In fact, ammonia is a by-product of metabolism that the body normally excretes through the liver. If the level of ammonia in your body is increasing, chances are your liver is having problems. To lower ammonia levels and improve your liver function, try taking the medications your doctor recommends, changing your diet, and taking the right supplements. By combining these three methods, surely the ammonia levels in your body will return to normal limits.
Method 1 of 3: Taking Medication
Step 1. Consult a doctor
Most people do not realize that their ammonia levels are too high before checking their health to the doctor. Generally, these problems go hand in hand with other health problems. Therefore, lowering ammonia levels will usually be one of the therapeutic processes in a series of treatments that you need to undergo.
Ammonia levels that are too high are a common symptom of cirrhosis, Reye's syndrome, and severe hepatic impairment. If you experience one of these, you will most likely have to take treatment or therapy to reduce ammonia levels in the body
Step 2. Have a medical test to determine your ammonia level
Before taking drugs, understand the root of the problem first. Since the test is done to measure the level of ammonia in the blood, your doctor will most likely ask for a sample of your blood.
- Normal ammonia levels are in the range of 15 to 45 /dL (11 to 32 mol/L).
- Ammonia levels may increase temporarily after you engage in vigorous exercise of a sufficiently long duration (for example, long-distance running). Therefore, it is best not to do any exercise or smoke before taking the test.
Step 3. Try taking lactulose
Lactulose is a constipation medication that is often used to move ammonia from the blood to the colon. Ammonia already in the colon can be easily removed from the body when you have a bowel movement.
- Follow the doctor's advice regarding consumption patterns and the right dose of medication. Generally, your doctor will ask you to take 2-3 tbsp. lactulose 3-4 times a day.
- Generally, lactulose comes in a liquid form which must be taken orally. However, if your ammonia level is very high (and if you need to be hospitalized for it), your doctor will perform an enema procedure or insert the fluid directly into the colon through the anus.
- Lactulose is the only drug used to lower ammonia levels in the body. You can buy it at various pharmacies under the brands Duphalac, Enulose, Generlac, Constulose, and Kristalose.
Step 4. Cope with the side effects
Although it is effective in reducing ammonia levels in the blood, actually lactulose can also cause side effects such as diarrhea, gas, and nausea. Since its main function is to treat constipation, lactulose works by removing excess water from the body in the form of feces. As a result, you are at risk for diarrhea and other digestive complications. Try to consult a doctor to reduce these side effects.
- Continue to hydrate your body while taking lactulose to replace lost body fluids and avoid the risk of dehydration.
- If the side effects that occur are very severe and start to interfere with your daily life, contact your doctor immediately. Most likely, the dose you take will need to be adjusted again.
Method 2 of 3: Changing Your Diet
Step 1. Increase your consumption of probiotics
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that are able to launch the digestive process and protect the body from disease. In addition, probiotic bacteria also help the digestive tract to get rid of excess ammonia more effectively! Some types of foods that are high in probiotics and worth consuming are fermented dairy products such as kefir, and various other fermented foods such as sauerkraut.
For example, try eating one serving of yogurt every day. Yogurt has a high content of probiotics so that it can facilitate digestion and maintain overall body health
Step 2. Reduce animal protein intake
The protein contained in red meat has a higher risk of increasing levels of ammonia in the blood than other animal proteins. If the level of ammonia in your body is high enough, you should start eating white meat such as chicken.
Step 3. Try following a vegetarian diet
Compared to animal protein, high-protein vegetables such as beans will be digested more slowly by the body. This will give your body more time to get rid of excess ammonia while digestion is taking place. Therefore, you should increase the consumption of vegetables high in protein to maintain normal levels of ammonia in your body.
Following a vegetarian diet will also increase your consumption of fiber and amino acids. Both are effective in balancing ammonia levels in the body
Step 4. Limit protein consumption after an increase in ammonia levels in your body
In fact, ammonia is the result of protein digestion in the body. Therefore, someone who experiences a spike in ammonia in the blood must limit protein consumption!
If you have liver problems and abnormal brain function, try limiting your protein intake during the recovery process
Method 3 of 3: Taking Supplements
Step 1. Take zinc supplements
Zinc plays a very important role in increasing the amount of ammonia removed from the body. Therefore, try to consult the possibility of taking zinc supplements with your doctor.
Generally, people with liver disorders have low levels of zinc. Since zinc is an important component for removing excess ammonia from the body, taking zinc supplements should be able to reduce ammonia levels in your body
Step 2. Ask your doctor for a multivitamin recommendation
If the ammonia level in your body is above average, it means that your system is not functioning properly. This situation can trigger various health problems due to lack of vitamins and minerals in the body. To reduce this risk, try taking a daily multivitamin to meet the body's nutritional needs. However, make sure you consult the pattern of its use with your doctor!
By knowing the right type and dosage of multivitamins, you will not be exposed to the risk of liver problems and/or imbalanced levels of ammonia in the body due to taking the wrong medication. For example, an overdose of vitamin A has been shown to poison your liver
Step 3. Take a glutamine supplement
In fact, glutamine supplements have been shown to reduce ammonia levels in athletes who focus the training process on increasing their endurance. Try asking your doctor for recommendations about whether or not you need to take glutamine supplements.