Afib & Diet

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Hi fellow afibers - I’m becoming more and more convinced that my Afib is connected to my indigestion/heartburn/vagus nerve etc etc - I’ve had about a year with no AF no palps or anything then about a month ago I got a lot of indigestion problems for about 2 weeks, followed by 2 weeks of palps etc. I now want to educate myself about what diet I should be on, what foods I should avoid etc and I’d like to start with visiting a nutritionist - any advise/recommendations on this matter would be much appreciated. Thanks 

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  • Posted

    Hi Steve, we have much in common, and it sounds like you're heading in the right direction, start with a nutritionist, see if you can find what's causing acid, bloating etc.

    In my case it was dairy products, and it had been going on for many years, but until Afib hit, and I had a stroke, I never took sufficient steps to get it fixed. Since change of diet palpitations are 90%+ reduced, it may be something different for you, but manage your stomach, and you manage your palps!

    I also take a PPI, Omeprazole, which virtually eliminates the acid reflux, but it doesn't stop the gas, bloating, belching, but the diet does. So now, no acid, and minimal palps, unless I have too much coffee, too much alcohol, or eat too late before bed.

    Best Wishes

    Sherpa Al

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  • Posted

    Could be acid reflux, check with your doctor! I have acid reflux and it feels like a heart attack. Up into my neck and chest gets tight!
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  • Posted

    Yup Steve, totally relate. For me it's absolutely food related and once the vagus nerve/stomach has been irritated it doesn't take much to set it off. I could be in the shower scrubbing too hard making the bits jiggle too much and bam I'm into A Fib. So now if I know it's a bit irritated I'm more careful in the shower lol. It's the darnedest thing really. It takes careful consideration of all that you do and eat that will help you solve your A Fib mystery. I'm on the FODMAP DIET and it's made a world of difference for me.

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  • Posted

    I've always known mine is diet/indigestion/ possibly sleep apnea and swallowing too much air. I'm a mouth breather. Sounds like our situations are similar. I've been having attacks about four years. My attacks are sudden onset crazy heart rate and flutter and bad arm and chest pain and severe indigestion. The First one I had - very cold orange juice that I gulped too fast. The one last week I ate a cold salad and supper way too fast. Sometimes they happen as I lie down to go to bed and sometimes as I wake up. I'm sure we can help one another.

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  • Posted

    I am often in a manic phase when it happens, hyper, mouth Breathing, swallowing too much air, eating too fast etc when it happens. I too suffer gas bloating from certain foods and meds.
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  • Posted

    Afib diet triggers can be very individual, so most recommend keeping a detail food diary to see if patterns turn up. That said, dairy and some carbs keep coming up in discussions here as triggers. And of course, alcohol in excess is never a good idea. Coffee/caffeine is tolerated in moderation by most people but I temporarily stopped all coffee after my last afib episode since I suspected it may have been my trigger. Also, coffee can aggravate reflux/Gerd, which can be another trigger. I also had some spicy food the day of my episode, so no more Indian Marsala for me! Again, it can be a very individual thing.

    We have some advocates of the FODMAP diet here. "sandiishealthy" has had great success with it and maybe she will chime in later. My understanding is that it was originally designed for IBS sufferers, so again maybe the vegal connection.

    Speaking of vegal connection, my trigger has traditionally always been ice cold beverages and once some soft ice cream I ate too fast. I also had a friend who got afib after jumping into the ocean when the water was very cold. So maybe stay away from those ice baths they have in some saunas!

    Jim

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  • Posted

    Start yourself by trying to find the foods that trigger it. Although with chronic indigestion I find that it can vary from day to day.
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  • Posted

    Particular foods don't bother me, I find it's just how much I eat, not what it is. I'm on a diet that involves simply eating less and only very small meals. I do avoid alcohol and caffein though. 

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  • Posted

    Sounds like your on the right track. I find taking probiotics helps with the digestion and reflux problems which means no irritation to the vagus nerve.
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    • Posted

      Good point Derek. It's similar to the Valsalva manuever. It can work both ways. Get you into afib or if you're very luck, get you out of afib. I'm still trying to figure out what caused my last afib episode, but come to think of it, I was straining at the toilet that week. Now I'm on magnesium supplements which soften things up.

      Jim

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    • Posted

      Both a colonoscopy and a DRE (digital rectal examination) put me into AF many months after having had successful cardioversions.

      I am told that Cardioversions stimulate the vagus nerve back into NSR.

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    • Posted

      Interesting, Derek. Are you talking about two distinct afib attacks -- one from colonoscopy and ne from DRE? My anatomy isn't great, that said with the colonoscopy, I would imagine it might have been the anesthesia and/or vagus nerve stimulation. With the DRE, I don't know, was it painful? A relative went into afib after being treated for hemmrhoids without anathesia, so it was a pain thing. I've had three colonoscopies and some very painful hemmrhoid procedures myself, but they never put me in afib. However, I came out of afib once after a TEE which could have been either vagus nerve stimulation and/or anathesia. Afib can be so different with people. I haven't heard that electro cardioversion works with the vagus nerve. Thought it just shocked the heart directly.

      Jim

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