Confusion and memory loss with cirrhosis - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Confusion and memory loss with cirrhosis

chezza1974 profile image

Hi all, I wonder if you could help me my husband has cirrhosis and he is due to go to Leeds in 2 weeks for the liver transplant assessment, we have just been on holiday in Cyprus and my husband was taken to hospital as he was all confused and seemed to have lost his memory for a few hours, I thought he was dehydrated as he had not drank much water it was really hot and he had not eaten anything for at least 12 hours or so, I gave him a banana and lots of water before ambulance arrived and that did help he did remember what happened afterwards, I found all this really scary and was wondering if anyone can give advice on what he should be doing to stop this happening again he is tired now but apart from that he seems ok, consultant in leeds said the hospital in cyprus needed to get one of his levels up that would have caused this but I cant remember what she said it was, I will be emailing her to ask advice just wondered on here if anyone had any tips etc experiences of this thanks

15 Replies

Hi sounds like HE symptoms this is when toxins build up in his blood stream and cause confusion, weakness, memory loss and a few other things .... has he been going to the toilet regularly?? is he on lactulose if so just up dose for a few days will clear him out ... dont have bananas though as they block you up... hope he doing better x

chezza1974 profile image
chezza1974 in reply to jojokarak

Hi thanks for this that is what transplant unit said it could have been when they rang us earlier he has been going to toilet regularly when it happened I gave him a banana and that brought him round to know where he was and to start talking sense hospital said that the banana would not have done anything but when I gave it him it did help as I thought he had gone dehydrated or had sun stroke he's just tired now but I must admit I'm terrified of it happening again especially as we have a little baby and knowing what to do if it does x

AyrshireK profile image
AyrshireK in reply to chezza1974

If he isn't already prescribed it he needs to be taking lactulose regularly to ensure the toxins get removed from his body. When my hubby went for his transplant assessment he also started get prescribed Rifaximin which is an antibiotic which also tackles toxins.

I don't think the banana would cause any difficulties - my hubby has one a day and doesn't get bunged up. He started eating a regular banana to provide a natural source of potassium as he started getting a bit of cramp.

The fact your hubby went so long without food and drink wouldn't have been good for him and would have made him very weary and probably contributed to his absolute fatigue and confusion (he was running on empty). When you are cirrhotic your liver doesn't metabolise food for fuel properly and he should be eating little and often otherwise his body will wear out - it is like a car engine running without oil.

When he goes for his transplant assessment he'll/you'll probably get to see a liver specialist dietician - if he doesn't i'd request contact with one and that way he will be getting proper dietary advice.

All the best to you both.

Katie :)

chezza1974 profile image
chezza1974 in reply to AyrshireK

Hi can gp prescribe lactose x

AyrshireK profile image
AyrshireK in reply to chezza1974

Yes a GP can prescribe lactulose but they may want clarification from either your husband's liver consultant or the transplant unit.

Lactulose should definitely help with removing toxins from body.

My hubby is just telling me that when I ask him things it does take him a few minutes to compute what i've said and make his response.

Hope the TP unit get back in touch with you and you get some help because what you are describing definitely sounds like HE symptoms.

Katie :)

In what way do bananas 'block you up'? What exactly goes wrong with the digestion process (presumably in relation to the damaged liver??) to stop bananas being digested as normal? I've never heard this, and would like to know more.

Maybe he's forgetting to peel the skin off before he eats it, lol.

That's one of the symtons you get with cirrhosis of the liver love.

You need to go to your GP to get it prescribed for him love. My hubby takes it an it helps a lot.

Hope you has a nice time as well in Cyprus.

First of all I can say you are in one of the best places for a liver transplant. The staff and facilities at St James are first class and very knowlageable and caring. I had a transplant there 2.5 years ago and before I went through similar symptoms to your husband being confused with little knowledge of what was happening. I was given lactulose and this did help. Also I was told to eat little but often (5-6 meals per day) as the liver when damaged cannot process the results of eating very efficiently. Before my transplant I would sleep for 16 hours per day and when awake I was falling over very often. Now I am a member of society again,even taking on- line courses of education. Hope this helps you and I wish you and your husband the very best of good fortune for the future.

Bananas a fact for you the quallity and effectiveness varies from once they are picked till they are rotten, they are not to be eaten when they are bright yellow as they contain more starch than fibre and potassium and the bowel has no chance of breaking down starch which in turn causes constipation. Best time to eat them is when they are a dull yellow and have brown spots as they contain more fibre than starch. Also drink plenty of water

Hi thanks for your help my husband keeps going up and down today more tired and struggling with concentration like delayed reaction when he is answering questions. He's drinking lots of water as he is constantly thirsty and he is eating little and often as he is constantly hungry too. We have left a message for transplant unit to call us for some advice. Does lactoluse help this. And another point can anyone help and advice on financial benefits you can claim of you self employed and of work cos of his liver and direction to go in or website to get any info on this pls thanks

AyrshireK profile image
AyrshireK in reply to chezza1974

Hi again chezza, i've replied to this up above really, does sound like your hubby is displaying some symptoms of hepatic encephalopathy - lactulose will help and as I mentioned TP clinic may also prescribe Rifaximin.

As regards benefits, in UK just now the benefits system is an absolute minefield. My hubby wasn't working at the time of his initial diagnosis and we finally managed to successfully claim Employment and Support Allowance and got into the support group. It is means tested and is dependent on your total household earnings. Personal Independence Payment is the other benefit which supports those who are impacted by a health condition or disability and can be claimed regardless of whether you are in work or not. It is a battle to get it though - we had to go all the way to an appeal after hubby failed to get a single point at the face to face assessment phase.

I recommend that you seek the advice of the Welfare Rights Department at your local council they will look at all your situation, income, outgoings and advice properly on what benefits you might be eligible to claim. They help with the forms and claim process (and appeals if it comes to that).

Despite being listed for liver transplant my hubby only got granted his PIP until August this year after claiming in August 2013 and only getting his success at appeal late in 2014.

Some details of the ESA benefit are at :- .

PIP at :- .

Wishing you all the best, Katie :)

If he doesn't have much of an appetite, give him Ensure.That has all of the nutrients the body needs.Thats what I drank three times a day when I got out of the hospital with cirrhosis.

Trust1 profile image

Hi Chezza1974,

We hope you have been able to get in touch with the transplant team regarding your husband and they have been able to advise and help you.

In addition, there is some very useful information on Hepatic Encephalopathy and Cirrhosis on the British Liver Trust website that you may find helpful to take a look at while you are waiting to see the medical team.

Here are the links;

It would also be advisable to check with your husbands specialists before commencing any new dietary supplements etc, and also possibly ask for a referral to a hospital dietician for further advice.

Wishing you both all the best,


Omg are you joking me blt your a bit late in replying /responding about 2 bloody years, you really are a joke!!! I really haven't got a clue how you think you help people with liver disease, never helped me one iota people on healthunlocked did and believe me I asked for your help you just seem to make random comments willy-nilly why don't you just crawl back under your rock and shhhh again your really good at it...

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