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What is an Ammonia Tester? – MEIR EZRA
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Ammonia tester is a type of blood test that measures the level of ammonia in your blood. Ammonia (also called NH3) is a normal waste product that the body makes when it digests protein from the food you eat. Healthy liver cells change ammonia into another waste product, urea, which your kidneys get rid of in urine (pee). When the urea cycle is working properly, it prevents too much ammonia from building up in your blood. Excess ammonia can be toxic to the brain and cause serious symptoms such as coma or death.

To measure ammonia, the ISE ammonia colorimeter uses a colorimetric method that compares the color intensity of the test sample with the reference sample. First, the test sample is treated with a buffer that adjusts the pH to a value greater than 12. This raises any ammonium ions in the sample to free ammonia. Next, the test sample is mixed with a reagent that reacts with ammonia to produce a colored compound. The resulting solution is then measured using the colorimeter.

Testing Ammonia Levels: Understanding the Function of Ammonia Testers

The results of your ammonia test can be used along with other information about your health to help your doctor decide if you need treatment for high ammonia levels. The most common reason for high ammonia levels is cirrhosis of the liver. Other causes include encephalopathy, kidney diseases, or Reye syndrome in infants.

Before the ammonia test, your provider will give you specific instructions about what to do before the blood draw. For example, you may need to avoid smoking and drinking alcohol for several hours before the test. You may also be asked to stop taking certain medicines such as diuretics or narcotic pain medicines.


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