Encephalopathy

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stogierogy
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 5/31/2009 7:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello,

New here. My dad is 69 years old and has been diabetic for about 20. He liked his liquor for sure and wasn't smart in taking it with his medication over the past some odd years. He stopped drinking completely about 8 months ago. He has had 2 heart surgeries, Gastric bleeding and is on blood thinners. about a month or so ago we started noticing he was acting sluggish and not very coherent. We brought him to the hospital and we found out he very high ammonia levels. It totally looked like he had a stroke the way he was acting and at the time he was taken off the blood thinner so my mom and myself thought he had to have taken a stroke or a few mini strokes. Cat scans all proved negative. They started administering lactulose and it wasnt working so well orally so they had to give it to him via enema. He seemed to us like he was in a coma when we would see him. It was a horrible thing to witness seeing him day in and day out like that. When he finally starting moving his bowels he eventually came around to a more coherent level. He was sent home after a week or 2 stay. He seemed to be getting better. But its now a month later and it seems that the lactulose which has SUGAR no less isnt working as well even after docs had him up his dosage. He started taking metamucil, bran muffins, you name it. He doesnt seem to be going to the BR as much as he should and he isnt that coherent alot of the time and walks like a zombie. He also has that twitch in his arm ive read about. I would assume he has cirrhosis and have asked my mom about getting on some type of donors list. She just gets upset saying he might not be a candidate with his age and the diabetes and all. We know his organs are damaged but can the liver REALLY heal itself? We just feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. How long does it take in alot of cases for the liver to do this? and what about his encephalopathy too? It's like hes in a fog and cant do simple things. Just watching him eat looks like its a task to do. It's awful and its driving my mom to the edge. This is all new to me so im sorry this is a long read. There is only so much praying i can do without feeling i want to do SOMETHING ELSE to help his condition. Thanks for reading.

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5392
   Posted 5/31/2009 8:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Stogie, I'm sorry that your dad isn't doing well.  From what you describe, diabetes is the least of his ailments if his blood sugar is under control.  (I believe the lactulose is metabolized in the intestines and it is not supposed to affect blood sugar but you can ask his doctor or any pharmacist.)  The only suggestion I have is that he go back to his doctors so they can re-evaluate his condition.  I suppose he's seeing a gastroenterologist.  Good luck.

Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds


stogierogy
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 6/1/2009 2:58 PM (GMT -7)   
yes, hes been seeing a GI as well as a liver specialist. The doctor recommended taking him off one of the water pills he is on. They seem to think his sugar is affecting this as well. He has a tremor in his hand/arm and unfortunately it's on his right side, the arm he uses to do most stuff since hes right handed. Would any type of decaffeinated detox tea help assist in making him move his bowels? Would it even help? Thanks.

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5392
   Posted 6/1/2009 3:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Stogie, I have no idea.  Don't forget this is the Diabetes Forum here.  I'm not sure which other Forum on HealingWell would be appropriate for your questions.  Check over the other Forums and see if there's one that could have more information for you.  I'm sorry I can't help more.
confused  
Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds


stogierogy
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 6/1/2009 6:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I understand about it being a diabetes section but since that's where it all started i found it best to put it here. Couldn't find a better category on this forum to put it to be honest. If you want to move it to better suited area where it might get more attention then im all in favor, thanks.

MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 6/1/2009 8:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Has he seen a neurologist? What has caused the encephalopathy?


Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…

Post Edited (MMMNAVY) : 6/2/2009 6:12:04 AM (GMT-6)


Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 6/1/2009 9:28 PM (GMT -7)   
It sounds as though your father is suffering from advanced liver disease and that the doctors are doing all they can to help him. The lactulose is supposed to help remove the excess ammonia from his system that is causing the brain encephalopathy. From what I could judge from my readings on these things your father is quite ill. There is not a lot that you can do to supplement other than what the doctors are doing.

The only thing that I found that might help a bit was to put him on a vegetarian diet but that is controversial. It is thought that the lowered protein in the veg diet might help lower the ammonia levels faster... but if he's been eating meat all of his life he might not take kindly to a veggie diet at this point. I found a very informative article that discusses treatments for hepatic encephalopathy. This may help your understanding of your father's illness and treatments.

Encephalopathy and Liver Disease/Hepatitis

You may want to have a short conference with his GI & liver docs and ask them straight out about your father's prognosis and chances for healing. Although the truth may be not what you want to hear, there comes a point in the progress of some diseases where you have to help a person be comfortable and happy and stop expecting them to get better. Your father may have reached this point. I hope and pray not, but it's better to get the real picture so you can plan, than to be hoping against insurmountable odds.

I will remember all of you in my prayers.
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5392
   Posted 6/2/2009 5:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Stogie, I asked other moderators to help with this.  Some also suggested that you post in the Hepatitis forum.  I'm going to copy your first post here and place it in that forum, so let's see if you can get any more responses. 

Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 6/2/2009 12:25 PM (GMT -7)   

Stogie, I just replied to your post which was brought over to the Hepatitis Forum.  I wasn't aware at the time that your dad is already seeing GI and liver specialists.  However, I hope you will come over and read my reply and feel free to post.  Also, we have a lot of information over there.

Best wishes,

Connie


hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


stogierogy
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 6/2/2009 2:33 PM (GMT -7)   
hep93 said...
Stogie, I just replied to your post which was brought over to the Hepatitis Forum. I wasn't aware at the time that your dad is already seeing GI and liver specialists. However, I hope you will come over and read my reply and feel free to post. Also, we have a lot of information over there.

Best wishes,

Connie


Thanks alot. Can you give me the link to it? I cant find it.

Thanks

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5392
   Posted 6/2/2009 2:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Your post is under the subject "need help/info about my father's condition" in the Hepatitus Forum here.

Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds


stogierogy
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 6/2/2009 2:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Lanie you are too fast for me. I came back to say i found it but you beat me to it. Thank you.

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5392
   Posted 6/2/2009 5:50 PM (GMT -7)   

Glad to help if I can.  And I thank all the others here who have offered their suggestions.  Good luck and I hope your dad gets better.  The folks over in the Hepatitis Forum are great.

yeah


Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds

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