Causes and a Cure for my paroxysmal afib - AF Association

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Causes and a Cure for my paroxysmal afib


i am 65 yrs old, and have had paroxysmal (intermittent) afib for 3 yrs.

my experiences may be of interest.

the things that trigger my afib are alcohol (even the smallest amount). coffee, tea, chocolate, a lot of cheese , eating a too large meal of anything,

hot baths,staying in bed after i have woken up in a morning, and nuts.

avoiding all the above keeps afib away most of the time, the only thing i cant avoid is extreme annoyance or stress, which sometimes brings it on.

i take levothyroxine 125mg, to correct a thyroid problem which can cause afib, tildiem la 300mg which is supposed to correct afib if it starts but seems to be ineffective (it does say on the packet do not take if you have an irregular heartbeat, but was assured by the hospital consultant it would help), and aspirinto thin my blood.

i get afib maybe once every 6 weeks or so, sometimes it seems for no reason, and it usually lasts a few hours.if it lasts for more than that , i have tried various remedies , and only one works.

type into google "Heart Fibrillation- Water Cure2". this is the website i found it on. ( the link i originally posted

does not work)

this works like magic, and works every time.

a quarter teaspoon of sea salt mixed with 10 ounces of warm water. drink that and then put a smaller amount on your hand and lick it off.

within a minute my afib stops.

this may sound like a "wind up" but believe me it works, for me anyway.

hope this is of use to someone


55 Replies

Wonder if it's something to do with the salt/sodium? I'm on sodium-blockers which work on me for my arrhythmia (not AF by the way). We've also heard on this forum of people who get AF due to lack of salt (I think I remember that being said, not certain, I may be dreaming again !!!)


I think there's something to dehydration bringing on AF and as I think there is magnesium in sea salt(?)which is definitely a help for AF, it all adds up.

I'm keeping off wine unless it is sulphite free as sulphites are also a trigger for AF.

My big episode was on a very hot day and I was very thirsty when I had a swig of a slushy icy drink which triggered it off.

Cold water triggers my palpitations too. I think because it caused the heart to work harder to warm up the stomach again.

Ditto to all triggers.See that you say that you are taking aspirin.You might find it interesting to read all the posts under the heading of :

In defense of aspirin



Thanks for the tips alpha88. I am under a dietician now, and going through many problem foods that could cause SVT although I had deduced some of these myself before starting on the fodmap diet. The only problem for me is that I am on Amiodarone, which contains loads of iodine and I am reluctant to start using salt, I do take Magnesium tablets though one every night. My episodes seem to be around once every 6 weeks now whereas it used to be once per fortnight I have discovered lots of triggers the latest being Soy, which is packed with sodium but I am still in the elimination stage.

flyfisher in reply to Hidden

Hi ultramarine, I would be very interested to read of what foods you have found to trigger your problem .

Whilst i am post ablation for a fib , i am trying to learn about food reactions , several weeks ago i had a chinese ready meal and 3 hours later my heart rate doubled for the rest of the evening , with no other ill feelings. Almost all of my problems with ectopic beats seem to occur in the evening.

thanks phil

Hidden in reply to flyfisher

Hi flyfisher, I started my diet elimination myself as I was not given any warfarin or similar, this consisted of herbal blood thinners to start with as I wanted to be on the safe side. They are Ginger; turmeric; oragano and a small amount of garlic, in rotation one at a time. Coffee made a huge difference, and I then found that white wine for me caused problems, so now I don't have any which for me is no big deal heaps of water though and loads of peppermint tea; and hawthorn tea. I found that like yourself if I went out to dinner the sauces were the problem, but I never knew what was in them. I stopped getting chinese food but do cook like this myself and I use worcester sauce instead. Another big plus was the switch to gluten free bread, and any other gluten free things I could get from the supermarket. A big no no for me is also Tomatoe paste, not sauce for some reason nor tomatoes, I love tomatoes. Now that I am under a dietician sugars in fruit have been analysed to a degree, and I can have strawberries and kiwi fruit, and others need to be identified. I try to eliminate MSG as much as possible which is pretty difficult, but I do avoid MSG 621 like the plague. This is just a personal thing as for me as I mentioned before I was never given any Warfarin and to date have not had an ablation. I take the peppermint tea at night, as my episodes come on then, occasionally I have a Mintec (peppermint oil capsule) an hour before dinner if I am going out.

