PBC Foundation
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Do colds etc affect pbc?

I have had a terrible cough now for two weeks as well as a sniffle and a sore throat on and off, i feel terrible. My husband has taken time off this week to look after our toddler as i am exhausted. Although i am exhausted i find getting to sleep so difficult and again the dizziness has started. Anytime i catch anything like a cold it seems to really knock me, does anyone else have this? And why is this? This always seems to happen when weave social events planned, and i feel so guilty my poor husband works so hard all lend then has to look after me and our toddler all weekend. I never thought we wuld be faced with such challenges so young.

7 Replies

Hello Lisa30

I think PBC does affect colds because when I get a cold I'm always really poorly and even more exhausted than usual and it takes a long time before I feel better.When I have cold it also affects my ears. I get dizzy sometimes and my balance is not so good either. Ive also suffered with tinnitus in the past but this is much better at the moment. Hope this helps.


HI Lisa

its is actually the other way round, because PBC is an autoimmune condition your immune system is not working as it should so something simple like getting a cold is a challenge! you are going to take longer to fight off any bugs. This winter everyone well and not so well are having trouble fighting off all the bugs that around.

Coping with PBC means working around it and doing what you can when you can. All your family and friends will understand if you have to cancel or postpone. Give yourself an extra bit of time to recover after a social event.


As soon as I get a cold now my GP puts me on antibiotics as they knock me for a six were as before I was diagnosed I used to have to beg him for them.


Do antibiotics affect the liver?


Interesting reading about colds and PBC as in all honesty I can tell you all that I never succumb to colds. I have read varous articles on PBC and I did once read that quite a lot of people who get diagnosed with PBC it was found they hardly had colds. I had never thought about it before but sure (can't be 100% positive) one of the questions on a survey being conducted by the British Liver Trust (I filled out online about 6mths ago) asked if one had ever suffered from colds prior to what condition they were diagnosed with.

I am of the thinking that PBCers tend to have a rather strong immune system and my theory being the system was so good at shrugging off certain things (I'm not saying immune to everything here) was decided unbeknown to one that it was time to start attacking certain body parts instead.

I think that a lot of minor illnesses and gripes that we get after diagnose may not necessarily be due to having PBC. Prior to diagnose I had several creaky joints and altho' I occasionally get a bit of minor shoulder pain (right side) after a day of manual tasks (ie carrying many pounds in weight in groceries - I thought fruit and veg were supposed to be good for us, not that good at carrying home from town tho'!) and I do have a constant stiff wrist where the end of the thumb joint is, I think maybe it can be construed to be due to having PBC.

I thought I was looking after my health prior to PBC diagnose but since I got the first abnormal LFT 6mths or thereabouts before diagnose I changed even more things in my life and I think there is a tendency to maybe look after yourself that bit more once you have been diagnosed with a condtion.

To Lisa30, I have not taken any drugs except the prescribed URSO since I had the first abnormal LFT. Personally I will avoid any over-the-counter or prescribed drgus if at all possible as at the end of the day our livers have to deal with that substance and to me, none is better than more here.


OK, - i have read all the responses before mine -- and once again, we are all individuals and our bodies react differently -- Personally, BEFORE i was diagnosed, in august 2005, i got colds all the time, too often, which often changed over to bronchitis -- NOW, hardly ever do i get a cold. - i get snuffy nose often, but we have 3 cats - i cough often, but have a hiatal hernia - you need to find your body-s normal -- and get used to it -- xoxoxox


Hi Lisa30

I have been asking myself the very sane question just yesterday !

I was diagnosed June 2011 have just had my gallbladder removed as an emergency admission mid Jan I developed cough/ cold first wk out of hosp and can't shift it. I just thought its my immune system is low and just been topping up on vit c. I have appt with my liver consultant nxt week and intend to ask him about general immune system as I have been off work longer than I expected. It's just so I can have all the facts to give my employer when I return to work . I work fulltime and I am struggling with fatigue and have been for the last 4 yrs. My liver consultant did say that it should have been picked up at least 5 yrs ago.

So Lisa don't ne down on yourself your not alone.

I will put update on the site once I've been.

I know some others on the site say don't blame it all on PBC nut that's easier said than done when you only have half the facts.

So once again take care and keep useing this site as we all have good advice and are all diffrent! Xx


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