Optimal Result: 11 - 55 µmol/L.

Ammonia is a waste product naturally produced in the body. It primarily comes from the digestion of protein by bacteria in the intestines. If not processed by the liver and cleared from the body appropriately, excess ammonia can accumulate in the blood and pass from the blood into the brain, where it is toxic.

What does it mean if your Ammonia result is too low?

Conditions associated with “low” ammonia levels include the following:

- Hypertension

- Associated with some antibiotics

What does it mean if your Ammonia result is too high?

Conditions Associated with “high” ammonia levels include the following:

- Inherited urea cycle defect

- Hemolytic disease in infants

“High” ammonia levels when combined with decreased glucose levels include the following:

- Reye syndrome

- Liver or kidney damage

- Hepatic encephalopathy

Other states associated that can affect ammonia levels include the following:

- Severe gastrointestinal bleeding

- Muscle activity

- Excessive tourniquet use to collect blood samples

Drugs that can increase ammonia levels include the following:

- Alcohol

- Barbiturates

- Diuretics

- Valproate

- Narcotics

- Smoking

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