Ammonia is a nitrogen waste compound that is normally excreted in the urine. An elevated blood ammonia level is an excessive accumulation of ammonia in the blood. An elevated blood ammonia level occurs when the kidneys or liver are not working properly, allowing waste to remain in the bloodstream.
Ammonia is a by-product of normal protein metabolism and is produced by bacteria in the intestines. When the liver is damaged, the detoxification process may be disturbed and cause rising blood ammonia levels. High levels of blood ammonia can cause problems in several organs, most notably the brain.
Infections, kidney failure, and changes in sodium and potassium levels need to be treated. Medicines are given to help lower ammonia level and improve brain function. Medicines given may include: Lactulose to prevent bacteria in the intestines from creating ammonia. It may cause diarrhea.
When excessive amounts of ammonia enter the central nervous system, the brain’s defences are severely challenged. – A complex molecular chain reaction is triggered when the brain is exposed to excessive levels of ammonia. We have found that ammonia short-circuits the transport of potassium into the brain’s glial cells.
High blood ammonia levels can occur with various forms of chronic liver disease, acute liver failure and gastrointestinal bleeding. Elevated blood ammonia levels adversely affect brain function. Early diagnosis and treatment of an elevated blood ammonia level helps reduce the risk of potentially life-threatening complications.
The effects of increased cerebral ammonia can cause a subsequent increase in oxidative stress, osmotic pressure, and astrocyte swelling. Recent studies have demonstrated that ammonia also has effects on many signal transduction pathways, gene expression, and post-translational protein modifications, which together lead to subsequent impairment in astrocyte function and manifest as abnormal ...
What Causes High Ammonia Levels In The Blood? Ammonia is a product of metabolism of proteins and is needed to synthesize various vital cellular compounds. On the other hand, 10 fold increase in the levels of ammonia in the blood triggers toxic effects with huge changes in the functioning of the central nervous system.
The ammonia levels are usually partially controlled with lactulose which is a liquid laxative that helps to asorbs ammonia in the GI system and aids with keeping the bowel cleaned out. It is generally given three times per day and dose is adjusted according to individual response.
Nitrite poisoning is closely related to ammonia poisoning because high levels of one often accompany high levels of the other. Brown blood disease is a nickname given to nitrite poisoning because this condition often results in an increase in met hemoglobin in the blood of aquarium fish which gives it a dark brown coloration.
While elevated ammonia levels are seen in cirrhotic patients there can be encephalopathy with normal ammonia levels and there can also be no mental impairment in some patients with elevated ammonia levels. Basically, ammonia levels are of limited use for diagnosing cirrhosis or hepatic impairment. I would also think some other results of your ...