Adding Omega-3 Fatty Acids to Your Diet Could Ease Hemorrhoids

Among the numerous health benefits that come from adding omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, into one’s diet, a recent study by the University of Maryland Medical Center has found that these fatty acids can also alleviate symptoms known to cause hemorrhoids.

Hemorrhoids occur when veins around the anus or lower rectum have become swollen or inflamed and can happen to either internal or external veins. While hemorrhoids are typically not dangerous, they can cause pain or discomfort during bowel movements. Some other symptoms of hemorrhoids are itching and irritation in the anal area, bleeding, sensitive or painful lumps near your anus and anal leakage. Hemorrhoids are typically caused by chronic constipation or diarrhea, but one of the main preventative causes of hemorrhoids is a sedentary lifestyle and a diet high in fat. A good way to prevent hemorrhoids is to have an active lifestyle and add changes to one’s diet. Usually eating more fiber and drinking the recommended eight glasses of water can help prevent hemorrhoids, but now people can also prevent certain causes of hemorrhoids by adding fish oil to their diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that have shown to lower the risk of heart disease, certain cancers and arthritis. The study by the University of Maryland Medical Center has found that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and can soften your stool, which reduces the occurrence of constipation that can lead to hemorrhoids. Some research also suggests that omega-3 fatty acids can also help with symptoms of irritable bowel disease. There has been no evidence to suggest that these fatty acids can be used to treat hemorrhoids or the symptoms of hemorrhoids, but they can prevent the cause of them.

While these acids prove to be necessary for human health, the body cannot make them – we have to get them through food. The most common way to get omega-3 fatty acids is through fish oil. Eating fatty fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon, twice a week is the recommended amount to get the health benefits of fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in other seafood such as krill and algae, and in plant and nut oil such as flaxseeds, soybeans, pumpkin seeds and walnuts. People can choose either to incorporate these foods into their diet, or they can take supplements such as fish oil capsules or flaxseed oil to get the recommended dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Before adding these or any supplements to one’s diet, always consult your physician first. (SourceUniversity of Maryland)

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