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Doctor insights on: Lactulose Liver Patients

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What is lactulose, and why is it given to liver patients?

What is lactulose, and why is it given to liver patients?

Non-digestible sugar: Lactulose is a non-digestible sugar. When ingested, it is metabolized by normal colon bacteria into small fatty acids, acetic acid, & lactic acid. The extra h+ attracts & binds ammonia (nh3) from the blood creating ammonium (nh4+). This is trapped in the colon & defecated out. This reduces the overall blood ammonia concentration which worsens hepatic encephalopathy. But it also causes diarrhea. ...Read more

Dr. Thomas Fiala
2 doctors shared insights

Liver (Definition)

This organ plays a major role in metabolism and has a number of functions in the body, including glycogen storage, decomposition of red blood cells, plasma protein synthesis, hormone production, and detoxification. It lies below the diaphragm in the abdominal-pelvic region of the abdomen. It produces bile, an alkaline compound which aids in digestion via the emulsification of ...Read more


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Why is lactulose used for a patient who has azotemia?

If liver problems: Lactulose is a poorly absorbable carbohydrate, causes gas, bloat, diarrhea; changes pH in bowel, affects bacteria; causes less ammonia production which somehow affects thought process, mentation in patients with chronic liver disease who can't clear these chemicals as well as norm. Sometimes given for chronic constipation. Sorbitol works similarly, cheaper, found in sugarless candies, mints, gu. ...Read more

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How long can lactulose work for a person with end-stage liver cirrhosis?

Depends: Every patient follows the same path in end stage liver disease, the issue is the timing. Eventually, the lactulose might not be enough to treat hepatic encephalopathy and other measures may need to be considered such as rifaximin. ...Read more

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For what length of time can lactulose work for someone with end-stage liver cirrhosis?

For what length of time can lactulose work for someone with end-stage liver cirrhosis?

Variable: Lactulose is used to treat hepatic encephalopathy (confusion) from cirrhosis. When it stops working the liver doctor might be able to add other medications or investigate why it might not be working as well (such as stomach bleeding or dietary changes). How long it works depends on each individual patient and it may work until the very end for some patients. ...Read more

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Husband has liver fibrosis bridging cirrhosis but stopped drinking. takes lactulose and stopped drinking three months ago.will disesase get better?

Husband has liver fibrosis bridging cirrhosis but stopped drinking. takes lactulose and stopped drinking three months ago.will disesase get better?

Hoping so!: I'm going to assume that alcohol is the sole cause, and that he's been checked for hemochromatosis, Wilson's, and hepatitis B and C. If he does choose to stop drinking, having a loving and forgiving wife will be the most wonderful support he can have. Cirrhosis does regress some on achieving sobriety. Hopefully his mind is still basically okay. Wishing you both the best. ...Read more

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Husband has high liver ammonia levels, they stay normal when hes on lactulose but he hasn't taken it for a while. does he have hepatic encephalopathy?

Husband has high liver ammonia levels, they stay normal when hes on lactulose but he hasn't taken it for a while. does he have hepatic encephalopathy?

Need more info: Hepatic encephalopathy is diagnosed only by mental status. If he is confused, disoriented, or abnormally sleepy, probably he has it. By themselves, ammonia or other lab tests can help confirm encephalopathy but they don't make the diagnosis. Sounds like you should check with his doctor soon. Good luck! ...Read more

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Alcohol caused husbands liver fibrosis. ammonia levels are slightly elevated and he takes lactulose. does fibrosis cause this when it's not cirrhosis?

Alcohol caused husbands liver fibrosis. ammonia levels are slightly elevated and he takes lactulose. does fibrosis cause this when it's not cirrhosis?

Increased ammonia: By the time someone with alcoholic liver disease develops hepatic encephalopathy, cirrhosis of the liver is usually present. If the elevation is only slight and he is asymptomatic, it is possible to have fibrosis without cirrhosis, but he is certainly on his way to it. It is very important not to drink anymore alcohol at all. He also should not drive. He should follow up closely with his doctor. ...Read more

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Diagnosed with cirrhosis in 2009 taking lactulose & Lasix (furosemide) what is my prognosis without liver transplant?

Cirrhosis: You should be on spironolactone than lasix (furosemide). Talk to your doctor about this. The prognosis depends on each patient. Some people live long without requiring liver transplant but some people need it sooner. ...Read more

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Dr. Corey Clay
108 doctors shared insights

Lactulose (Definition)

Lactulose is a laxative which is a ...Read more


Dr. Oscar Novick
97 doctors shared insights

Chronulac (Definition)

Chronulac is a laxative which is a ...Read more