Doctor insights on:
Lactulose 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
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
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
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
What would the consequences be if someone with alcoholic liver disease stopped taking lactulose? Can the amonia levels get so high it could be deadly
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
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
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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