Monday, October 23, 2017

Children with Easy Bruising Who Take Fish Oil Supplements

     We are asked regularly about children who bruise easily. If children have impressive bruises that occur after minor injuries, we will likely ask about your child's history with other issues that make us worry about a bleeding disorder. These questions include:
     Does your child have easy bleeding with minor mouth injuries or teeth cleaning?
     Does your child have frequent or hard to stop nose bleeds?
     Has your child had excessive bleeding after minor procedures?
     Does your child pass blood with a bowel movement?
     Has your child had painful, swollen joints after minor injuries?
     What medications or supplements does your child take?

     A combination of history and physical exam can prompt us to do screening labs or a referral to the hematologist at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Other histories and physical exams are reassuring.

     On a personal note: I spoke with my eye doctor in the last year about my eyes being dry. I had already tried some other remedies, so my eye doctor recommended that I try taking fish oil supplements. I began taking Occuvite and noted only so much improvement. I then switched to a higher dosed supplement, this time Member's Mark Triple Strength Wild Alaskan Fresh Fish Oil Softgels with 900mg of Omega 3. At my annual check up last week, I mentioned my easy bruising this year and the first thing my doctor said was "It is those Omega 3 supplements you take!". So now I am weighing the "eyes less dry" with the "easy bruising" tendencies.

     So a good thing to know is that fish oil/omega 3 supplements can increase the tendency to easy bruising. If your child is regularly taking these supplements, let your doctor know this if they are going to have surgery or if they have been prone to easy bruising.