Does Fish Oil Thin Your Blood?
Does Fish Oil Thin Your Blood? A basic guide to taking fish oil before medical procedures.
Omega 3 fish oil capsules can help support your health in many ways. But as other supplements and medications you should always make sure that they are safe to take before surgery. The question does remain, should you stop taking fish oil before surgery? Fish oil falls under the category of blood thinning supplements to avoid before surgery. Taking it right before surgery can increase your chances of excess bleeding during surgery and after, both of which can lead to a life-threatening emergency. One of the benefits of fish oil to the body is it makes blood platelets less likely to clot thus helping with blood flow throughout the body. This benefit becomes a huge risk during surgery where blood loss must be controlled to ensure a strong recovery. Since the platelets don’t clot as easily a surgeon may find it harder to stop blood loss in an incision. This risk is so great that it is suggested that you stop taking fish oil at least 2 weeks before a procedure as simple as a colonoscopy and endoscopy. Be assured though, that if anything does occur during surgery or after surgery the staff at the hospital are well equipped to take control of any situation.
Post surgery is a completely different story with fish oil. Studies show that taking fish oil capsules shortly after surgery for a few weeks can help reduce inflammation around the incision site and areas of surgery. Inflammation is a natural occurrence in the body that helps curb additional damage and helps the body heal. Too much inflammation can have an opposite effect though, keeping adequate blood from reaching the damaged area and providing oxygen to the cells that are actively repairing your body. This can lead to a longer recovery time, and can actually as a result lead to infection. Fish oil will help reduce that inflammation around the area where the procedure was done, thus helping your blood circulate and help your body heal faster. Make sure though that you are not planning to go into another follow up procedure, as that will change the schedule as to when you can start taking Omega-3 supplements once again.