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9 Tips for Managing the Flu with Liver Disease


Even with the vaccination available for seasonal flu, many people are still getting sick. Find out 9 natural tips for fighting the flu when living with a compromised liver.

Editor’s Note: The following is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or supersede medical advice. If your health is in jeopardy, consult with a physician right away.

As we are in the peak of the 2019-2020 flu season, it is important to know the best tips for managing this year’s influenza strains while living with liver disease.

While last season was not as brutal as past years, precautions against both seasonal flu and a new “variant” virus are still things you should be concerned about as we head into winter. These variant viruses make up a bout 46.9% of cases, and are considered much stronger than regular seasonal viruses. For those with liver disease, deciding how to best manage either type of flu can be especially challenging.

Pharmaceutical companies have risen to the demand for protection against all influenza strains. Whereas in the past you would need a flu shot to protect you from seasonal flu and another shot to protect you from H1N1 (more commonly known as “swine flu”), now vaccines are streamlined to help protect from all strains of flu.

2019-2020 Flu Vaccine

The flu shot is approved for people with liver disease.

The flu shot is approved for use in people older than six months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions, such as liver disease. This year’s vaccine primarily helps fight H1N1 and H2N3. Since they may be more vulnerable to complications, some doctors advise people with liver disease to receive the yearly seasonal flu vaccine.

Beyond Vaccinations

Receiving a flu vaccine is both a personal and medical decision that is influenced by a variety of factors. Despite these vaccinations and efforts by public health officials to reduce the spread of illness, people everywhere are still getting sick.

Unfortunately, those with liver disease may not fare as well taking traditional cold and flu medicines. This is because some over-the-counter cold and flu medicines contain acetaminophen, which can put an additional toxin load on an already compromised liver. In addition, many people prefer to use natural solutions instead of dealing with the side effects inherent to most drugs.

Since having a chronic underlying illness like liver disease increases complications from the flu, getting rid of this particular virus safely and swiftly is paramount. Regardless of which strain of flu has found its way past your defenses, there are plenty of things someone with liver disease can do in favor of a quick recovery.

9 Natural Ways to Manage the Flu if You Have Liver Disease

Breathing in steam from a bowl of hot water is one natural way to manage the flu when you have liver disease.

Besides staying home to avoid infecting others, these 9 natural approaches can safely help many people manage the flu:

  1. Gargle – Based on the chemical principle of osmosis, gargling with salt water is a good way to ease throat pain and inflammation as well as reduce the quantity of viral particles in your throat.
  2. Steam – Being careful not to burn yourself, breathing in steam from a bowl of hot water or in a hot shower helps keep mucous membranes moist and break up congestion. Adding one drop of eucalyptus essential oil will add another dimension to clearing your sinuses.
  3. Rest – When battling the flu, your body needs plenty of rest. Your immune system functions much better with at least eight hours of sleep each night. When sick with the flu, your body’s daily demand for sleep is usually greater than eight hours.
  4. Zinc – One of the most overlooked home remedies for the flu is zinc. This mineral increases the production of disease-fighting white blood cells and also helps these cells release more antibodies.
  5. Ginger TeaAccording to Good Housekeeping, Ginger tea can soothe your sore throat as well as help relieve nausea.
  6. Stay Hydrated – Drink plenty of water and avoid drinks high in sugar or sodium. Drinking at least 2 liters of water a day helps reduce phlegm in the lungs more efficiently.
  7. Healthy Diet – While sick, you should be avoiding sugar, as it suppresses your immune system. So avoid anything sugary or high in carbohydrates, like bread and pasta. You should also avoid dairy, which can increase mucus and congestion. Having a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables will also help combat viruses and get you back on track to feeling like yourself again.
  8. Herbal Formulas – Several expertly designed herbal formulas help support your immune system while simultaneously fighting viruses. Natural Wellness’s Immune System Support is a comprehensive formula that contains essential vitamins and minerals specifically chosen to protect, support and boost your immune system.
  9. CBD Oil – While there is currently no research that shows CBD Oil will help cure you of any sickness, its anti-inflammatory properties may help relieve you of certain cold and flu symptoms, such as stuffy nose, coughing, sore throat, and aches and pains. Plus, it will assist you in getting the rest you need to help recover.


Seasonal flu vaccinations may help prevent many cases of the flu this year, but many will still be affected. Besides their applicability for those whose liver is unable to process some medications, the nine suggestions above for managing the flu can also help anyone seeking natural solutions for fighting it as well.

Carter, A. (2019, April 18). Is It Safe to Smoke Weed If You Have a Cold or the Flu? Retrieved from

Marseille, F. (2018, February 13). You, Liver Disease and the Cold & Flu Season. Retrieved from

May, A. (2019, March 8). Flu outbreak with second strain could last until May: What you need to know. Retrieved from

Rettner, R. (2019, September 16). Flu Shot Facts & Side Effects (Updated for 2019-2020). Retrieved from

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About the Author

Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., MTCM, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)®

Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., MTCM is a long time advocate of integrating perspectives on health. With a Bachelor's degree in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester and a Master's degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches Institute, Nicole has been a licensed acupuncturist since 2000. She has gathered acupuncture licenses in the states of California and New York, is a certified specialist with the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association, has earned diplomat status with the National Commission of Chinese and Oriental Medicine in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology and is a member of the Society for Integrative Oncology. In addition to her acupuncture practice that focuses on stress and pain relief, digestion, immunity and oncology, Nicole contributes to the integration of healthcare by writing articles for professional massage therapists and people living with liver disease.

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