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concerning amonia

how do you get too much amonia in your body and is this dangerous?
3 Responses
163305 tn?1333672171
It happens when a person has cirrhosis and yes, it can be dangerous.
It causes something known as hepatic encephalopathy which can cause delirium and even put a person into a coma.
It is easily treated with medication and a simple blood test can show your ammonia levels.
Avatar universal
Below is a link that explains hepatic encephalopathy

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001347/
446474 tn?1446351282
Hepatic Encephalopathy (HE) is a brain dysfunction caused by the accumulation of toxic chemicals in the blood stream. The normal liver acts as a filter removing harmful substances from the blood. With cirrhosis the liver is not able to remove a variety of toxic chemicals. These chemical remain in the blood and eventually enter the brain, causing a variety of disturbances with brain function. The toxin most easily identified is ammonia.

Symptoms:
Fatigue, sleepiness, confusion, depression, irritability, personality changes, forgetfulness, slurred speech, tremors (shakes), and problems with balance may occur. As the condition worsens, patients become more sleepy and eventually lapse into a coma. Some patients with encephalopathy develop a peculiar odor on their breath (fetor hepaticus) from the toxins.

All patient with moderate to severe HE should be evaluated for liver transplant.

• Symptoms of HE may progress slowly, or may occur suddenly
• Common symptoms of HE include confusion, forgetfulness, personality or mood changes, poor concentration and judgment, stale or sweet odored breath, change in sleep patterns, and worsening of handwriting or small hand movements
• People with HE can enter a coma or have brain damage
• HE can be a medical emergency and hospitalization is usually required
• Treatments aim to manage the disease and keep people out of the hospital
• The best way to reduce the risk of HE is to prevent, treat, or manage liver disease

Diet:
No red meat should be eaten. It creates lots of toxins during digestion.
Consume well-cooked chicken and fish in addition to vegetable protein

Treatment for HE:
Lactulose is considered the first-line therapy for HE. The usual oral dose of lactulose is about 15-30 ml given twice a day to induce 2-3 soft bowel movements daily. Abdominal bloating and a sweet taste in the mouth are the principal adverse effects associated with normal doses of lactulose.

Xifaxan/Rifaximin  works in a different way. It's an antibiotic that reduces the amount of ammonia produced in the gut. (It doesn't draw fluid into the bowel like lactulose or kristalose does.)

Good luck to you!
Hector

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