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Hemorrhoids are a common problem for people who suffer from frequent constipation or inflammatory bowel disease, also known as IBD. While a number of treatments can help to alleviate discomfort of hemorrhoids and associated symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, fish oil may also provide certain benefits, although there is not enough clinical evidence to support this claim. Consult your doctor before using nutritional supplements.
Causes of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids aren't just uncomfortable; they can also cause other unpleasant or more serious symptoms such as anal bleeding and itching, blood in your toilet bowl after a bowel movement, pain during bowel movements and hard lumps near your anus. However, hemorrhoids are fairly common and aren't always cause for concern. Hemorrhoids frequently occur due to constipation or having to strain during bowel movements, according to PubMed Health, a consumer health website produced by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Although certain treatments may help, some research has shown that fish oil may have an indirect benefit on hemorrhoids by reducing symptoms of constipation and inflammation.
- Hemorrhoids aren't just uncomfortable; they can also cause other unpleasant or more serious symptoms such as anal bleeding and itching, blood in your toilet bowl after a bowel movement, pain during bowel movements and hard lumps near your anus.
Benefits of Fish Oil
Vitamin E & Constipation
Fish oil contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, important nutrients that play a role in reducing inflammation and may also help to lower the risk of certain diseases such as cancer, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center 1. Additionally, fish oil can help to soften your stool, alleviating symptoms of constipation, thereby possibly reducing the incidence of hemorrhoids. In her book, "The Body Sense Natural Diet," author and medical journalist Lorna R. Vanderhaeghe states that fish oil can help to reduce constipation and move waste more effectively through your digestive tract 2. Some research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids can also help with symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases.
A review published in the December 2005 issue of the "Journal of the American College of Nutrition" states that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation has been shown to produce significant benefits for patients suffering from inflammatory diseases including bowel-related conditions such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. However, as of the date of this writing, no research has been performed on the specific benefits of fish oil for the treatment of hemorrhoids or alleviation of symptoms.
Flax Seeds & Hemorrhoids
While some anecdotal evidence suggests that fish oil may indirectly help hemorrhoids by reducing inflammation and constipation, there's not enough research to unequivocally support its specific benefits. Inform your doctor if you choose to use a fish oil supplement. Additionally, if you experience excessive pain and bleeding during bowel movements, consult your doctor. While hemorrhoids may not always be a cause for concern, they can be a sign of a more serious medical condition.
- While some anecdotal evidence suggests that fish oil may indirectly help hemorrhoids by reducing inflammation and constipation, there's not enough research to unequivocally support its specific benefits.
- Inform your doctor if you choose to use a fish oil supplement.
Vitamin E & Constipation
Flax Seeds & Hemorrhoids
Herbs to Help Bowel Movements
Hydrocortisone for Hemorrhoids
Is It OK to Use Hemorrhoid Cream While Pregnant?
Distended Colon Symptoms
Hemorrhoid Treatment With Antibiotics
Does Cycling Make Hemorrhoids Worse?
Causes of Severe Rectal Itching & Burning
Anti Candida Diet & Constipation
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- "The Body Sense Natural Diet"; Lorna R. Vanderhaeghe; 2004
- Canadian Society of Intestinal Research. Gastrointestinal Society. What You Need to Know About Hemorrhoids.
- Colon Cancer | American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. Resources. Disease and Conditions. Hemorrhoids.
- Harvard Health Publishing. Hemorrhoids and what to do about them. Harvard Health Blog.
- Lohsiriwat V. Hemorrhoids: from basic pathophysiology to clinical management. World J Gastroenterol. 2012;18(17):2009-17. DOI: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i17.2009
- Riss S, Weiser FA, Schwameis K, et al. The prevalence of hemorrhoids in adults. International Journal of Colorectal Disease. 2011;27(2):215-220. DOI: 10.1007/s00384-011-1316-3
- UCSF Medical Center. Hemorrhoids.
Ashley Miller is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist, certified Reiki practitioner, yoga enthusiast and aromatherapist. She has also worked as an employee assistance program counselor and a substance-abuse professional. Miller holds a Master of Social Work and has extensive training in mental health diagnosis, as well as child and adolescent psychotherapy. She also has a bachelor's degree in music.