Fish Oil and ESR

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 6/9/2009 6:11 PM (GMT -6)   
One of the markers that has always given my doctors a hard time is sedimentation rate.  It's always low in my case.  When my flare worsened in the fall and winter, I was having 12-15 bms per day, bleeding profusely, fevers, not able to eat -- you all know the drill.  Still, my sed rate was low.  It leaves my regular docs scratching their heads, and it lead one specialist to doubt anything was wrong at all. . . .
I've taken about 3,000 mgs fish oil a day for years (and I eat a largely vegetarian diet).  I recently read a study that gave fish oil to arthritis patients and measured sed rates before and after.  Their sed rates went down.  I'm wondering if fish oil might lower sed rate but not improve GI symptoms.
Anyone have something similar going on?  Any thoughts?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 1916
   Posted 6/9/2009 8:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I am not surprised sed rates went down with the fish oil as it is supposed to be a good anti inflammatory. If I get my sed rate checked anytime soon, I'll let you know. They don't do mine very often. It was high last time the rheumatologist checked it but since I have been on colazal, I have not had any joint pain, so I have not been back to the rheumatologist.
diagnosed 1/09 with colitis & diverticulitis
 54 yo, colazal, fish oil, synthroid, cymbalta
good results w/ acupuncture

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 2832
   Posted 6/9/2009 9:08 PM (GMT -6)   
My sed rate had always been rock bottom even during the most vicious flares. In fact, during some flares even my CRP is not elevated outside of the reference range (although in most flares it does get bumped beyond reference). I take fish oil on and off (Fisol brand to be exact) and can't say I've ever noticed any difference, but I take it for general health.

Pancolitis >20 years, allergic to all 5ASAs
(To pharma: enough already with the umpteen variants of Asacol!)
Tried everything under the sun (natural and alternative)
Some partial success with TSO but was too expensive to keep up 
Remicade Humira, lots of probiotics, entocort, tapering increasing pred again,
maybe surgery this year soon

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 610
   Posted 6/10/2009 7:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the replies. I take it for general/ cardio health myself rather than for the uc.

In retrospect I find it amusing when one indicator of inflammation doesn't conform to a doctor's expectation. Always looking for an explanation.
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