Husband keeps feeling dizzy: Hi, my... - British Liver Trust

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Husband keeps feeling dizzy

Bs1524 profile image

Hi, my husband is getting periods of dizziness and sometimes says he feels like he has had a drink. Does anyone have these episodes. He definitely hasn’t had a drink I am so pleased how he has gone totally dry.

Are these episodes just another wonderful symptom of liver disease?

Thanks, again

Pam x

48 Replies

Hi Bs,

Didn't your husband have this same symptom months ago?

My husband sometimes gets dizzy too but he just replied that it doesn't feel as if he's been drinking. He didn't get dizzy when he drank.

What does the doc say about it?

Does he smoke? Is he eating frequently?

I'm not sure offhand if diuretics might cause some dizziness?

So wonderful to hear that your husband is doing so well with his sobriety!

What a relief! Likewise. We did need to scurry past a wine shop yesterday though. It was calling out to him for a moment.

Is the dizziness passing?

Bs1524 profile image
Bs1524 in reply to


Yes things seem to go in a cycle but this bout seems to be lasting however he isn’t sleeping so I expect that it as the bottom of it. He keeps,saying he cannot see light at the end of the tunnel not sure he accepts that his condition is chronic and therefore not going away. I am pretty certain he is expecting things to keep improving and he will be better.

in reply to Bs1524

Sadly, my husband can relate to yours that way and others here too. That "if this is as good as it gets..." Although I sometimes need to remind him of how far he has already come, he IS pleased that he can now climb steps without assistance, he does not look pregnant, he can breathe better, his feet, ankles, knees, legs are not swollen nor near as painful, he is up to getting out, he can prepare his own meals, … His skin colouring is good. We were just discussing that some of his muscles seem to be building back up! Yes, there are still symptoms that bring him down some days. The insomnia, the itching, the tiredness, and so on. Like you, I hope that our spouses and so many others posting here grow stronger and healthier each day. Without alcohol there is a good shot. Wishing you and your husband well.

Bs1524 profile image
Bs1524 in reply to

That is such Promising news about your husband he is doing so well, and it is a hard struggle. I cannot get my husband out unless it is to the hospital or doctor. He is worried about suddenly needing the bathroom. He did try coming with me to a garden centre but it was a real struggle for him.

We can only keep trying x

in reply to Bs1524

Thanks, yes. My husband has surprised everyone. Most importantly himself.

Healthy, ill, sober, drunk - my husband would never go to a garden centre with me! Just as well. Bless yours for giving it a go. Up until not too long ago, mine also only ventured out for the many appointments, tests and procedures, vitamin injections, and in slippers or shoes a size larger. Such a relief when they start to feel better.

Are you feeling more optimistic about your husband's care, BS? So many questions to ask. A lot of specialists don't readily volunteer info.

Are your husband's blood work results, etc. improving?

Is it easier to go to work and not worry so much?

Bs1524 profile image
Bs1524 in reply to

Well he is seeing the Heptologist next month so I am pleased with that. By looking over the GP shoulder I discovered he has gallstones something no one has mentioned. Going to work isn’t any easier he has days where he just seems so out of it and crashes out whenever he sits down. The lack of sleep is really effecting him. I am considering reducing my hours

hi there-I'm getting the same at present-comes and goes. Not really dizzy-just a bit unstable. I'm getting myself checked out for possible HE due to ammonia in the blood. Could also be folate/B12 deficiecy as I'm getting other symptoms related to that. Could be diet related as well red meat/carbs....good luck

Hi bric

I, and I think a few others on here , have found that their balance has been affected by HE/cirrhosis. Can’t even ride a motorbike any more and even very wobbly on a bicycle.. and don’t ask me to walk in the dark without a wall to lean on...seriously- it’s a bummer!


thanks Miles that's what I'm thinking -mine is pretty early stage I think. only just come on in the last episode of brain foggyness. Mind you I used to get this years ago when I was drinking a lot. not sure which blood test picks this up? I'm guessing one of the full liver panel...?

I never knew/could remember what tests, if any, I had for HE. It just got to the point they said at the Hospital: next time bypass doctors and A&E and come straight to Medical Assessment - we know what to do with you 😀. I think they would have liked to have put me in the rubbish bin, especially as I once went round taking off all their posters off the walls ..among many other oddities - apparently - .. so my daughter told me many months later 😀.


davianne profile image
davianne in reply to ThreeSmiles

Snap to that Miles, I have peripheral neuropathy in my hands, but mostly my feet as well, so it's hard to walk in a sober way when your feet are numb, and you can't feel the ground beneath them.

