It is not always easy to detect when you are not getting enough Omega 3 fatty acids. The symptoms start slowly and end up getting to severe high levels the longer you have low levels. This is why it is important to talk to your doctor about ways to get these acids into your normal diet properly. You always want to consult with your doctor before you change your diet drastically. Since this can have adverse effects to other things in your life such as medications.
One way of knowing you likely have low levels of the acids is it look at your current diet. Do you eat fish? do you eat nuts, seeds and leafy greens? Many of use lack these things in our diets. For those allergic to nuts you will want to talk to your doctor about an ALA supplement to help you keep your levels of that acid up. Those that avoid fish have other options as well that I will list later. Some need to avoid fish sources because of their religion.
If you already have high blood pressure, hypertension, or high blood cholesterol. You want to consider that you need more of the fatty acids. When we lack the acids it makes those heart problems much worse. You also want to change your diet so you have proper levels of the other good fats needed while lowering the levels of bad fats. If you find yourself needing more pharmaceutical medications to control your health issues, you need your Omega 3 fatty acid levels checked.
Are your blood sugar levels higher or lower then what is recommended? Are you needing insulin or glucose? Diabetes and Hyperglycemia both are found in people that need more Omega 3 acids. The acids help keep the insulin production where it needs to be in order to keep blood sugars level. It has been shown that type one diabetics need extra ALA acid. Nuts are also full of natural sugars that help keep the sugar levels even as well.
Those with auto immune issues like Lupus also need higher levels of Omega 3 acids. This helps their immune systems to function correctly, they must watch their levels monthly. If you have an auto immune issue you should have your fatty acid levels checked. The doctor can give you recommendations as to which sources you need to consume. Many with Lupus end up taking multiple medications this can create adverse reactions.
Arthritis will also get worse if your Omega 3 acid levels are low. The fatty acids help keep the production of inflammation down. When your levels are low it makes the inflammation flare up. This can cause more damage to the joints creating loss of mobility. We have all seen the elderly with withered hands that are unable to even hold a utensil to eat. Even if you are not fully diagnosed with arthritis you do want to keep note of the days your joints hurt. As well as which joints hurt the most often, this will help your doctor.
Omega 3 fatty acids have also been shown to help keep your vision from deteriorating. This is needed for diseases such as macular degeneration. It can help slow the progression that leads to going blind. It also helps those with glaucoma, the fatty acids help keep the levels in the affected eye lower.
The Omega 3 fatty acids also help to support bone growth as well as bone strength and density. We often see low levels of the acids in those that break their bones. This is why doctors have their patients with osteoporosis make sure they keep their levels up high. The oils help the bones to absorb the nutrients they need to stay strong. This is why it is so important to be sure to get calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. If you have a poor enough diet your entire body will end up suffering later in your years.
Another issue is some are unable to absorb the fatty acids at the amino acid level. These disorders are very rare yet are very life threatening. They cannot eat any food or supplements with the Omega 3 fatty acids in them or they will end up dying. They end up requiring a very special diet from birth, amino acid defects will kill young if not caught. Those that cannot absorb the Omega 3 fatty acids must avoid them at all costs. This means that they must everything including the oils with the fatty acids. This is harder than people realize. With many companies using canola, soybean, peanut or sunflower oil in their cooking. This includes many of our schools, food courts, restaurants and fast food places. The parents must keep an eye on changing recipes from companies since some end up adding things in. Such as adding roasted soybeans to trail mix that was otherwise fine. It is worse than those that deal with food allergies. While an allergic person has a reaction we can still medically intervene. A person suffering from being able to absorb the fatty acid and oil; we cannot stop their reaction. The unabsorbed acids and fats will build up until they are at critical levels which shut down vital organs.