Is anyone with AF have any problems with certain foods, and can it bring on AF.. and what foods to avoid. Anyone gone veggie and does it hel

I drink decaffinated tea and coffee for heart and because of a gastric problem brought on by Amiodarone. I had a coffee in cafe today normal and it stated AF off...also someone said about dehydration causes problems anyone any ideas on this or anything else to help myself and save myself anxiety. How does anyone cope with the feelings of anxiety

I have from time to time..I see the arythma team at Torbay on Monday 17th March.

Hope they sort out the tablets etc as this has happened since I have come off Amiodaron

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20 Replies

  • Hi Shirlgal,

    Yes many people have found that certain food, or in my case, too large an amount of food, triggers of their AF. Food that would make no difference in someone who does not have the tendency toward AF can make a real difference for some of us with AF. Dehydration can absolutely be a trigger, and is one of my biggest triggers. Now I keep a cup of ice water with me everywhere I go…in the car, on a walk, at my desk, and on my treadmill. I drink two whole glasses while I am on the treadmill. Caffeine is not only a stomach irritant, and a bladder irritant, it is very dehydrating. As far as diet specifically, I have been talking about that a lot here lately , as I have switched to a plant based diet at the insistence of my cardiologist. He has every A.F patient on it, and it is most helpful to decrease blood pressure, and for those with diabetes, it can reverse diabetes. I began this in January and have never felt better in my life. I think that being proactive really cuts down on the anxiety. Doing everything you can to be healthy, including getting good sleep, eating right, keeping active and exercising as you are able really lowers the anxiety level. Be happy around your arrhythmia. Good luck with your appointment on Monday.

  • SRM Grandma you have mentioned this plant based diet before- I'd be grateful if you could give so information on what plants you have and how it affects your INR I have changed to a lot more fruit and veg to try and lower my BP so all ideas are welcome please

  • Rosy, My diet consists of all fruits, all vegetables, whole grains. I get my proteins from peas, beans, legumes, flaxseed, brown rice, potatoes to name a few sources. I avoid all processed foods, refined fats, refined sugars, and flours. I use almond flour or rice flour or oatmeal in recipes. This food plan is high in fiber and there is no calorie counting. No animal protein or dairy is also the plan. Now admittedly I still have a small amount of salmon, and 2 eggs in a week, which is not exactly according to plan. Everything I make is from scratch, nothing processed. In the mornings I have a smoothie with oats, blackberries, flaxseed, banana, and almonds for example. Sometimes I do one with apples and spinach. Today for lunch I had a zucchini fritter and a tomato salad and for our evening meal we will have whole wheat pasta with a sauce made of green and red peppers, roma tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, garlic, onion and spinach.

    I am on one of the newer anticoagulants where there are no dietary restrictions. If you are on warfarin the key will be to readjust the dose accordingly and keeping your intake at an even amount.

    Every single person in the class that is facilitated by my cardiologist has A.F. When they show us case studies of people who have changed their diet to eating like this, it shows amazing and continuous of normalization of everything from cholesterol levels to blood glucose, to BMI, to Blood pressure, with improvements that continue year after year. A key component is also getting plenty of exercise so they gave each of us pedometers as well as cookbooks, with great recipe ideas (even healthy desserts), text books and they check all of our blood levels throughout the program. I kind of went into it having no clue they would ask for such a lifestyle change in my diet, but I am, in just 6 weeks a believer! And I am back to wearing the size I wore when I got married nearly 41 years ago!

    Good luck to everyone who is working in every way they can to achieve optimal health.

  • Thank you, sounds great though I could not follow it completely if I wanted to.

  • Hi Again Grandma! Very excited to read the above about your diet! So is there any talk about tyramnine and how this can be a trigger? I'm not getting A Fibb since starting on Flecinide last September but I have been getting strong Palpitations in the middle of the night up til recently when I stopped eating refined sugar, dried fruits, red wine :(, beans. I'm now sleeping a lot better and not getting so many palpitations though they can still wake me at 5am some nights. Trying not to eat after 7pm also which definitely helps!

  • They have not mentioned tyramine but most of the foods containing it are things we are avoiding already. Oh, and they definitely exclude alcohol from the list of what we should be eating….

  • Thank you SRM Grandma I think I can adapt this- just leave out a few things which would mean too much extra warfarin!