ThreeSmiles profile image
ThreeSmiles in reply to davianne

Snap to your PN too 😀

in reply to ThreeSmiles

"Staggering" innit. I originally thought it was due to muscle waste in my legs. It is listed as a recognised condition with cirrhosis. I had it after detox couldn't walk in a straight line. The Doc said it was possibly nerve damage in feet link to brain. Loss of balance, stairs were an issue more so going down, even using an escalator & no motorbikes then but roll on summer. Defo stronger legs and I guess maybe vitamin B's help. 👍

ThreeSmiles profile image
ThreeSmiles in reply to

Mine's also linked to cerebrovascular disease found by an MRI brain scan. Never rains but it pours or summat like that 😀.

in reply to ThreeSmiles

X-Men Prof. Charles Francis Xavier.

"Boys a dear" - just read about “whatchamacallit” No mention of cheeky vimto, milieu. 🤕😵

ThreeSmiles profile image
ThreeSmiles in reply to

Never seen X-men - did he drink Vimto then. 👎. These issuettes are not necessarily Vimto related me ol’ fruit 😀😀.

in reply to ThreeSmiles

Cerebro (/ s ə ˈ r iː b r oʊ /; Spanish/Portuguese for "brain") is a fictional device appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.The device is used by the X-Men (in particular, their leader, Professor Charles Xavier) to detect humans, specifically mutants. 🙄

ThreeSmiles profile image
ThreeSmiles in reply to

Oh dear - think I’ll stick to the Beano....

in reply to ThreeSmiles

Dandy 😜

in reply to briccolone

Many with cirrhosis seem to take vitamin supplements such as B12, including my husband. He actually started on B1, B12, folic acid long before diagnosis as he had significant vitamin deficiencies/malabsorption issues which caused vision impairment.

briccolone profile image
briccolone in reply to

Interesting - I've heard mixed results to vitamin supplements especially as they have to be processed by the liver

davianne profile image
davianne in reply to briccolone

Hi, veryworried_one is right. I had a course of 12 x B12 injections into my gluteus maximus, administered by my Ex- Matron wife. I have also been taking folic acid daily since diagnosed, about 3 1/2 years now.

You are right though, everything we swallow has to be processed by our liver, so we have to seek approval from the GP, before ingestion.

in reply to briccolone

B1 Thiamine is highly recommended and prescribed by my Consultant subject to deficiency caused by Alcohol. You can include Vitamin B Complex added by my GP. I'm on both, B1 & B. But defo B1 100mg daily.

Brain fog.

Vitamin B1(thiamine, often found in B complex vitamin supplements) is an essentiel nutrient required for proper brain functioning. Thiamine deficiency is associated with many acute brain diseases and conditions such as Wernicke's Encephalopathy, Korsakoff's Psychosis, and cerebellar degeneration - all three as serious as they sound!

It's not a supplement per se. 🤔

briccolone profile image
briccolone in reply to

Thanks for that very useful

briccolone profile image
briccolone in reply to

I'll see what my b12 and folate results come back as but it sounds like a no brainier - excuse the pun

in reply to briccolone

Hi Bookcase? - Some folk are on B12, I must get enough from my diet, though I think B1 for my pickled brain was a priority. 🙄

Bs1524 profile image
Bs1524 in reply to

My husband is in Thiamine has been since May. The GP had prescribed it months before not explained why and he never took it. This was before we knew his liver was shot.

in reply to Bs1524

Yes as soon as my GP got my blood results Dec18 I was sent for detox. The drip the Hospital put you on contains B1 & other nutrients. My GP put me on B1 & B Complex and referal to the Liver Clinic. When I met my Consultant 4 months later he made sure I was on B1 & told to remain on it. 13 months later it's still on my script + B Complex.

So I've been on it prior to diagnosis, it's more to do with alcohol and the brain. 🤕

in reply to Bs1524

Good Morning! Will your husband take the Thiamine if his specialist confirms that he should be taking it? He may have assumed that he was (still)? After reading the posts here and reading more on the net about problems caused as a result of deficiency of B1/Thiamine, it may very well help with some of the symptoms you describe. I just learned that taking diuretics can also contribute to a deficiency of it. Good to know.

Bs1524 profile image
Bs1524 in reply to

Oh he has been taking it since May it was first prescribed by his GP the year before but no mention was made about his liver until I got him into hospital.

in reply to

My husband is supposed to be taking a good multivitamin as well and in addition to the others. I'll try that again now that my husband is more cooperative. Thanks for the reminder.

Fortunately he is growing very fond of the high protein drinks which are of help too.

The nurse that was administering the B1-thiamine and B12 injections last year was good enough to inform us that the B12 came in sublingual form so my husband has switched to that and is down to monthly. They were trying to teach me how to give the injections but I was a very poor student and my husband was terrified at the thought - lol. Dissolving it under the tongue is much simpler. I crush the B1s now as I do the diuretics and add them to beverages of the non alcoholic kind. Makes life easier.

in reply to

I just get prescribed B1 in tablet form 100mg one a day, but then I've issues taking them. My wife gets an injection every 3 months but it's been mentioned it's just not cutting it. Her condition is gastro, never drank.

