AF Association
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Allergy Tests

I can't remember where I read this, but I can recall reading about someone suffering from AF who had a food allergy test done. It was probably in America because I remember him saying that the test cost $200. Anyhow, result was that he was found to be allergic to a few things, so he cut them out and his AF reduced or cleared, I can't recall exactly, but whichever way it was good news. I think he also had blood tests done for trace elements / minerals but not sure that went anywhere.

I just wondered if anyone on this forum had any experience with this, or knew anything?


4 Replies

Hi Koll, Firstly it is important to come to terms with the fact that you have AF and it is now part of your life. One must not clutch at straws and while some therapies and strategies can help to return to a better quality of life you are not going to "cure" the AF other than maybe by ablation.

Next, to have AF you need a predisposition in the form of anomalies in the atria to allow the formation of rogue impulses. These may be a result of genetic design or maybe damage from over exercise.. In many people this is enough.

Thirdly we have the vagus or vagal nerve which connects the brain, the heart and the stomach. It is the M1 of the nervous system and has a level of autonomy not shared by many other nerves in the body.. Since it connects both stomach and heart if follows that in some people (not all) something which upsets the digestive system can also affect the heart.

Now if we accept this we can agree that there may be some foods which could act as triggers to AF if the other conditions already exist. Without the predisposition there is no possibility of triggers so you can see that removing the triggers will not cure the AF although it may well reduce the frequency of attacks. Remember though that AF begets AF so the longer you have it the more you will have it. (This is why so many EPs now propose early Ablation as a first line attack).

What confuses the situation now is that allergy testing may not show up which if any food is a trigger so learning from others it seems the best thing to do is to keep a food diary and note when attacks happen and try to relate them to specific meals. By doing this you can gradually find out some of the things which make you feel worse. I found that cooked cheese as in pizza etc tended to crop up and in some cases too many meals with red meat. (As one brought up just after the war if we have a joint we have it cold the next day and shepherds pie the third.) Gluten intolerance, fructrose, red wine (damn it) and many other things have been reported as suspects.

In conclusion there is probably no short cut in this, rather a careful study of eating habits versus attacks.

Hope this helps.



Hi Bob -- that was interesting . I do wonder whether my AF & flutter is vagal related as it invariably starts with a strange quivery feeling in my stomach which then moves quickly upwards & ' all hell breaks loose !! '



G'day Koll,

Well, I have posted on here about my journey with AF and diet/food allergy/food intolerance but I haven't had blood tests done on trace elements/minerals. I live in Cornwall, not USA, anyway, in brief;

I was diagnosed with paroxysmal AF in Jan 2010. By June 2011 I had identified a link between food/diet and the onset of an AF event. Bear in mind though I'm one of those weirdos who can be in AF and not know it. (No ! don't go there, I don't understand it and nor do I intend to) - my Cardio guy put it in writing in a write up he sent to my GP so that's that - its a given.

After linking food and AF (it manifested itself with massive, massive bloating, burping and intestinal gurgling and ultimately diarrhea), I went back to my GP. He arranged for blood tests for Coeliac Disease and IBS. While both came back OK he personally subscribed to the belief that I could be marginal IBS. He offered to go further with me on this but I declined. The only dealings now I have with NHS on my AF is my repeat prescriptions and my annual medical for my bus licence (I hold a PCV licence and after 65 one has to have an annual medical .... I'm now 69).

I decided to go to a qualified nutrionist in order to go forward on this. That in itself has been a long and winding road lasting 27 months now and I'm now able to return to some foods that I had to give up in the beginning. I would like to say my AF is cured --- I can't -- but what I can say unless I accidentally eat something which I'm not aware of that will upset my gut, the incidents of the onset of AF are now virtually NIL ! But I do stress sometimes I accidentally eat foods which had not been earlier identified and that can kick it off again.

It was with this nutrionist that I came across the FODMAPS diet which originated in Melbourne. Since then FODMAPS is now being promoted by ............ ? (can't remember the name) College, London through the NHS. Sorry, can't remember the details. If you have any questions, get back to me on here.


Aussie John


Hi John

That's interesting. I'm going to look down the food route further and look at FODMAPS. Although apart from caffeine and alcohol, I haven't identified anything that starts me off. Hence I was wondering about a more "scientific" approach if there is one.

I'm mid-60's and had AF I reckon for 20 or more years, but only diagnosed 10 years ago when it really hit hard. Got used to it now.

Regarding having AF and not always knowing it, me too. Whilst being monitored 24/7 in a coronary ward for 8 days, my readings were a complete mess but I could not feel a thing. I was even going to discharge myself till I was told to go and have a look at my monitor! I can't understand how that can happen, unless maybe I hadn't attuned myself to the finer signs back then maybe.

On that matter, about 5 years ago, I started to get a slight tickling feeling under my left armpit which came and went. I kept telling my GP's I wondered if my AF was coming back because of this tickling. But I got nowhere, they just took my pulse and said it was fine, end of. That saga went on for two years and eventually I insisted on a private appointment. Result was that the EP had me fitted with a 7-day ECG monitor which confirmed it was AF. So I was booked in for another ablation just on the basis of the tickling, i.e. to get it early. What I'm saying is that maybe I had the tickling 10 years back, but just didn't figure out what it was.

Sorry, everyone's going to start feeling tickling now !!!


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