Medication, also is there a link between Gluten and AF ?

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Hi ,

i`m male 51 and have had random episodes of AF for at least 15 years, each episode not normally lasting more than 24 hours. When i was first diagnosed with AF i was advised to cut out all the usuals, caffine, alchohol , keep myself hydrated etc..i did all this but AF episodes still randomly occured . At first i was put on sotalol but that didnt work.  i  was then put on flecinide and my symptoms did improve but overtime they gradually got worse again . i was then added Bisoprolol to the Flecinide and this made a big difference.  Over a few years i started to notice that my symptons would return soon after the pharmacy had inrtroduced a different brand of meds. I mentioned this to my GP but he quickly dismissed my observations as he said all the brands had the same amount of the active ingridient.  My pharmacy was more understanding. Over time i  worked out which certain brand worked best .I also have the same problem with both the medications . At the moment everything is good but last week my pharmacy informed me the brand of bisoprolol that works fine for me is no longer available. i know from past expeiriences that when i have changed over to a different brand then my episodes of AF will return.

 At the moment i have 28 days supply of the good one but from past experiences i know what is coming.

  I read recently that all meds have the same amount of the active ingredient but they allow a 20% margin .As in the past when i change to a new brand i`m now expecting the sympoms of AF to return. If they do return then im going to go back to my GP and ask him to slightly increase the Bisoprolol to compensate for the 20% magin  because if it`s true it could be the loss in 20% that`s making the difference.

  I`m no expert but i cannot think of any another reason why changing over to a new brand would make the Af return.

i  would also like to add my expeirence with Gluten and AF with the hope it may help someone. Even though i`m on meds i have still been having random episodes of AF. After having three episodes in one week I decided to trace my diet back and  i realised  that wheat was major trigger and so was cheese. So as an experiment i whent on a gluten free diet. I have to say i have never felt so good and my symptons vastley improved. I,m fully aware without the medication  i`m  certain i would go into AF.  Since i`ve cut out wheat my symptoms have 90% improved .I used to drink beer but i had to stop because it was triggering the AF but now since Ive realised it was the wheat in the beer that was triggering the AF i can now drink cider or red wine with no AF, all within moderation of course. I mentioned this to my GP but he quickly dissed my wheat observation as he said he`d never heared of the wheat connection before. . In the past going out for meals or takeaways would have trigger AF but now since gluten free my episodes have stopped . Most places can accomadate Gluten free Indian food is normally gluten free apart fom the nan bread.

When i look  back to my teens i did have random episodes of a fast heart rate and that was diagnosed as panick attacks.

  Looking back now i`m convinced it was the wheat intolerence that was triggering the fast heart rate because im not an anxious person. The upshot is i,m now on flecinide and bisoprolol,. i keep myself hydrated, i have no caffine not even decaf , no cheese, im also on a gluten free diet and i have to say it has took me years of AF episodes to get to this stage. I do get episodes but they mainly happen after i have let my my guard down against the triggers mentioned.

  I hope my obsevations that i have had over the years will also help someone with the same condition

john.. good luck.

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  • Posted

    Hey John
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    • Posted

      It seems to me that you may be intolerant to certain foods, such as wheat and that in tolerance could elicit the production of excess histamine in the stomach. Histamine was discovered a century ago by its ability to induce cardiac rythm changes, just like afib. As I have said before, benedryl can prevent afib from starting those situation and I have learned that it also can stop the afib withiun an hour once it does start.
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    • Posted

      Hi Frank,,

       thanks for your reply. That's very interesting I've often thought the triggers for my AF are stomach related. I will certainly look into your findings. Since  going gluten free my episodes have become less frequent . I have been offered ablation but I've decided to go down meds and the diet route first. 

       If it is my diet that's triggering the AF then I'm not sure if the ablation would work ?  

      Kind Regards and your info is very much appreciated,

      jihn.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for this post John.  I too am on Flecainide and Bisoprolol and because I am so well now, the Ablation has been put on hold.  I had 4 years of very uncomfortable symptoms with my AF and I dread the return of them, especially latterly when I was passing out and feeling very ill indeed.

    Your experience however has given me hope that there may be an alternative route for me and will keep the Gluten Free diet in mind....just in case!

    Thanks again

    Jess

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    • Posted

      Thanks Jess for your reply, I fully understand as I share the same anxieties. In my case adding the bisoporolol has kept my heart rate stable.  Before the bisoporolol my heart rate was faster than normal and would very often go into AF.

        My symptoms have  improved but I still have the  odd episodes  but they doent happen for no reason. My triggers are gluten, caffeine and also decaf triggers palpitations , ecsess alcohol is another, I stay away from beer whith wheat, Im fine with cider and or couple of glasses of red wine. Also salt has triggered my AF . Dehydration is another. I do understand i have an underlying problem and if I stopped my meds then I would go into AF. I like you have had years of uncomfortable AF symptoms and its  took me 15 years to work out my triggers.,I'm happy things are running smooth for you Jess but like you say you  do  have  other options if AF returned.

      thanks again it makes me feel better sharing with people who understand,

      much appreciated

      john. 

