Treatment Basics

Once your doctor has determined you have HE, the first step is to identify and treat any factors that caused it. Depending on the cause, treatment may include:

  • Medicine to treat infections
  • Procedures to stop active bleeding
  • Therapy for kidney problems
  • Stopping the use of certain medications that depress central nervous system function and can trigger HE

Once any precipitating factors have been addressed, treatment is aimed at lowering the level of ammonia and other toxins in your blood. Since these toxins originally arise in your gastrointestinal or GI system, therapies are aimed at your gut to eliminate or reduce the production of toxins. The two types of medications used to do this are lactulose, a man-made sugar, and antibiotics.