Hepatic Encephalopathy

What Is Hepatic Encephalopathy?

You’ve had liver disease for a while, but now you notice something different about the way you act and feel. Maybe you forget things or get confused when someone’s talking to you. Your friends may tell you that your speech sounds slurred or that you say things that aren’t appropriate.

And it isn’t only changes in behavior. You might feel sluggish or find that you can’t move your hands well anymore. Or your breath doesn’t smell like it should.

What’s going on? Is there a link to the liver problems you’ve been dealing with for years?

It could be. You may have hepatic encephalopathy (HE), a disorder caused by a buildup of toxins in the brain that can happen with advanced liver disease. It affects a lot of things, like your behavior, mood, speech, sleep, or the way you move.

Sometimes the symptoms are so mild that it’s hard for anyone to notice. But whether you have obvious signs or just a few subtle changes, it’s important to see your doctor. The right treatment can help keep your condition under control, but if you don’t take care of yourself, your condition will continue to worsen.

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