One of the jobs that the liver does is to rid the body of ammonia (convert it into a waste product and get rid of it).
Normal serum ammonia levels are 10-80 ug/dl.
When the liver can't get rid of ammonia the way it should, ammonia levels get high. This can affect the brain. (It's called encephalopathy or hepatic encephalopathy).
It's usually treated with Lactulose or Enulose (a liquid laxative that binds with ammonia molecules and removes them from the body).
Jaundice means that your husband's bilirubin levels are too high.
Alcohol will make all of this worse.
There's a Liver Failure messageboard at
There's alot of information there on encephalopathy and other complications of liver failure. (You just look in the column on the left-side of your screen and click on what interests you.)
Hope this helps.
If your husband can get well enough to go to an ALCOHOL DETOX place, it might save his life. It is hard for you, I understand, because he wants to escape from his bad problems, by drinking.
You might want to find some support for YOURSELF, in "Alanon", which I believe is for the relatives of alcoholics. Alcoholics Anonymous has also helped many alcoholics to stop drinking, if the alcoholic wants to stop.
I wish you the best of luck in your difficult situation! The people here, will, I'm sure, also offer you some support.
Lisa I'm a recovering alcoholic- 16 yrs sober now. Before I sought help I had alcoholic hepatitis and cirrohsis. I was told that My liver function was so bad that I shouldn't be alive. 16 years later and I have developed some serious gastric problems but I'm still here. The only hope for me was to stop drinking.
With the help of some very wonderful people I got well. There are people out there just waiting for a call,but your husband has to make it. Best of luck