I have SVT and have not had an ablation as yet, nor was I given any warfarin. This diet will not go astray even though I do get an ablation.

The main thing I have learned in doing all of this is not to start too many new things together or eliminate new things all together, maybe once a week try something new and once a week try to eliminate something which you suspect is a problem for you. I hope this is of some help.

flyfisher in reply to Hidden

Thank you.

GrannyE in reply to Hidden

You seem to be managing very well. Just surprised you take the peppermint tea at night because peppermint is supposed to wake you up so I would drink it in the morning or at 11am. Chamomile is supposed to be calming and help sleep.

fifitb in reply to flyfisher

I had a Chinese take-away on Sunday and then had an AFib episode after I'd gone to bed, for about 2 hours! Was it the food? The wine? I can drink wine sometimes and it seems, not at other times!! I have paroxysmal AFib and have now had 2 ablations. I might need tweaking for a third one. Am waiting to hear!

sleeksheep in reply to fifitb

MSG is the most probable cause unless your also sensitive to soy products.

Chinese msg gives me palpitations but Philippine or Japanese msg made from seaweed seems innocuous.

I cant eat anything with hoison sauce or chinese bbq sauce

flyfisher in reply to fifitb


Pre and post ablation I found sacharine , sulphites , msg, to be triggers.

Sulphite preservative is in much processed food and many white and red wines.

For me , I went on a tight diet, eating only freshly prepared food, making my own soups etc, avoiding anything processed and all fizzy processed drinks. If buying meat, get it from a butchers as it will have less preservative than supermarket meat, which needs to have a longer shelf life.

4 years after ablation, I am free of any arrhythmias and have relaxed my diet slightly, but still avoid many foods, as a for instance my dessert after dinner is always fresh berries ,grapes and mango.

Good luck


fifitb in reply to flyfisher

I had started buying gluten free bread - it is so expensive though - around £3 a small loaf!!! So, after a few weeks, I began to have freshly baked bread from M&S, only meant to last one day, so no preservatives, and I freeze half of the loaf. Still, maybe I'll go back to the gluten free and see if my 'mini-episodes' of AFib diminish - as they have been back in my life more than I would like. Not as bad as before my last ablation in June, but I wanted no episodes!

Thanks for your message, interesting and helpful.

flyfisher in reply to fifitb

I basically did an elimination diet and started afresh with water fruit, veg and fresh fish.

After a while I added decaf tea and non sugar glazed oats,

After about a year I started to add other things,

Now 4 years on I may enjoy an occasional cake, but bought from a cake shop, their scones are hard the next day unlike supermarket scones which last 4 days and don't go hard.

I had an issue with a supermarket pain au raisin 5 years ago and went and got the ingredients list, sure enough several e numbers including saccharine and preservative

I still keep a fairly tight diet , due to which I rarely eat out.

Finally I read a research report on people with at and gout, those given an anti inflammatory had reduced at.

This corroborates other medical thinking that at is an inflammatory condition.

Also I read that a number of competitive cyclists get at, when you think of it they are physically abusing their body and taking heavy quantities of energy bars and drinks,, probably heavy in sugar.

Good luck


flyfisher in reply to flyfisher

For at read a fib , predictive text

Thanks for that alpha , I would be interested to know how do you react to decaf tea or coffee.

thanks phil

alpha88 in reply to flyfisher

I have never tried decaf tea or coffee

I drink fruit or herbal teas

lingooz in reply to alpha88

I drink both with no probe , carte noir taste lovely and Yorkshire or of decade tea

You're not taking an anti-coagulant? Oh, come on....that must be a wind up.

Hi Alpha,

It would be good to discuss anti-coagulants with your doctor as you're having regular attacks. And please look at the main AFA site and work out what your CHADSVASC2 score is... Aspirin has been found to be ineffective against the sort of clots that AF throws up, the best person to ask about that is Bob2 though, but I would just flag that up. Hope that is helpful! Thanks for the tip re water, I will try that next time I'm in AF :)


Cayenne pepper thins blood prevents heart attacts garlic can thin your blood too and it will not kill you like rat poison

Has anyone else been told that the CHADS score doesn't apply to them because of a structural abnormality of the heart?

