I am assuming you have cirrhosis? (I have a list of cirrhotics but I know it doesn't include everyone with cirrhosis here).
Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) and brain fog are two different conditions. "Brain fog" has nothing to do with ammonia levels. Most ammonia in the body forms when protein is broken down by bacteria in the intestines. The liver normally converts ammonia into urea, which is then eliminated in urine. Ammonia levels in the blood rise when the liver is not able to convert ammonia to urea. This may be caused by cirrhosis or severe hepatitis.
Take enough lactulose to have 3-4 bowel movements per day and your ammonia level will drop and you will feel better. Normal is 15-60 mcg/dL. It usually that a day or a couple of days for the ammonia levels to drop.
I am not sure of your health status. High ammonia levels can also be caused by...
*Severe bleeding from the stomach or intestines.
thanks....i was 2/2 fibrosis....1a...cc......can't portal hypertension cause blood flow problems in the liver...causing the liver to be ineffective.....in turn raising the ammonia level...causing cerebral edema...and that causing forgetfulness ....i also wonder .... about 12 years ago i fell off a scaffold and landed hard on a very large saw horse...my body half way on one side and half way on the other...my hand and my feet about 6 inches off the ground with my lower stomach taking a hard hit on the top of the horse...it was a tough one..i got off the horse and thought i was in real trouble..didn't feel right...took a couple days easy and went back to work...soon after that fall i was starting to get sx..didn't know anything about hep c...so i thought i was diabetic and every now and then over the years went for blood sugar tests..they always came out fine...i can't believe they never did a liver function test...so i may very well have permanently damage part of my liver...i often wonder about that....so is it pulling off the meds that is causing my high ammonia levels or is it a liver recuperating from tx..i know i do forget things a lot in the last couple weeks...could i be stumbling and falling down at times because i forget i'm even standing for half a second and then remember or come to half way down the fall..too late to stop the fall but enough time to catch myself....is it common to get high ammonia levels shortly after tx???my doctor will get the new blood work/cat scan/ekg///monday...we will see what he says...also my bp has been high lately...was 157/102 at the hospital...thats a problem too...anyway thanks for any input...billy
"i may very well have permanently damage part of my liver"
If you did it would have shown up in normal blood tests since that happened or on a ultrasound. Your liver is located under your right rib cage so falling on your lower stomach is not going to hurt your liver.
"is it common to get high ammonia levels shortly after tx??"
Obviously there are many neurological problems that can cause those symptoms.
I have never heard of a drug that raises ammonia levels. The healthy liver processes the ammonia that is created in the gut so anything that would create ammonia normally would be eliminated by the liver.
Good luck at the doc's.
thanks hector....i'll get with the doctor tomorrow....i really want to find out why the high ammonia level....billy
Interesting information Hector has given you on the ammonia. I never knew about that.
When you say....."could i be stumbling and falling down at times because i forget i'm even standing for half a second and then remember or come to half way down the fall..too late to stop the fall but enough time to catch myself...."
it makes me wonder if you have an inner ear problem. You know I have Vertigo and can have a similar sensation of not realizing that I am falling, right away. Just a thought.
Hey dog, sorry about your difficulty but I gotta ask you something. Why would you test your ammonia level if you're not cirrhotic? Just wondering really, never heard of anyone testing their level before unless they had to. good luck!
Billy, I have no idea why your ammonia levels are high and look forward to hearing what your doc has to say today.
As for falling - how's your eye doing? While your BP is elevated it isn't dangerously high but I wonder if it is affecting blood flow to your eye and somehow this is playing a part in your falling...
If you take lactulose make sure you measure in micrograms (mcg) not milligrams(mls).
Best of luck today.
i had all kinds of tests because i went into the er...my daughter and doctor recommended this...in the er they run all kinds of tests and because this could be a real problem we wanted to rule out some things....i got tons of blood work done...but when i read more about testing for ammonia levels i'm finding out that blood tests can be wrong if your taking other drugs...i'm taking zoloft and hydroxzine at night..my itching is still real bad at night...but now i'm really wondering if it is an inner ear problem...vertigo..i did have an ear ache through tx...but not now.....i'll ask about the vertigo....my bp is fine last couple days..i don't feel too bad considering i'm new off tx....thanks everyone...billy
Oh, many issues. Glad to hear you're done with tx!! good luck