  • G'day Grandma,

    Thought your comments were very interesting as I am now into my 3rd year of diet change (which is an ongoing work in progress) as a technique to control my AF - in fact so successful has it been that I can't remember when I last had a AF event. Occasional palpitations yes but not very strong or disturbing ones. Interestingly I can eat green stuff without affecting my INR, like cabbage, broccoli, brussels, spinach and cauliflower nor does this stuff impact on my digestive system. However if I ate stuff that you mention - oats, peas, whole grains, all beans - maybe with the exception of broad beans - legumes, carrots - it would tear apart my digestive system and do god knows what to my AF. Additionally, I cannot take very much lettuce, cucumber or tomato. No nuts or stuff with traces of nuts, Coffee, tea or alcohol have no impact on my AF whatsoever. But chocolate and diary products in small quantities is no issue either. I'm 6ft tall and 95 kgs - a bit overweight but I'm not aiming to reduce it, that's not the plan - the plan has always been to reduce and ideally stop the AF event from happening.

    Aussie John

  • Hi Aussie John, Nice to have you join in the discussion. Everyone is different of course, but these foods which I thought would tear apart my digestive system too have done exactly the opposite and my digestive system, has never ever felt better. Interestingly the CHIP diet, as this is called was first studied in Australia. It is not only touted for its reversal of heart disease and diabetes, but as cancer preventing. We are all on our quest to reduce and stop the AF, that's for sure! Best to you A.J. !

  • Hi Grandma ... Can you give details of this plant based diet please! Sandra

  • I'm also interested in the diet, I don't need to lose weight or worry about BP but I'm just curious. I think I'd like it but my husband is a committed carnivore...

  • We were committed carnivore's too! My husband is ridiculously healthy (so thankful) but he is enjoying this too! I am stunned….but I miss the cookies more than the burger's or chicken! And truly, we make about one meal / week with some animal protein because my son and daughter in law like it, and maybe I will have one bite and that is plenty for me.

  • When you say plant based, do you mean vegetarian or just more veg. As you are feeling better on this diet would you give us a few details. Your Cardiologist sounds very pro-active, which area of the country are you in.



  • Hi et al , well the whole page is spot on with its advice for sure. I have just taken my Pill in the Pocket Flecainide for my palpitations as it has just started up 50 to 170 the usual. I'm waiting for a second RT Ablation in London, I'm under a chap called Dean at Exeter. His is good the ablation lasted a year last August and then it all kicked off again. I have been in hosp three times since then so now have the pill in pocket , well a long story short is that tonight I had a larger than normal meal , late and spicy and just two pints of ale and I no longer drink on top advice from the London Consultant, and away we go. So the diet is more than just important because I'm very very careful , tonight well I let down my guard and I'm away from home too.

    But also coupled to this is I suffer from gout and I get a runny tum with taking colchicine , now I've just fended off a bout before coming away. I take Alluprinol , for gout , lasartan , bisoprolol , warfarin , and low and behold I have a runny tum now too.

    I would like to know if any other has the Gout and same heart problems together? As I can not find a lot of advice and evidence of an association .

    But deffinately the diet is mega important, believe me ! I usually take loads of water and maybe not so much today and always decaff and I had a normal coffee too :-(


  • Hi paul,I have af and have suffered badly with gout.For the first 4 months of 2013 I spent more time not being able to put a foot on the ground for the pain and spending up to two weeks of the month housebound.This corresponded with an up in dosage of bisoprolol to 5mg..I started to take alipurinol thereafter and have settled on a daily dose of 400mg.I'm mindful of diet and drink little alcohol and,touch wood,am feeling good overall.I have colchicine at hand should I lapse. Good luck.

  • Hi Paul, Interestingly there are a couple in my class who have gout in addition to their heart problems. Gout is typically triggered by eating things like red meat and alcohol, neither of which are on this diet, and also can be made worse in those who take diuretics, or by dehydration. Wishing you really good luck with your ablation. Thanks for sharing.

  • Sorry, should have read further down before I asked my question. Sounds interesting.


  • No worries, Holly! I'm probably repeating myself too as I sometimes I forget which thread I've replied to already. And I live in the U.S. Actually tomorrow we are driving to New York City to visit my daughter and her family :-) Now that is what makes my heart happy!

  • Cherries are good for gout but keeping off meat is also advised. Really glad to see all this being discussed and the fact that people respond in different ways to treatment. I got the dr's ok for trying magnesium and I'm having a blood test tomorrow. AF Is like walking through a maze isn't it? Have a good day and keep well. Terjo

  • Thanks for you reply. Are you on Warfarin? What strength Magnesium are you on I bought Triple Mag complex 400mg has mag oxide ...mag citrate..mag aspartate..Like you say it like walking through a maze. What medication are you on at the moment? I see the arrythma team on Monday the 17th after couple episodes this past week that went on for 17 and 12 hours scary I have a lot of pain in my shoulders and chest and wonder whether its side affects from Bisophorol and the 5mgs I takE ?

    Looking at various things...looking at and considering the SRM Grandmas thought and the food she eats..will try anything to get AF under control which I think is all we sufferers can hope for Thanks

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