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Foods to Avoid While Taking Xifaxan

hepatic encephalopathy symptoms

The houseman in a hotel is the person who has doing jobs nobody else has the stomach to do as part of their job detail. When it comes to body organs your liver has the same type of job detail when it comes to getting rid of what needs to be collected and eliminated from the body. It does a great job of it but doesn’t get the fanfare it should. If the liver becomes diseased a person can get hepatic encephalopathy symptoms and this disorder can make people seem like they’ve developed a mental disorder. That’s not the case, and Xifaxin can eliminate the toxins that travel to the brain with hepatic encephalopathy.

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It’s a medication that’s used to treat traveler’s diarrhea, but less commonly it is prescribed to treat hepatic encephalopathy and the reason is it is an effective antibacterial medication that stops bacteria from growing in numbers by making it so they can’t replicate their DNA. When it comes to hepatic encephalopathy it takes exclusive aim at bacteria that produce ammonia, and that’s of note because many people who develop a severe case of it have their ability to eliminate ammonia compromised by a gene mutation.

And the reason some people mistake this disorder for being rooted in the brain is because of those hepatic encephalopathy symptoms – reduced alertness, shortened attention span, varying levels of confusion, ability to focus on tasks, and profound mood or personality changes. These are also the more preliminary hepatic encephalopathy symptoms. If it is not addressed friends and family members of the individual will notice a progression into more troubling ones – slurred speech, inability to even begin on mental tasks, and extensive psychomotor retardation.

There are more as well, and it’s for all those reason that this disorder is best detected earlier so that treatment of hepatic encephalopathy can begin. Another consideration is foods to avoid while taking Xifaxan because there are ones that can severely inhibit the function of the medication. That’s what we’ll do with the rest of this entry, as well as looking at hepatic encephalopathy in greater detail.

Blood Pressure Connection

Having hypertension or high blood pressure is common for people, but it is not common to have it impairing the function of your liver. Turns out that hypertension is a key part of how hepatic encephalopathy develops, and specifically with how it can result in the main vein supply becoming compressed making drawing blood from the liver difficult. The right blood supply entering the liver is an essential part of the detoxification process for the liver, a part of which serves to eliminate the toxins that end up in the brain which cause hepatic encephalopathy symptoms.

We won’t get into the whole bio process, but what ends up happening is blood needed to refresh and dilute the existing supply ends up bypassing the liver due to high blood pressure and unfiltered blood ends up making its way north towards the brain. If ammonia is not properly converted to urea in the liver then plenty of it ends up in the brain, and this toxin is what causes hepatic encephalopathy symptoms. Often serum ammonia level tests are required to make an accurate diagnosis, but if the symptoms are there it’s worth it to go to through the trouble.

No-Eat Food List for Xifaxin

Hepatic encephalopathy symptoms are one thing and we’ve made very clear how it’s important to begin treatment as early as possible. But it is also advisable to know of foods to avoid while taking Xifaxan. For starters, carbohydrates are not good because the peptides created when they are broken down in the gut can also be in the bloodstream and strengthen the effects of the blood toxins that cause hepatic encephalopathy.

Other foods to avoid while using this hepatic encephalopathy treatment drug are:

  • Fruits and vegetables that are high fructose
  • Dairy because of the lactose in it
  • Fruits, vegetables, and probiotic supplements that contain fructans
  • Legumes that contain galactans
  • Artificial sweeteners that contain polyols
  • Garlic
  • Honey
  • Barley, rye, and grains

The mention of probiotic supplements in the list is an interesting one because many of the ones you’ll find in stores do contain fructans, but there are also ones that do not. The reason it is worth noting is because Xifaxan works by acting on microorganisms or gut flora in the digestive tract and having more ideal numbers of them colonizing your gut can actually help Xifaxan work more effectively for treatment. Probiotic supplementation does rebuild gut flora numbers to that end, but just make sure you’re not using one that contains this ingredient.

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IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.


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