Ammonia Toxicity – How to Resolve Brain Fog and Anxiety with L-Ornithine
One of the least known toxicity which causes a lot of problems is Ammonia toxicity. I believe that hyperammonemia is present in many people with psoriasis and places additional burden on liver performance as well as health of nervous system and adrenal glands.
Ammonia is a strong neurotoxin and even worse it is produced constantly in our intestines by bacteria decomposing protein in food. Ammonia is also produced in most cells in our bodies as metabolic waste so if there is some defect in detoxification of ammonia there may be a whole set of problems. Especially brain disorders since brain is very sensitive to ammonia toxicity.
Symptoms of ammonia toxicity
Nausea, loss of appetite, back pain, muscle cramps are common physical symptoms caused by higher amount of ammonia in our bodies.
Anxiety, insomnia, irritability, confusion and depression are just some of the mental symptoms of ammonia toxicity. Less recognized effects of ammonia toxicity are brain fog, low motivation, inability to focus,… all the symptoms people are complaining about nowadays but almost nobody talks about ammonia as cause of these problems.
Ammonia toxicity may cause serious physical changes in the brain which are long-term and even irreversible.
The body has evolved while keeping this ammonia toxicity issues “in mind” so liver is supposed to detoxify the ammonia via the conversion of ammonia to Urea.
Urea levels are usually tested in basic blood test by most doctors so getting the test ordered by your doctor is not difficult.
The problem is the evaluation of the tests results. If Urea levels are normal the doctors usually do not suspect any problems with ammonia toxicity or detoxification pathways.
However, when creatinine levels which is a waste metabolite of muscle cells are high and urea levels are normal or low normal then there may be some problems with detoxification of ammonia, too.
High creatinine is present very often in kidney problems. But you can experience increased creatinine levels in blood if you have a lot of muscle tissue and/or take the creatine supplement. It is possible to calculate your own ratio of urea or blood-urea-nitrogen to creatinine levels.
There is also a specific test for blood ammonia levels but it is not a part of standard tests so there is a chance you have not had any tests done yet.
A lot of people with psoriasis have increased ammonia levels in their blood, low or normal urea and high creatinine. I believe that many of them might benefit from optimization of their urea cycles. Especially when they experience mental symptoms like anxiety, brain fog and insomnia.
L-Ornithine helps detoxify the ammonia
Another easy to buy amino acids which are significantly involved in Urea cycle are L-Arginine and L-Citrulline.
Always take amino acids on empty stomach in order to improve the absorption into the blood. Amino acids are usually not hard on stomach so most people won’t have any negative effects like nausea.
L-Ornithine is especially useful for detoxification of ammonia from the brain due to absence of some ornithine related enzymes in brain compared to other parts of the body.
L-Ornithine effects on anxiety
People may feel the effects of L-Ornithine fairly quickly like in 1-2 hours after oral intake.
If ammonia toxicity is the problem and there is a culprit in Urea cycle involving ornithine deficiency then you may feel significantly calmer than usual. It is not a sedation type of