Fish Oil

Can Fish Oil Cause Heartburn | How To Manage / Eliminate Symptoms

Think about the many reflux symptoms that you have experienced since this terrible disease first started for you. Can you always correlate things that you did to cause reflux or is it sometimes a mystery? If you were like me, your knowledge of reflux and its causes are limited to mainstream advice. As I began to research reflux, and it’s root causes and triggers I started to learn how reflux can be caused by seemingly innocuous things and even worse, things that you believe to be helping you like drinking teas.

On this site I strive to share leanings from my personal experience managing and ultimately eliminating my reflux. This, rather than repeating the many assumptions made by those who do not have first hand experience nor medical training. In this post, I will cover the following:

Does Fish Oil Cause Heartburn

A 2014 study by the US National Library of Medicine revealed that nearly 70% of people in the U.S. consume dietary supplements. They go further to say that 33% of study respondents take fish oil. Second only to multivitamins which were consumed by 71% of individuals. Most commonly, this study sites health and wellness as primary objectives.

Fish Oil

Like you, I took fish oil for years. Here is the brand of fish oil that I unwittingly took daily for more than a decade, not realizing it was contributing to my reflux symptoms. To be clear, fish oil was neither the cause nor the largest contributing factor to my reflux. That said, it after isolating my reflux triggers it is clear to me that it did exacerbate my symptoms.

After testing this by taking the pills off and on, it was clear that I experienced more mucus development and had a persistent but mildly sweet taste in my mouth when I took it. When I didn’t, those side effects clearly vanished. So now that I confirmed it with my own test, my next question was:

Why Does Fish Oil Give Me Heartburn?

Fish Oil and Heartburn

In an article by heathline covering 8 little known side effects of acid reflux they explain:

“Fish oil is high in fat and may cause acid reflux symptoms such as belching, nausea, indigestion and heartburn in some people.”

Fish Oil Side Effects

As I have covered in my GERD risk factors article, fatty foods are common reflux triggers as for reflux sufferers fatty foods are hard to digest. Food that sits on your stomach for extended periods (indigestion) increases the likelihood and occurrence of reflux.

Furthermore, this Mayo Clinic article shares the following list of common fish oil side effects (I have bolded the two that I personally experienced):

  • A fishy aftertaste
  • Bad breath
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Loose stools
  • Rash

Lastly, a drug.com article shares the following Gastrointestinal side effects that affect 1-10% of fish oil consumers:

Common (1% to 10%): Eructation, dyspepsia (indigestion), nausea, gastrointestinal disorders (including abdominal distension, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, gastroesophageal reflux disease, vomiting).

I presume you are taking fish oil for the many health benefits so you may be wondering if there is an alternative option that does not trigger reflux symptoms:

How to Prevent Heartburn From Fish Oil

As mentioned, fish oil is one of the most heavily consumed dietary supplements. This Harvard article explains why:

“Omega-3 fatty acids play important roles in brain function, normal growth and development, and inflammation. Deficiencies have been linked to a variety of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, some cancers, mood disorders, arthritis, and more.”… “Americans spend more than $1 billion a year on over-the-counter fish oil.

The article goes on to say there is no definitive answer as to whether fish oil truly offers the often touted health benefits. That said, studies of populations who consume high diets of fish also carry the many sought after health characteristics.

Freeze Fish Oil?

Believe it or not, there are many who would suggest freezing fish oil as a way to combat the gastrointestinal side effects. I’m no scientist, but that makes absolutely no sense to me. Common sense suggests to me that the pills will thaw in  your stomach and have the same effect. Logically, there are two effective means to prevent the heartburn that comes from fish oil. The first is by addressing the root causes of acid reflux. Keep reading to the bottom of the article and I will share with you the exact method I used to eliminate my reflux. The second is as follows:

Fish Oil That Doesn’t Cause Heartburn

Medical Disclaimer: All content on this site is created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice.

Another option is Enteric-coated fish oil as they are coated with a material that does not dissolve until it reaches your small intestines.

Here is the brand I recommend: Here is a highly rated pharmaceutical grade enteric-coated brand. 

That said, rather than skirting around your reflux, you might prefer to address it head on by eliminating the underlying root causes. If that sounds good to you, then keep reading:

How to Eliminate Acid Reflux For Good

If you have suffered with persistent reflux for an extended period of time you likely among the 90% of reflux sufferers that have a digestive health issue. I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia and suffered with reflux for more than 15 years before discovering a simple remedy to eliminate it forever. If you would like to learn how you can address the root causes of this terrible disease I recommend you read my supplements article.

Wrap Up

So what questions do you have and what are you eager to try? Let me know below. I make it a point to respond to every comment that is posted. If you would prefer to email a private question, feel free to reach out to me using my contact page.

Can Fish Oil Cause Acid Reflux

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Don was an acid reflux sufferer for more than 15 years. With a father and grandfather with the disease, and a medically diagnosed Hiatal Hernia he resigned to the fact that he would take acid blockers for the rest of his life. Dissatisfied with medical advice, he researched the root causes of acid reflux and by solving them was able to eliminate his acid reflux for good!

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