- Hepatic encephalopathy (HE), a condition that causes temporary worsening of brain function in advanced liver disease, is on the rise in young women.
- This occurs when the liver can no longer clear toxins from the blood, resulting in those toxins affecting the brain.
- Medication as well as lifestyle modifications, such as diet and exercise, can help with HE.
In 2015, Landree Sarata found herself driving through McDonald’s to buy food for her imaginary car companions. She then drove her “friends” 3 hours to the Detroit airport.
While it may seem like Sarata was developing a mental disorder, it was actually her failing liver causing neurological symptoms.
“Most people don’t associate brain function with liver function,” Dr. Howard Franklin, vice president of medical affairs at Salix Pharmaceuticals, told Healthline. “The normal function of the liver is to filter the blood and take toxins that get into the bloodstream via the intestinal track and clear them.”