If you’re experiencing trouble sleeping, bad menstrual cycles or ongoing headaches, you may want to look into your body’s fatty acid balance. You’ve probably heard of omega 3 and omega 6 before, but what you may not know is that if you aren’t getting the proper amount of each, you may develop some annoying, and even painful, symptoms. Dr. Glen Matejka of Comprehensive Back and Nutritional Family Care in Crystal Lake answers questions about fatty acid imbalance and how to get yourself back to health and balance.
What are fatty acids, and what is a fatty acid imbalance?
Fatty acids are carboxylic acids with a long aliphatic tail (chain), which is either saturated or unsaturated. Most naturally-occurring fatty acids have an even number of carbon atoms from four to 28. Fatty acids are usually derived from triglycerides or phospholipids. A fatty acid imbalance is where your body doesn’t get enough high-quality fats and is way out of balance from eating bad fats, such as margarine or hydrogenated fats. Taking aspirin, acetaminophen or other NSAIDS can also trigger this.
How do I know if I have a fatty acid imbalance?
Get tested by a trained physician, such as myself, or another doctor trained to test fatty acid imbalance. If you experience any pain or inflammation after you take a couple of aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen, there’s a good chance you have a fatty acid imbalance.
How can an imbalance affect me?
You may experience joint stiffness, high blood pressure, skin conditions, pain, headaches, menstrual problems, poor quality sleep or cholesterol problems. There are many more, but these are the most common conditions found.
How can the imbalance be treated?
Get the areas in your body that are affected by the fatty acid imbalance fixed. (This is KEY.) Supplement with high-quality fats, which are found to strengthen your body. Also, try to cook with high-quality fats.
Some examples of high-quality fats are:
- Most Fruits
- Most Vegetables
- Fat from Pasture Farm Animals
What steps can I take to ensure I keep my fatty acids balanced?
I recommend you periodically get tested by a trained physician to make sure your fatty acids are balanced. You should also avoid bad or rancid fats and should supplement as needed with the proper fats and vitamin B6.
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Glen Matejka, D.C., D.N. is a doctor of chiropractic and naprapathy and has been running his private practice, Comprehensive Back and Nutritional Family Care located at 7150 Virginia Road, Crystal Lake.