Karen Hoyt is a blogger who has a story about hepatitis C, cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease, liver cancer, and liver transplantation. This excerpt first appeared on Karen’s I Help C blog.

I could look you straight in the eye, and yet not be aware of what I was doing. The world inside my head that didn’t always follow reality. Getting drunk produces the same results, but I wasn’t drunk. So does mental illness, but I wasn’t mentally ill. I had hepatic encephalopathy, or HE. Let’s talk about hepatic encephalopathy causes treatments symptoms.

Looking back, there might have been a little glimpse of what was really happening in my life …. sometimes. But, even now, it seems far far away from what was real to me. Advanced cirrhosis can create hepatic encephalopathy. Because liver disease is called the silent killer, (there are no outward symptoms until the end stages) we can appear to be a nut job. I just looked at the title, it should be causes symptoms treatments – see, EVEN NOW – SOME DAYS MY BRAIN WON’T WORK!

Hepatic Encephalopathy is a dark mystery to me.

Every time I try to write about it, my heart swells up into my throat. It’s one of the saddest symptoms of liver disease. Mine was from Hepatitis C, but you can get it from NASH, PBC, NAFLD, or any other liver ailment. Even though I got liver cancer and had a transplant, I still live with the effects of HE.


In a healthy body:

  1. We eat protein to help repair our cells.
  2. Our tummy breaks it down into ammonia and nitrogen.
  3. Our body absorbs it.
  4. The liver and kidneys process it.
  5. It is emptied out through our urine.
    EXCEPT when our liver can’t filter – the ammonia circulates in our blood stream over and over.

Click here to read the rest of this blog and find out more about the symptoms and treatment of hepatic encephalopathy.