Protein drinks I got at the start, German brand were removed from the list, too much sugar in them. I just buy whey protein powder. 🙄

in reply to

Hi OFM, Husband's B1s are also 100mg. We were advised that they were also sublingual like the B12s but they're not. So, I crush them instead. He only takes those weekly. Do you still have a deficiency then? What type of issues with the B1s do you have, OFM?

The sublingual B12s that my partner takes are 1000 mcg.

Glad to hear that the whey powder is an alternative to some protein drinks. Gluten free too, I read. I have no idea how high in sugar these Ensures are. Print too small to read and we ran out of the Max which taste better and have more calories.

I hope that both you and your wife are feeling better every day. Wise wife not to have been a drinker!

It's good that the poster's husband has the specialist appointment coming up. Besides her husband's dizzy spells, gallbladder concerns, HE questions along with all else, she may wish to include questions about reintroducing the thiamine plus other supplements questions.

Lists are a great tool if you don't lose them. 🙄 For us, receiving copies of test results and reports have also been of help.

Enjoy your rest.

in reply to

I haven't answers for you because my 1st one and only consultation was Apr19. My OGD was done by my Consultant in June19. I had a 2nd US plus AFP bloods done in Aug19.

My next US is on que next month, everything else is long overdue.

Last time I was given my blood results was Feb19. My local Doctor has since left and no-one else is monitoring me. I have left a voicemail with the Hospital Consultants Secretary without reply.

I assume the Liver Clinic will be in touch after they get my Ultrasound.

Apart from that I'm grand. 🤕👍

in reply to

B1 Thiamine is even more important than I realized. All of those related diseases you mention above are attributable to a deficiency and one called Beriberi too. Sounds like an Australian village. Good info you provided.

Dizziness can be caused by a number of things. My blood pressure is kept low (with betablockers) to avoid the formation of varices, and that can make me feel dizzy when I stand up, or when I sit up suddenly. Is your husband on a betablocker to reduce blood pressure?

Feeling like he's had a drink (when he hasn't) could be a sign of HE, hepatic encephalopathy. There is medication (lactulose) that can help with that. Your husband should ask his physician if he needs the medication for HE.

These symptoms could put your husband at a risk of falling. Until this gets all sorted out, it's important that he stand up slowly, use a cane/walker or hold on to the furniture if he feels dizzy while walking, and have good lighting where he walks, which no tripping hazzards in his way.

Bs1524 profile image
Bs1524 in reply to RosaRugosa

Hi, he is on a beta blocker and he is on lactulose. As he hates a real phobia of hospitals he is usually a jibbering wreck I am always amazed that they never mention HE!

RosaRugosa profile image
RosaRugosa in reply to Bs1524

Well, I am no expert, but I think these are common symptoms with liver failure, especially if one has to take beta blockers and if one has any HE. I would ask your physicians directly if HE is a factor, and if the level of lactoluse should/can be increased.

I suspect your are correct about your husband's sleeping problems -- if he could sleep, he would likely feel better. I take a sedative that really helps me sleep, but physicians vary on their willingness to prescribe them. I had to go to a private-pay psychiatrist to get a sedative.

I hope your husband gets some good sleep and feels better soon!

Similar to Rosa, I had spells of dizziness when I started on a betablocker for varices. It was generally mid morning and cleared after a few minutes lying down. I started taking my tablet before bed instead of first thing in the morning and that has more or less stopped the dizziness feeling. If your husband isn't on betablockers, I haven't been much help - sorry !

Bs1524 profile image
Bs1524 in reply to jacobsmum24

I will suggest to him to try the beta blocker in the evening. They did switch beta blocker as the first one made him speak in slow motion although he is a shadow of his former self his speech has speeded up but not to his normal speech pattern

Trust9 profile image

Good afternoon Bs1524,

Sorry to hear your husband is unwell.

I see our forum members have offered lots of suggestions.

May I suggest you contact his GP or specialist team for a clinical assessment.

Best wishes,


Bs1524 profile image
Bs1524 in reply to Trust9

Yes we have mentioned it to the gp who says it part of having a poorly liver

Hi Pam, yes your GP is right, all the symtoms your husband is showing is all part of the disease l'm affraid and it's essential he takes all the meds he is prescribed. Unfortunately many of the drugs will cause side effects, some of which can be treated by more drugs. It's just part of the on going daily grind and you just have to go with it... frustrating, worrying and bloody exhausting though it is !

L x

Hi bs1524. I have the same thing. Google POTS. It's a autonomic nervous system disease that can be brought on by alcoholism. Just a thought but causes dizziness insomia etc.. keep well x

It's other name is dysautonomia

Hi, Yes it's most certainly a symptom and its called Encephalopathy. Google it for a much better explanation I can give but it is caused by Toxins accumulating in the brain and is treatable. Is his portal vien protruding (straight down the middle of his abdomen), thats portal hypertension and is also treatable with an operation called TIPSS where they join up the heopatic and portal veins in the liver itself. Good luck with it.

From what I can see there isn’t any protrusion. I will raise it again with the GP on Friday, thanks

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