Ammonia toxicity is a common symptom I see in my clients and can be a big piece of the health puzzle to fix, as it’s a powerful toxin.
Normally, the body removes ammonia through a process known as the urea cycle. This is when ammonia enters the liver, the liver converts ammonia to urea, the urea is then sent to the kidneys where it’s then flushed out via urine.
This cycle can be disrupted if the liver or kidneys aren’t working efficiently, or if they are overloaded with toxins. Those with a CBS mutation may have problems with ammonia too. As a result, ammonia isn’t removed properly from the body and can accumulate in tissues and organs such as the brain and disrupt the nervous system as it’s a neurotoxin. It’s also a toxin to mitochondria, so can affect energy production.
Ammonia will raise the ph. of the gut to around 11 which is too alkaline, ideally the gut should be a ph of 1-3, to be able to digest foods and absorb nutrients such as b12 and zinc.
What can increase ammonia?
- Dysbiosis/ bacterial imbalance
- Detoxification of any of the above pathogens
- Catabolism (where the body breaks down its own tissues, can happen in high stress scenarios)
- Sluggish liver /poor kidney function
- Protein and sulphur foods (although I don’t usually suggest reducing these)
- Low stomach acid (as proteins aren’t digested as well)
Symptoms of excess ammonia
- Blood sugar issues
- Rigidity / behavioural reactions
- Brain fog (can’t think clearly)
- Chronic fatigue
- Food intolerances
- A strong ammonia smell in sweat, urine, stool or breath
- Uncontrollable laughter/anger
- Sleep issues
- Flapping/ stimming
- Mast cell activation /Histamine/Allergies (tics may also appear, as histamine can go to the brain due to mast cell activation).
A few examples of how to mop up ammonia:
- BH4 supplement (although you need to go slowly with this one, it’s often a key one to start with).
- Certain amino acids like L-orthinine.
- Sometimes molybdenum (only if needed though)
- Alpha ketoglutaric acid
- Yucca Root.
- Hydroxy Vitamin b12: Dr. Klinghardt, states that Hydroxy b12 may be able to help remove ammonia from the brain.
- Larch tree
- Potassium can help keep ammonia levels down.
- Long term treatment: detoxing the liver, possible kidney support and gut support to reduce pathogens.
There are other supplements, but the order of supplements for some clients is the important bit.