it depends upon what the cause of the cirrhosis is. if it is from drinking alcohol then there can indeed be dramatic regression in the severity of the liver disease and even reversal of cirrhosis with ongoing sobriety. Zinc is well known to cause gastric upset so must always be taken with food. Unless the person has symptoms of encephalopathy we do not treat an elevated ammonia level.
Thank you very much Dr. Schiano,
I do have Alcoholic Cirrhosis and Heptic Encephalopathy seems to have a big effect on me. Daily I have complications with loss of balance, confusion, memory loss, sleep disorder, and joint pain. Also I get shooting pains through out my legs for just no reason at all. I undestand that some of these things are caused from permanant nerve damage but as my ammonia level returns back to normal will the memory loss and confusion go away? Those are my biggest concerns and at times it makes me feel embarrased and dumb. Any chance they are caused from nerve damage or are they only related to HE? Currently My ammonia level is being treated with Lacaluose and xifaxin.
Randy, it seems that yopu probably have an element of peripheral neuropathy--make sure that you are taking adequate vitamins. if you have diabetes it should be well controlled. You should definitely see a neurologists if you haven't done so already.
Hi Randy My name is Jim, and my friend Scott, who is 38yrs old and was diagnosed about 6 mos ago to be in the final stages of Cirorsis and has Hep C also. They told him how serious it was but, he continued to drink for a while, finally Quit a month ago. His condition is awful, because he keeps putting off going to the hospital. Currently his eyes are slightly yellow, his stomach area is HUGE and is calfs are red and really swollen. Yesterday I noticed he was walking strange, like he was bow legged. I asked him what was wrong and he said his Scrotum swelled up like a grapefruit. He said, "I think I have a Urinary tract infection". His intellegence level was never real high to begin with, but I've heard it can start to mess with your brain? I'm so scared for him. I'm sure severe pain isn't far away, otherwise he may get help it he had some bad pain. His wife stays numb on drugs, because she can't get him to seek help. I hope your condition keeps improving and I'll keep you in my prayers. Any thoughts on Scotts condition?
Take care, Jim
Hi Jim, Thank you for writing. I hope you understand just how ill your friend is. The very first thing he should have done was stop drinking immediately! In an attempt to get feeling better (I hope its not to late) Your friend needs someone to take charge for him and pick him up if you have to and get him to the hospittal. He will not recover just staying at home. There are several medications and vitamins he needs to be taking. A gastroligist will help him get set up with all the he needs. When the ammonia level in the blood stream increase as it does in cirrhotic patients it affect the brain. It is the same type of ammonia that you find in cleaners. Ever cleaned out the litter box, it smells like ammonia. This is because the body produces it and its is the job of the liver to filtter this from the blood stream and eject it out of the body. A liver not functioning correctly expecially in the final stage is unable to perform this task so therefore the ammonia remains in the blood stream and reaches the brain cause what we refer to as HE (Hepatic Ecephalopathy)
Jim I could keep going on and on and i'll be very glad to explain as much of this to you as you like but rather than me using time to write it and you using the time to read it, I strongly feel your time would be much better spent with a strong attempt to get Scott to go to a hospital. He needs to go right now! Not later on, but right now. Good luck to you Jim and Scott! Scotts wife really needs to stop the drugs and stand up to him and help you in this attempt. He really is going to need her to be strong and help him. God Bless you all. Please keep in touch if you would like further explanation of what I know about cirrhosis. Randy
Hi Randy, Thank you so much for writing back so soon and being so informative. I'm headed over to Scott's house first thing this AM. I will do my best and see if I can convince them to go to the hospital by showing them what you wrote(if you don't mind), I think it will be my best chance. Thanks again Randy! I'll let you know how I make out.
Oh before I forget, Scott is his middle name. His first name is Randy. Wow, what a trip!?
Take care and God Bless, Jim