Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fish Oil: Good Stuff but Use Caution!

Fish oils are Omega-3 fatty acids. The fish oils are important for the production of nerve tissue, hormones, and cellular membrances.

These fats have anti-inflamatory activity, help lower high blood pressure, reduce elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, prevent atheroscleratic plaque formation, and improve skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Thus can indirectly help prevent heart attack, stroke and peripheral artery disease.

High doses may cause gastrointestinal upset, loose stools, and nausea.

Use with caution in individuals with diabetes or in those who may be predisposed to hypoglycemia; may alter glucose regulation. Effects of drugs like insulin and oral hypoglycemics may be potentiated. Blood sugars should be closely monitored and medications adjusted. This should be done under supervision of a healthcare providers.

Again, use with caution in individuals on antihypertensive agents. Fish oils can lower blood pressure and may have additive affect.

Patients with Diabetes and/or Hypertension might need less medicines to control their diseases.

Fatty acids are contraindicated in individuals with active bleeding eg, peptic ulcer and intracranial bleed. Use with caution in individuals with history of bleeding, bleeding disorders, or in individuals taking Warfarin, aspirin, Aleve, ibuprofen, motrin or like, or antiplatelet agents like ticlopidine, clopodogrel or plavix.

Discontinue use of fish oils at least 14 days prior to dental or surgical procedures.

Drug interactions theoretically with anticoagulants, warfarin, ASA, NSAIDS, Plavix, Antiplatelet agents, insulin, oral hypoglycemics, and antihypertensives.

Easy way to remember is to know fish oils can reduce blood sugars and blood pressures and can cause bleeding. Use Caution and always include your physician in your decision to take these or any other alternative medications.


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    Gene Laskowski