In the past few days I've been increasingly experiencing fatigue/brain fog. I decided to explore ammonia on the brain and this is what I found. I realize most PBCers don't have AIH, but some of us have fatty liver. Evidently, this can be prevented to some extent if you start working on early prevention. I believe my problem was caused from the Autoimmune Hepatitis attack, but no doctor ever told me what I needed to do except take the drugs. I would again recommend eating properly to remove toxins from your liver and try to avoid toxic substances whenever possible.
Here is the message: Loss of brain function - liver disease-
An important job of the liver is to make toxic substances in the body harmless. These substances may be made by the body, such as ammonia. Or they may be substances that you take in, such as medicines.
When the liver is damaged, these "poisons" can build up in the bloodstream and affect the function of the nervous system. The result may be hepatic encephalopathy.
This problem can occur suddenly and you may become ill very quickly. Causes include:
Hepatitis B infection (uncommon to occur this way),
Blockage of blood supply to the liver,
Poisoning by different toxins or medicines.
More often, the problem develops in people with chronic liver damage. Cirrhosis is the end result of chronic liver damage. Common causes of chronic liver disease in the United States are:
Chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis C infection,
Bile duct disorders,
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
Once you have liver damage, episodes of worsening brain function may be triggered by:
Body is low on water or fluids,
Eating too much protein,
Low potassium or sodium levels,
Bleeding from the intestines, stomach, or esophagus,
Low oxygen levels in the body,
Shunt placement or complications
Narcotic pain or sedative medicines.
Disorders that can appear similar to hepatic encephalopathy include:
Bleeding under the skull,
Brain disorder caused by lack of Vitamin B1.
In some cases, hepatic encephalopathy is a short-term problem that can be corrected. It may also occur as part of a chronic problem from liver disease that gets worse over time.
The doctors are busy and they don't know too much about our disease anyway. We need to get educated about our disease, set up a liver-healthy lifestyle and then try to live as normal a life as possible.