Why does there seem to be so little debate on forum to pro and cons if warfarin or new anticoag and how people are getting on with the new drugs also I have found Chinese takeaway always sets of af episode

I feel the topic of warfarin and newer anticoagulants ( the burning question in my life) has wandered into the limelight quite a bit here and there - touched upon in the great asprin debate and elsewhere. I'd welcome views and opinions - are you going to raise a question, youngchucks?

As regards triggers, I believe artificial sweeteners can be culprits. No personal experience of this.

CDreamer in reply to Rellim296

It does arise from time to time, but not for a while. I just wonder if we take the lead from the medics as it wasn't until I asked about them to my EP they were even acknowledged. When my EP recommended them because there was some urgency to do my 1st ablation and he didn't want me to wait whilst messing around with Wafarin. My GP seemed unfamiliar with them and looked them up whilst I was with him, I think, like general perception within this community, until he had done his research, he thought there was a greater risk because there was no antidote. Of course that is not as important because the half life is 12 hours, unlike Wafarin which can be very unpredictable, hence the need to have INR testing. Personally I really cannot understand why there is so much resistance to them from both patients and medics. Maybe it just because there is less history because they have only been around for 4years or so. Any other views?

Bridges4 in reply to Rellim296

I have a CHADS score of 3 due to diabetes and BPressure. EP and haematologist recommended Apixaban but the local health care have refused this due to the slight extra cost compared to Warfarin. Can't manage with Warfarin due to my frequent travel abroad, often at short notice, which makes monitoring very difficult. I am appealing decision but no luck so far. Anybody else out there had similar problems?

Rellim296 in reply to Bridges4

When I was first invited to take warfarin, 9 months ago, I asked if there was an alternative and the surgery at the time did not support anything else. They do now, and have a couple of patients on apixaban. Two of the GPs have said that they think in five years' time the anticoagulant scene may well not be as it is now, and warfarin could become less in favour. When I spoke with my usual GP he said he wanted to think about apixaban and take advice. I am thus still taking warfarin.

Bridges4 in reply to Rellim296

Many thanks for your post. I think that these new drugs,which need no monitoring as such, will be prescribed more and more over the next year or two. I believe that they are regularly used in Europe who tend to be a bit ahead of us with new medication. It will be interesting to see what happens when the new NICE guidelines, which I believe will give a strong recommendation for their use, are published in June. Thanks again for your comments and stay well

bebe7637 in reply to Rellim296

Hi Rellim. I asked my consultant if I could have the newish drug Rivaroxaban instead of Warfarin. His reply was yes of course and then said " everyone would want this if they new about it ! ". Possible reasons for not prescribing it --- it is more expensive !! You have to ask. Good luck.

Rellim296 in reply to bebe7637

Thanks. Much more expensive, I gather - or much much much more even. I'm seeing my GP tomorrow for a discussion. Discovered this morning that my INR is low and out of range yet again.

Youngchucks - I think there is a fair bit of debate but I suspect that the new anticoagulants are not first choice for GPs and so there are still many fewer people taking them than there are people taking Warfarin. Still trying to work out my AF triggers - a large meal of any kind seems to be one and even low-level anxiety seems to be another.

Hi Alpha, the page you listed would'nt load, any advise or another site ??


alpha88 in reply to steve60

If you write into google (do not copy it type it in manually)

then click on which is for me the top listing (Heart Fibrilation - Water Cure 2)

In reply to the query about no anticoagulant this is what the asprin is for, according to my consultant

this is good enough for me.

It is difficult to know what is right and what is wrong, every doctor you ask has a different theory, different

medical trials reach different results.

alpha88 in reply to steve60

Correction about link my first reply does not show the full web address.

So type into Google,

Heart Fibrillation - Water Cure 2

I'm not on anti coagulants and was told I don't need ANY. This was by an EP consultant at Harefield. My heart is structurally normal, Cholesterol good, no high blood pressure and all tracing ECGs are normal. Therefore a Chads score of 0.

