Flaxseed oil reflux and flu symptoms

Digestive Problems

According to the Mayo Clinic, Med TV and the World’s Healthiest Foods sites, using flaxseed and fish oil can cause a wide range of digestive problems, including nausea, gas, bloating, acid reflux and heartburn, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea. The Mayo Clinic reports that, at extremely high doses, fish oil can result in severe diarrhea that may cause dehydration if left untreated. Most of these unpleasant digestive system side effects can be avoided by taking flaxseed and fish oil with regular meals, drinking plenty of water and starting with very small amounts of both before working up to your supplementation goal.

Allergic Reactions

Both flaxseed and fish oil can cause allergic reactions characterized by the sudden onset of an unexplained rash; itchy skin; difficulty breathing and swallowing; a wheezing sound while breathing; swelling in the lips, face or tongue; or general flu-like symptoms accompanied by a fever and body aches. If you experience any of these symptoms while using fish oil or flaxseed, stop using them immediately and seek medical assistance.

Medicine Interactions

A number of medications can react with fish oil or flaxseed, resulting in unwanted side effects or causing the medicine to be much less effective. For fish oil, these medications include blood thinners like warfarin, birth control pills or other estrogen-containing drugs, beta-blocking drugs like carvedilol or propranolol and diruetics. For flaxseed, drugs that can cause interactions include any diabetes medications; any blood thinners, including aspirin; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Celebrex or ibuprofen; and any thrombolytic drugs.

Cancer Risk

According to Med TV, recent research into the omega-3 fatty acid ALA indicates that increased consumption of ALA may be linked to a higher incidence of prostate cancer. However, the research was conducted on animal products containing high amounts of ALA, not on plant-based compounds like flaxseed that contain large concentrations of ALA so it is not known definitively if regular flaxseed use can contribute to prostate cancer risk.


Using high doses of either flaxseed or fish oil is linked to an increased risk of internal bleeding. If you notice that you bruise abnormally easily; begin to to vomit blood or notice blood in your stool; have sudden changes in your speech or ability to see; or experience unexplained weakness in one of your limbs while using either substance as a dietary supplement, discontinue their use immediately.


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