Ammonia Blood Test
An ammonia blood test is a laboratory test that measures the level of ammonia in the blood. Ammonia is a byproduct of protein metabolism in the body, and is normally processed by the liver and excreted in the urine. However, in some cases, the liver may not be able to process ammonia properly, leading to a buildup of ammonia in the blood.
The ammonia blood test may be used to diagnose and monitor liver disease, particularly cirrhosis, as well as other conditions that affect liver function such as hepatitis or liver failure. It may also be used to monitor the effectiveness of treatment for these conditions.
During the test, a healthcare professional will draw a blood sample from your arm and send it to a laboratory for analysis. The results of the test are reported as the amount of ammonia present in your blood, usually measured in micromoles per liter (umol/L) or milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).
Normal levels of ammonia in the blood are typically less than 50 umol/L or 85 mg/dL. Higher levels may indicate liver disease or other conditions that affect liver function. However, it is important to note that other factors, such as recent exercise or high-protein diets, can also temporarily increase ammonia levels in the blood.
If your ammonia levels are high, your healthcare provider may recommend additional tests to confirm the diagnosis and determine the appropriate treatment. Treatment may include medications to reduce ammonia levels, dietary changes, or in severe cases, liver transplantation.
Overall, the ammonia blood test is a useful tool for assessing liver function and diagnosing and monitoring liver disease. If you have concerns about your liver function or have been diagnosed with liver disease, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider about whether an ammonia blood test or other tests may be appropriate for you.
This page is provided for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute the provision of medical advice or professional services. The information provided should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, and those seeking personal medical advice regarding any of the tests and conditions referenced above are advised to consult with a licensed clinician. Always seek the advice of your qualified health provider regarding a medical condition and do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information on this page. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or go to the nearest urgent care center or hospital.
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