Kind of a first world problem I know....

Posted , 4 users are following.

OK, I'm currently under treatment for Hypertension, AF and TIA (I'm just a wreck, I know) and am taking Bisoprolol, Atorvastatin, Dabigatran, Ramipril and (a reducing dose) Amlodipine.

Whilst I'm happy with the planned effects of reduced heart rate, normalised blood pressure and no TIA episodes for a number of months now, I have noticed my sense of taste has changed.

I used to enjoy a hot chili, Scotch Bonnets (100,000 - 325,000 Scovilles) were my regular salad flavouring, Komodo Dragons (1.4million Scovilles) went in my cooking and I had just discovered the Carolina Reaper (1.5million - 2.2million scovilles). 

Basically my enjoyment of chillies was around the riot control agent levels of flavour.

Since I had my medications increased to the pic n mix special at the top I've found that my level of tolerance for hot spicy food has reduced to the level that I bought some Ainsley Harriot Spiced Goan Chicken cup a soups and they are too hot for me.

More worryingly I don't enjoy wine, whether red or white, any more (although I'm forcing a regime of experimentation on myself on that front) and can only drink 1 - 1.5 pints of beer over an evening.

Does the board have any similar experience or suggestions or can you at least offer me your sympathy for the living hell my life has become.

0 likes, 10 replies

10 Replies

  • Posted

    Dear Jason, I can only offer you my sympathy, firstly due to much reduced enjoyment of spicy food that I know you enjoy, but that would blow my brains out, and secondly for the spicy mix of meds you need to take; blood thinners are sufficient for me. I am conscious that spicy food causes me acid reflux, and that leads on to palpitations and an ectopic heart, so I steer clear.

    I'm interested in the forced regime of wine drinking, if you can no longer taste it, or at least not as well as before, who gets the benefit, you or your wine merchant? I had to change my diet and it takes some time to find alternatives, but when you do you may find some new foods that you surprisingly enjoy, or has your taste been damaged by the highly spicy food you have got used to, and nothing else will suffice?

    I am wondering about chicken and egg here, did the spicy food have anything to do with the conditions you now find yourself with, as it sounds seriously hot. Would be interested to hear!

    Best Wishes

    Sherpa Al

    • Posted

      Sherpa Al,

      Thanks for taking the time to answer.

      I get Acid reflux / heartburn as well but I'm told that's a feature of (I Think) Dabigatran as it has Citric Acid as part of the active ingredients. I just buy a lot of Rennies.

      The forced regime of wine tasting is partly because I like wine and would like to find one I can drink in preference to soft drinks and water and partly because water and soft drinks don't compliment some foods as well as a glass of wine, cheese for example.

      As I said to Jim the hot stuff was a once in a while thing as Mrs 1098 isn't a fan (there were "other" effects of the hot food that I don't miss that we shouldn't go into for the sake of well, you can probably guess what I mean) and I do enjoy a wide range of food types, living where I do (Southern England, rural but not too far from the coast) means we can get a range of fresh stuff direct from the farm or fresh seafood quiet easily.

      Since I made my first post on the subject I have spoken to a pharmacist I know, one of the selfless people helping me with my wine investigations, and she suggests it is almost definitely the Atorvastatin and unfortunately the alternative, Simvastatin, has anecdotal evidence of the same side effect.

    • Posted

      Well some good conversation on your thread Jason, I hope it helps you take heart, pardon the pun. I take atorvastatin, but just 20mg daily, I wonder what dosage you are taking. After my stroke they had me on 80mg, and that did give me aches and pains, but my cholesterol has always been below five, so I have lowered the does considerably.

      I've had acid reflux for years, and I used to put up with it, like you taking Gaviscon in my case. But after the arrhythmia was diagnosed and I had had the stroke, stomach bloating used to set off palpitations, and irregular heart rhythm, and so I consulted a nutritionist, and am now diary free, which has made a massive difference, virtually zero bloating, and occasional acid. I do take Omeprazole to help this as well, but I am convinced the wrong diet can be a trigger for Afib.

      Best Wishes

      Sherpa Al

  • Posted


    I read your post and was laughing my butt off. That stuff you consumed before you lost your taste would KILL me!! 😂 I say that you have the better of the deal now with improved blood pressure and no heart rhythm issues. Keep going🌸

    • Posted

      Hello April,

      Thanks for your thoughts. If we can't have a laugh despite our problems then we should probably have a good look at our selves. 

      You're right of course, given the choice of a hallucinogenically hot curry and AF or a nice lamb stew and a healthier heart rate I'd probably take the more bland diet.

      I do miss a nice Merlot though sad

  • Posted

    Jason, Not a "first of world" problem by a long shot. Could be the meds and/or the TIA's. You should also know that spicy foods and alcohol can be afib triggers. I'm not saying to go off the drugs, but lifestyle and diet changes can sometimes be just as important. I'm reluctant to ask how much coffee you drink or how much you weigh.


    • Posted

      Hi Jim,

      The Spicy food was a rarity, Mrs1098 was never a fan of truly hot & spicy foods so generally it was when I had an opportunity to cater just for me and like minded friends likewise the alcohol intake was well within medical guidelines.

      I've always been a healthy and sporty type in the past, sub 3.30 marathon runner,  rugby player, mountain biker. Mainly fresh foods, cooked from scratch with a lot of fruit & vegetables. The diet's much the same although the exercise has had to be curtailed. I don't drink much coffee at all, maybe one or two from Costa in a moth while I'm out and about. Loads of tea, probably close to 9 or 10 mugs a day. Weight's gone up a bit lately I'm around 185cm (6ft 1) weighing 93kg (205lbs) so overweight but not grossly so.


    • Posted

      Forgive me thinking worst case, you obviously have lead a relatively healthy lifestyle. I thought the spicy foods were more staple than rarity. That said, alcohol can sometimes effect people with afib more than others. I've seen it debate both ways. Getting down to a normal BMI is also helpful. Sleep Apnea is another afib issue so a sleep study isn't a bad idea. You check how much caffeine in your daily tea but my computation is around 800mg which is twice as much the amount of caffeine recommended to healthy people and some would argue 800 too many milligrams of tea too much for someone with afib. Unless it's an herbal tea like Roobios which might be a good substitute.


    • Posted

      HI Jim,

      it's proper Yorkshire tea, made correctly in a pot using loose leaf tea whenever possible. I've tried a number of herbal teas, mainly of the fruit flavoured varieties, but have yet to find one I like. Also being English you can have my tea when you pry it from my cold dead fingers. I did ry decaf for a while but whilst I have never eaten cardboard I now have a pretty good idea what it would taste like in liquid form.

      On a more serious note I've booked an appointment with my GP for next Monday to review my medication as a whole. I'm getting rather more headaches than I'd like and occasional bouts of exhaustion and woolly headedness. 

    • Posted

      Well, again, 800mg of caffeine is a lot, especially for someone with afib. And depending on how long you brew it, etc, it could be twice or more of that. SherpaAl makes a good point about reflux/GERD and altered taste sensation.


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