       

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  • Posted

    Have to agree about the alcohol and caffeine John. I haven't been able to drink for years, just the odd glass of wine. Also carry water everywhere for the dehydration thing but I can manage a decaff though not so nice as the real thing. Will definately give some thought to Gluten and wheat if this horrible thing comes back. In the meantime, reading posts on the Forum, I know how lucky I am being free of it for the past 18 months and enjoying my life again.

    Take care

    Jess

     

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    • Posted

      That's great Jess !

      Sounds like your meds are doing their job. My meds are working also but the slightest amount of gluten will trigger my AF.

      The thing is my GP and my Cardiologist both say they've never heard of this before. I know for certain in my case Gluten is a major trigger. It's not a nice feeling when the experts don't back you up with what you're saying. The last episode I had was about six months ago . My partner made a gluten free meal but 5 minutes after eating it a went into AF. She had mistakenly cooked the steak in mustard not realising it contained gluten.

      Before the gluten free diet I was having symptoms of AF lasting roughly 8 hours 1to 3 times per week with episodes of a faster than normal heart rate.

      It was roughly two years ago when I realised after eating meals that contained gluten my heart rate would go up and eventually go into AF. Looking back all my life Ive always had an anxiety feeling thinking It was just the way I was and I just learned to accepted it. Now since changing my diet the anxiety feeling has completely gone.

      I'm 51 now and have never felt better, I now feel great after years of never feeling right. My heart rate is now as normal as normal can be.,,One of the reasons I posted on hear is to see if anyone else have linked gluten with AF . Sorry for rambling but I've had to deal alone with AF for a very long time.

      Thanks again Jess for listening and for your kind understanding , you take care!

      John.

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  • Posted

    Hi John, I too wondered about gluten, I often suffer after drinking certain beers. I tend to be ok if I stick to Corona/Sol which is Mexican, not sure if that's a different type of beer? I also feel much better if I cut down on not only gluten but also sugar, sugar is one of my main contributers. Fab that you can still drink red wine, I had to completely eliminate this sadly sad

    Flecainide is amazing for me when I have an episode, completely reverts me back to normal sinus rhythm.

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    • Posted

      Hi Mazza , alchol is a trigger for AF .s In my case I worked ot I'm Fiume if thers no wheat in it, I leave beer alone and drink cider because it doesn't contain wheat.
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    • Posted

      Hi mazza, this phone just sent my unfinished reply lol

      sounds like you're sensitive to alcohol . I'm know expert but just try and keep it minimal . In my case if I have one to many the volume of alcohol would trigger AF . Before I went gluten free one beer was enough to trigger Af now I can have around 4 ciders , anymore And there's a chance of me going into AF. Everyone's body is different and you have to work out what may have triggered the Af. Alchol dehydrates so maybe if you do have alcohol then maybe drink water inbetween it's everything in moderation . If you was gluten sensitive then it would happen with other things that contain wheat. I more or less stick to cider or red wine in moderation and eat mostly natural foods . I do read labels to check for wheat. The thing though I'm starting to think I could be in my own with the gluten link because my GP and cardiologist haven't come access this before . Thanks Mazza for the reply and happy the Flenide works for you.

      Take care

      John

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    • Posted

      Cheers John, I drink masses of water and also take a dioralyte the next day to rehydrate myself if I have been out. You are so lucky to be able to drink red wine I miss this, cider is a no no because of the sulphites in it, this triggers me too. Never a dull moment?
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    • Posted

      Hi mazza ,

      you sound like you've got the drinking under control ,that's great ! .The trouble with me is I have good intensions of just having a couple but then after two you give in and say "oh go on then get me another " ....lol

      It's good you're keeping hydrated .,I take something similar , dissolving tablet form , not sure of the name but they are for your electrolytes .i take them if I've had a hard day , Also if you do go into AF it's important to keep hydrated .

      I was told when you're in AF it's equivalent to running a marathon , like you say sometimes water isn't enough to rebalance your electrolytes .

      Thanks Mazza

      John. ..

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    • Posted

      Forgot to mention Mazza, the reason why I started taking electrolyte tablets..a few years back I was in and out of Af for about 3 days. I eventually went to the hospital and the doctor said I was very dehydrated . He put up a drip to rehydrate me and soon as the drip finished I went back into sinus rhythm. So it just shows it's important to keep hydrated , it's just one part of the puzzle that may help.

      Thanks again

      John.

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    • Posted

      be careful about too much water if you're doing flecainide which has been reported to reduce sodium blood levels since too much water can also reduce sodium. I had a fainting spell recently and discovered it was from low sodium. been drinking V8 juice and adding more salt to my diet which stopped the fainting/near fainting episodes within a couple days. p.s., regarding coffeee comment, I have no problem with caffeine and have read that it doesn't really affect afib.
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    • Posted

      I can generally tell when I'm paf due to dehydration as as soon as I have a large glass of water I feel the benefits. I can't do caffeine now, caffeine affects blood pressure which affects heart rhythms, you're lucky! 
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    • Posted

      so you only take it when Afib starts not on a regular basis? how much do you take on those occasions? and how long has it worked that way for you using that method?
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    • Posted

      by it, I meant Flecainide, Mazza44. my comment got kicked down here.
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