AF and Alcohol

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hi.  Just wondering what peoples general opinions are?  I was diagnosed with AF around 4 years ago and seem to have an episode every 12 months or so..

I don't consider myself to be a heavy drinker have had nights out though and drinking has never seemed to set off an episode.. However I do like a couple of drinks as a "nightcap" on a weekend as get up early for work during the week so like to relax a little at weekend.

However have seen people on here refer to "Holiday heart" and to say excessive drinking has sent them into AF.

My latest episode of AF started around 6 weeks ago and I am still having palpitations. Not being sure if some of my symptoms are actually been caused by new meds (another story another forum) I was feeling really down the other day after a particularly bad day with chest pain and palpitations and finding out the side effects of meds.  So thought stuff it and had a drink to help me sleep.... I found it actually helped!! the palpatations stopped and the pain went felt the best I've done in weeks. 

Now wondering if maybe some of it is stress? I am a known worryer If everything is going well I worry that something is going slap me round the face and spoil it all lol.

Sorry for long post I do tend to go on - just wondering if anyone else found Alcohol actually helps??

Thanks for reading


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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Chris, I too worry and stress about things and it may play a part in causing it to last longer. Mine has come on when I am asleep and I have woken up with it but I always get the odd missed beats or extra beats throughout the day and sometimes when I get a missed beat it can be for a number of seconds and I feel dizzy and my head feels like it is going to explode but I try to calm down and usually it will go off. I have been on Warfarin for a few months now and not sure if there is a link but the episodes seem to be lessening so perhaps with the blood being thinner it is doing something. Do you suffer with stomach or acid problems as I am sure there is a link. The Vagus nerve seems to be responsible for a lot of AF patients and I have that problem like most.
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    • Posted

      Hi Mazie  I do sometimes suffer with acid probs I was told years ago I had ulcers ( they seem to have healed though and dont trouble me these days)

      My current episode of AF came on while I was asleep too - How long do your palpitations last in terms of episode I have been having them daily for the last 6 weeks now.  I was started on Warfarin 3 weeks ago and the chest pains do seem to have eased this last few days dont know it that means its just beginning to do its job.  ( blood test later today )

      I have seen people referring to the Vagus nerve and saying they feel worse if lie on their left side - strangely I feel better if lie on my left.

      All too confusing!! sad


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  • Posted

    HI Chris and Mazie

    Vagal afib seems to be caused in large part by an imbalance of certain ions the vagus nerve and the heart are exposed to.  The ions involved are calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium.  The good ones for afib are the potassium and magnesium. When the levels of these are low, problems seem to arise.

    Stress, alcohol (often just a drink or 2) caffeine and sugar all cause the levels of magnesium and potassium to go down through the urine and this in turn can cause the heart to flutter and go into afib.

    If you can restore the magnesium levels in your body, there would be a good chance that afib would be a thing of the past.  It might take a while to sufficiently restrore the magneium levels to where they need to be especially with our "modern" diets. 

    Many people are borderline magnesium deficient but generally as they age the deficiency increases as do the incidences of afib.

    Here in America the thinking is that food that is considered to be high in magnesium may not be high at all due to modern food processing methods. So the best way to get back into balance is to use suitable magnesium supplements.

    Hope this doesn't seem like a bunch of gibberish, but the evidence is mounting that magnesium is a wonder element that we all are low on.

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    • Posted

      Hi Frank

      Magnesium is still being studied BUT for those taking meds especially blood thinners MUST check first on WebMD or other sites IF there are Interactions with certain meds.

      I have found that LOTS of meds AND  multi vitamins  and natural remedies ST Johns wart etc..conflict witk my anticoagulant Xarelto so BE CAREFUL  google "drug Interactions " on line when in certain or ALL meds 

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    • Posted

      The key concern with magnesium is that it does indeed act to inhibit blood clotting, but to a small degree.  So, if someone is on a blood thinner he/she definitely should check with a medical expert to make sure it is okay to add some magnesium to their supplement cache'. There probably are no dangerous drug interactions with magnesium since the body is already loaded with it, even though more is needed in cells and tissues. Btw, measuring that accurately is not being done by the medical community, and it should be.  I'd bet that peop0le with afib are deficient in cell-based magnesium.

      We've known abnout magnesium and how it competes with calcium for years.

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  • Posted

    Hi All,

     I have constant AF and I have gone on to decaffinated Tea ( which is a bit weak but OK when you get used to it) and coffee. The decaff doesnt seem to affect me but 2 of my medications say that alcohol can lower blood pressure so I still avoid that just in case

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  • Posted

    Hi Chris, when my PAF was at its worst I couldn't drink excessively. I've since cut back on coffee, mixers ie., coke and lemonade and red wine. I can now however have beer, certain beers are ok for example Corona, I think it's what they are made from that makes the difference. I can drink Prosecco with little come back.

    If I have had a few more drinks than I should have, I wake up in the morning with palpitations, this is more down to dehydration as well and a sachet of Dioralyte quickly puts that right.

    I agree with other posts in that certain electrolytes are to blame

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  • Posted

    Hi Chris-

      I have had bouts of a-fib, following open heart surgery. I am currently on Amiodarone,which has stopped the a-fib for a month so far,  but will be switching back to beta blockers in a few weeks. I'm not supposed to drink because I am also on blood thinners, but I have a beer or two and it's not caused me any troubles. Could be the meds though. 


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