal, but it wasn't until we got back and started reading on the internet that it was down to his intense weight training in the gym. (apparently the repairing muscles secrete a substance into the blood which can raise the liver function test results) He took 3 weeks off from the gym took his blood again and this time they were perfect.
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