Catheter Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation ... - AF Association

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Catheter Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation

Anyone had a catheter ablation and afterwards their food triggers were no longer an issue?


Great site, thank you.

I have been proposed a catheter ablation for my A-fib (occasional SVT). I know white wine is a trigger, though red isn't... I also am about to eliminate gluten to see if that is a trigger. The A-fib is getting worse and more often and I note particularly after eating - about 15 minutes after eating. I've tried many alternative therapies to no avail.

Beta-blockers slow the tachycardia but not the Afib, flecainide used to work but doesn't anymore - and I don't like the feeling of either of them! I am loathe to take the medication (rarely do) and as frightening as the catheter ablation sounds, I might prefer a mechanical fix than living on chemicals which have other side effects. I've also heard the later one waits to perform the catheter ablation the more points one might have to burn.

Any thoughts?

Many thanks.

I am 58 years old with 3 years of recorded Afib activity.

12 Replies

I have had 7 ablations. Foods still trigger AF. I avoid any stimulants such as caffeine. Alcohol can cause AF even post ablation, Any kind of inflammatory process such as a chest infection, bronchospasm, acid reflux and urinary infection. I have a hiatus hernia and there is a clear relationship with stomach fluids regurgitating into the throat or lungs and triggers with AF asleep. I've been a sufferer for over 20 years. I take dronedarone post ablation which has minimal side effects.

Good luck.

Hidden in reply to Loquitir

Crikey! 7 ablations ! I was under the impression -- wrongly obviously - that they stopped at 5. I also have had AF for over 20 years but didn't have my 1st ablation until 2009 . ( 3rd one in April this year ). Whereabouts did you have yours done & how long since your 7th ?


Loquitir in reply to Hidden

Last one 5 months ago. Symptoms now under control again. Had mines all fine in London.


I had an ablation for constant AF in 2004/5 and it completely cured me and left me with no triggers. So probably every case is different?

But, now my AF is coming back.

The quantity and temperature of food can also be a trigger. I have to eat quite small meals and snack inbetween if hungry. A large hot plate of porridge or soup are to be avoided at all costs.

Loquitir in reply to xfrack

I read in an Oxford medical journal that the atria cells which cause AF and related arrhythmia have cell energy problems which means that some of minerals such as calcium, potassium and sodium which all have electrical conduction problems build up to form conduction foci which interferes with the natural peacemaking conduction channels.

That's why there is no medication or ablation cure for AF just highly effective intervention strategies to manage and reduce symptoms so that becomes a manageable condition.

Severe cases of AF often require a long term view of treatment to incrementally improve the condition and the risk. Often there is no quick magic cure.

From my own perspective I've had a really good response to ablation and each time the atria cells have accumulated problems which trigger protracted AF then use of ablation and medication has drastically reduced the disabling aspects of the condition.

So it's no surprise to hear when people see say their AF has come back because I think fundamentally the genetics of AF of predisposes people to type of cell development or changes which cause the disturbance to sinus rhythm.

Some of the literature tries to determine the exact nature of the AF itself such as whether a short or long QT syndrome exists. Some genetic studies are able to identify particular genes relating to AF but they not clever enough as yet genetically determine the exact relationship between genes and the AF cell changes. The current thinking is that AF is 65% genetic and 35% environmental or lifestyle. Hence the gains that can be made through healthier living in conjunction with medication or ablation surgery.

I will try and find the link to the genetic studies and post for people to read.


Hi iris1205,

Once my GP had blood tests done and eliminated Coeliac Disease and IBS I consulted a nutritionist who analysed my diet and made lots of changes.. I've learnt that you can't look at gluten in isolation. Also Google FODMAPS diet and you'll see what I mean. I did this and am feeling shedloads better to the point I am returning to foods I'd previously given up with no increase in AF. Maybe I was just lucky.

Aussie John

Loquitir in reply to Hidden

This is a really helpful post and ill take a look at the FODMAPS.

