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What causes elevated serum ammonia levels?

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Posted on Mon, 22 Sep 2014
Question: I was dx'd with NASH/cirrhosis in 2010. In XXXXXXX of the year, my ammonia level was elevated. The dr. put me on Xifaxin 550mg BID. But she decided my problem was more of depression and not encephalopathy. She has not re-checked my ammonia level. Should I be concerned?
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Answered by Dr. Ratnakar Kini (35 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
No need to be concerned

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Thanks for posting your query.
I am Dr.R.K and I am pleased to assist you.

You need not be concerned about it.
An increase in serum ammonia level which can occur in cirrhotic individuals impairs the consciousness and the individual becomes drowsy and less alert. And there would be some precipitating cause like a GI bleed or constipation.

As long long as you are conscious and alert, there is no need to check your ammonia level.

I hope that answers your question.
Let me know if I can assist you further.
Regards,
Dr.R.K
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Dr. Ratnakar Kini

Gastroenterologist

Practicing since :1994

Answered : 2049 Questions

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What causes elevated serum ammonia levels?

Brief Answer: No need to be concerned Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for posting your query. I am Dr.R.K and I am pleased to assist you. You need not be concerned about it. An increase in serum ammonia level which can occur in cirrhotic individuals impairs the consciousness and the individual becomes drowsy and less alert. And there would be some precipitating cause like a GI bleed or constipation. As long long as you are conscious and alert, there is no need to check your ammonia level. I hope that answers your question. Let me know if I can assist you further. Regards, Dr.R.K