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Forum Name: Miscellaneous Nephrology Topics

Question: Ammonia Build Up In Body


 Cindie - Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:35 pm

I am trying to find out the cause of how ammonia can build up in your body. This is in concern for my brother. He is 47 has COPD Congested Heart Failure. He was admitted into the hospital 4 days ago for fluid build up on his ankles and legs. Was doing fine and the two days later is now in ICU disorientated barely conscious, is also violent when he is Simi conscious. The ICU nurse is insisting this is alcohol related. My brother doesn't not drink, he may have a beer or two every now and then. The last time he had a drink was on New Year's Eve. Can you tell me what if anything else could cause ammonia to build up in his system?
Thank you for any information on this,
Cindie
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:15 pm

User avatar Hello Cindie,

There are several causes of increased ammonia levels. Alcohol is only one of many different issues. Ammonia is produced from the breakdown of proteins. It is then processed by the liver and excreted. There are a few other pathways but the liver is the main processing center. If his ammonia levels are becoming elevated it is very possible that his liver is having problems processing it.

I suspect that his doctors are actively trying to determine what the cause of this is. Keeping in touch with his doctors will be your best conduit of information.

Best wishes. I do hope this resolves quickly and your brother gets better soon.

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