What is Hepatic Encephalopathy (HE)
Hepatic Encephalopathy (HE) is a condition of the brain that is caused by a built of toxins in the brain. This toxic buildup is often the result of a liver condition or liver failure or a liver that is under performing.
The liver is the body’s primary filter of toxins harmful bacteria from the bloodstream. If the liver isn’t functioning properly, those toxins stay in the body. When these toxins build up in your brain, it can cause a condition call Hepatic Encephalopathy.
HE is difficult to diagnose. There isn’t a single test to run to determine if you are suffering from HE. A doctor may run a series of tests such as MRI or CT scans or your brain (which give doctors an interior look at your brain), ammonia levels or an EEG (which measures and quantifies brain activity). None of these can diagnose HE definitively. A doctor will generally come to the diagnosis through process-of-elimination.
Many times the symptoms very mild and it’s hard for someone to recognize. But it is important for you to be aware of changes in your behavior. If you notice one or more of these symptoms becoming a regular occurrence, it’s important to see your doctor. Identifying and treating HE can help keep your condition under control. If you ignore the symptoms and allow HE to progress, your condition will continue to worsen.
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