Potential triggers of AFib/tachy

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Hi everyone - First a big thank you for this forum, I have learned a tremendous amount about my condition very quickly. I have AFib/tachy and had an ablation in August which seems to have stopped at least some of the symptoms. I still have occasional rapid heartbeat incidents; these happen only at night when reclining/in bed. Sometimes I have trouble getting to sleep - heart feels “different,” pulse not racing but I’m "aware" of my heart beating and worried it will switch into AF mode.

I attribute these ongoing incidents to one or more triggers, so I am trying to identify as many of those as possible (recognizing everyone is different of course).

Here's the list of the triggers I have learned about so far, feel free to add to this list if you have experienced or heard about other triggers:

Stress

Caffeine

Dehydration

Alcohol in general; specifically red wine

Potassium/magnesium deficiency

Preservatives e.g., MSG

Aspartame/Nutrasweet/other artificial sweeteners

Eating too much

Chocolate

Gluten

Cheese

Perhaps this can help us all avoid things that might trigger our own individual incidents.

Many thanks and best wishes from across the pond....

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  • Posted

    Thank you for posting your triggers. I had an ablation about 2years ago for the same diagnosis and still struggle with racing heart. The only thing i haven't tried is gluten free, even though I eat pretty healthy.
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    • Posted

      Hi devin,

       I was added a beta blocker (  2.5 mg Bisoprolol ) to the flecinide that i was already on and it stopped my racing heart symptoms . my resting heart rate  is now a steady 64bpm .,I still have bouts of Af but since the beta blocker added the episodes of Af are more bearable and not as aggressive . 

       I never go  into Af for no reason . When I do go into Af I can always pinpoint a trigger mainly one from the list compiled by Jeff. 

       it took me years to work out that Gluten is one of the major triggers for me. I'm now gluten free and even the slightest amount of gluten can trigger my Af. I'm fully aware though  if I wasn't on meds then I would permanatley be in Af. 

      Im no expert but from experience maybe a small dosage of  beta blocker may help your racing heart. 

       

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  • Posted

    I have also been told by my E P that the best thing people can do is to loose weight if BMI is over 30. Apparently this can make a big difference. I am one of those people, have lost a stone two more to go. I have changed my diet and although not cut out gluten completely do feel much better. Other triggers for me are drinking iced drinks, these immediately bring on AF also sleeping on my left side as well as the aforementioned triggers by Jeff.
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    • Posted

      Yes I heard from a specialist at mayo clinic to stay away from iced drinks. I drink luke warm water or Gatorade. Also heard not to lay on left side as well.
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    • Posted

      Iced drinks is another great tip, than you June and Devin. My acupuncture guy tells me consuming anything that's cold makes the body work harder to process and digest food/nutrients, so he recommends room temperature or hot for everything I consume. Has been challenging living in a tropical climate but I am sticking to it.
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  • Posted

    Thanks for sharing. I would like to find out from everyone if they experience episodes at bedtime. I'm noticing every single night right when I try to go to sleep, my heart begins skipping, flip flopping and sometimes goes into AFib. Needless to say, I'm fatigued all day long and the meds apparently aren't working anymore.

    I am scheduled for an ablation next month...don't know if I can hold out till then.

    Anyone else? Would love to hear from you. Thanks for letting me share.

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    • Posted

      Some pple need more than one ablation from what I hear. I know stress is a huge trigger for me.
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    • Posted

      Bedtime is my sole problem time Judy, I hear you there. I am going to try changing sides I sleep on (usually go right, will try left). Check out Frank's thoughts below about histamines - that was new info for me and I think could be helpful. Thank you again for sharing!
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    • Posted

      Thanks for responding Jeff. I do notice when I lay on either side, the episodes come on more. I try to prop myself up on pillows lying on my back, but always end up back on my side.

      Are you on meds? I'm on an anti-arrhythmia, beta blocker and blood thinner. When I first went on the meds last month they seemed to help aleviate the symptoms, but lately my symptoms are coming back with a vengeance...almost went back to ER. However, there is really nothing more the ER can do since I'm already being treated with medication. It's just so frightening when your heart is racing out of control and you feel light headed. I always feel like "could this be my time?"

      Hope you and everyone else suffering with this problem find relief real soon!

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    • Posted

      Hi Judy - Thanks for contributing and sharing! I am not on any Afib meds now. My cardio said I do not have other risk factors for Afib. I do take 81mg aspirin daily as a mild coagulant. And I am on a medication to reduce my triglycerides, but that's it. My cardio gave me Flecainide as pill in the pocket if I have an incident that does not resolve within a couple of hours. You are absolutely right about how these incidents can mess with your head. I feel exactly the same as you do. The psychological and emotional aspect is the hardest for me.
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    • Posted

      Hello. :-). 

      I ONLY have afib at night, never when I'm awake.  I consulted my EP today and am looking into a THIRD ablation.  I've had two ablations; both for SVT.  

       

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  • Posted

    Well, I written this before,  but here I go again.

    I have learned that when afib shows up at night, in response to oral triggers, i.e., food or drink triggers, I am setting off an intolerance response that includes an overload of histamine in the gut.  The vagus nerve goes haywire, and off goes the afib, until the histamine is dissipated.  Sometimes the afib won't stop on its own, which is where docs start in with the ablation act.

    For me, this is avoided by either taking oral diamine oxidase (DAO) before meals containing known triggers, or taking 50 mg benedryl before going to bed.

    This whole damn condition has nothing to do with my heart but with an intolerance that develolped as I got older (65 now). 

    The enzyme DAO is generally in the small intestines, but the levels go down as we age, and many of the triggers for afib are indeed inhibitors of DAO, like alcohol, in addition to high  histamine foods, like cheeses and fermented foods.

    Also, yes there is a magnesium issue, especially in these modern times.  

    Lots to talk about.

    For more iinfo, just google histamine and afib.

    Frank

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    • Posted

      Frank thank you for sharing. This is incredibly interesting. I had no idea of the connection between Afib and histamines. That explains the alcohol and cheese triggers very clearly. I am learning so much here, and particularly things that my cardiologist (who I love) does not know a lot about. But I am teaching him!
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    • Posted

      Thanks Jeff

      Fortunately I am not on any drugs now except a low amount of metoprolol for blood pressure.

      I have learned that for me NSAIDs hurt my stomach and they then, after 2 or 3 days, initiate an afib event. So I avoid them completely. Recently reports have appeared showing NSAIDS causing heart problems like afib in susceptible individuals.  

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