Over the years I have had AF I have developed various allergies mostly skin or asthma related. I too had the GP do the Coeliac blood test and no protein tested positive. However, in January this year I had some genetic screening tests done for something unrelated and discovered I had not an allergy but a likely intolerance to wheat, gluten and any dairy foodstuffs. I now follow a wheat and dairy free diet sometimes referred to as the Stone Age diet and I have improved gut motility and substantially reduced allergic reactions.

Another interesting piece of knowledge I discovered is that often other non atria related systems coexisting with AF can in fact have a common mitochondrial inheritance which means that there is often no easily identifiable connection on presentation to a EP cardiologist. This includes co existing pathologies between AF and hearing, eyesight, neurological problems, muscle weakness, bowel problems, respiratory muscle weakness etc, pineal gland related sleeping disorders, circadian rhythm sleep phase disorder, acid reflux with weakness of Hiatus hernia, and problems with food intolerance.

There is some information on the NHS mitochondrial disease service website.

Hidden in reply to Loquitir

Hi Loquitur,

Many thanks for your comments. Yep, my nutrionist described my digestive issues as being an intolerance as opposed to an allergy. Wheat, gluten, and dairy stuffs were big offenders. But so were nuts and dried fruit to name but two and also many lager beers and real ales. Apart from re jigging my diet she also put me on VSL#3 in order to bring my gut flora back into line. I found yr 2nd para also interesting as for some 35 years I've battled with sleep issues - and still do (or lack of sleep), acid reflux, gall bladder, inability to digest lettuce, rocket and the like and all spices used in cooking are a disaster. But then, just when I think I've mastered it all I'll eat something which then starts me off all over again. Generally once I start to bloat then an AF event usually isn't far behind.

Many thanks again.

Loquitir in reply to Hidden

Thanks - this is really helpful information.

Sarah Myhill has written about the effects of food on high energy motabilising or demanding cells in the body including the atria. She has been controversial is some respects but a lot of the micro biology basics make for interesting and open minded reading. I'm not sure if the rules allow me mention her website or not.

One thing I found interesting about your post was the fermenting bacteria colonisation which is precisely one of the underlying explanation for my own unexplained bloating issues. Since eliminating root vegetables, gluten, dairy or anything else which causes yeast I've had significantly reduced bloating and improved gut motility. I've also had reduced food related AF induced episodes and I can tolerate more walking than before .

There is a condition called MNGIE which they suspect I may be affected by because of the extent of motility issues and co-existence of any ocular disorder with AF.

Scientists in London of ocular medicine recently found a link between eye cells in the retina which purely exist to regulate pineal gland secretion of melatonin levels which in turn regulate sleep patterns. There are known relationship between irregular circadian rhythm disturbance and atria rhythm disturbance. It's a highly specialised field of research - as far as I can make out there are both chromosome and mitochondrial DNA inheritance factors.

I received some specialist advice on the sleeping front which took a long time to find. As a result I took Agomelatine 25mg, promethazine 25mg and 3.75mcg of zopiclone as a trial for delayed phased circadian disorder and my sleep after 12 years of being problematic, has been completely normalised. I had to get it sorted out after trial and error from a specialist sleep clinic. I'm so happy that I did.

The other problem is that AF related sleep problems don't respond well to traditional sleep medicine. In fact some sleep medicine induce AF or arrthymia.

So I think there may be a microbiological epilethium cell cause which links many micro neurological disturbances. The UK National Neurology Hospital has been researching and treating some of these neurological connections.

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

Hi, this is a bit random but apart from AF I have social phobia which if I am taken out of my comfort zone makes me panic and feel as though it may lead to an attack

Does anybody have a quick-fire solution to quell the panic, (query) short term medication?.

Wow, sorry I missed these answers... don't know why I did miss them. Great information. My cardiologists refuse all thoughts of food relativity. I know better! I am working with an osteopath to treat the the hiatal connection with the polyvagal nerve theory. I am not in persistant AF, just paroxsymal, but usually accompanied by SVTs. One thing I have discovered- fresh juiced celery will drop my BPM by at least 10 bpm!

Thanks for all your remarks

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