My AF comes in very short bursts of 1-4 seconds as far as I'm aware, apart from a 90 min episode almost 2 years ago which resulted in my diagnosis.

Around 14 years ago though, after receiving the news that my Dad had lung cancer which I took very badly, I had several days of almost constant 'palpitations' and feeling faint. Now I think that was AF. GP was next to useless and referred me after listening to my heart saying he could hear 'ectopic beats'. I had a cold at the time and a nasty cough developed, a day of coughing and the 'palpitations' stopped just hours before I was due to have a 24hr holter!. That's how I discovered that coughing can abate mine (usually).

I have heard that afib is triggered by vagus nerve


The salt would play havock with my Meniere's Disease.

Hi newly diagnosed and anxious!! Not sure if why when out I feel light headed ! I also get severe dizzy spells where I feel like am going to faint . Off to Go later to discuss this, I only take aspirin and have what doc calls pill in the pocket ! So take as and when , but gone into full AF since so don't know what they are like , he did say make you feel bad for 8 hrs later ! I wish there was somebody local who has this who could chat and give me my confidence back , can't face nephews wedding this Thursday let alone planned trip to 0z to meet my new baby granddaughter, thanks for your tips .

Buffafly in reply to lingooz

Hi Lingooz, I take aspirin with caution as it makes me feel dizzy, also discovered recently that I can be in Afib without noticing if I don't have palpitations. I have had the same problem recently and it is horrible, I hope you get help soon. I ended up in A and E with atrial tachycardia recently and was given extra meds ( Diltiazem and Rivaroxaban) and do feel much better and safer.

I felt the same when DO feel very alone..I get AF eopisodes regularly and they are horrible...make me so anxious......don't want to scare you,.I had 'pill in pocket' (metoprolol) but during an AF episode last august i got a blood clot in my arm..and am now on Warfarin for life....I am about to write my story and send it to AFA as i think it is a cautionary tale all should read

I am very similar to you I am 65 and have par AF about once a month. Triggers are definitely alcohol - I have gone teetotal, and some of the others you mention. I will try your salt trick next time. Thanks.

alpha88 in reply to AFCyclist

just curious, do you take warferin or aspriin for blood thinning?

CDreamer in reply to alpha88

Alpha it may help you to understand the difference between an antiplatelet - aspirin and an anticoagulant - Wafarin or one of the new anticoagulants such as Pradaxa. The AFA have some very good leaflets you can download which explain them very simply. Aspirin will not protect you from the type of blood clots that AF throws in the heart when you are in AF for any prolonged periods of time ie for longer than 24 hours. Therefor the very biggest risk AF presents is for risk of stroke, that is why people on this site spend so much time and energy talking about this on this site.

My understanding is your episodes are quite short so that maybe your doctors reasoning, but they are not always as informed as they should be over over this issue therefor even more important that you are and can ask from a position of information.

Your pill in the pocket, is it Flecainide? I used that method for about 7 years and it worked very well for me up until last Autumn. It made me feel nauseous the very first time I took it, which should be under medical supervision. After that it was fine, it did make me tired for a day or so but no more incapacitating than the AF itself.

Stay well and hope your anxiety at the shock of the diagnosis is starting to abate.

alpha88 in reply to CDreamer

thanks for that reply, cdreamer, maybe its time i started warfarin.

i have no pill in pocket, this is the first time i have heard of that.

my af gives me no problems apart from the strange feeling in my chest, and goes away,

usually without taking any extra medication, apart from the salt drink i usually lasts

12-24 hours, but has lasted 5/6 days a couple of times.

CDreamer in reply to alpha88

Oh sorry, I must of got muddled.

Definitely warfarin. When I was 65 my cardiologist said I should stop aspirin and start warfarin to minimise the higher risk of stroke. Took a couple of months to get up to the right dose but have had no problems with it since - dead easy. Just have to remember to take the tablets!

djroute66 in reply to AFCyclist

I am a cyclist and I worry about going on warfarin because I fear coming off my bike would start internal bleeding

I use cayenne pepper to thin my blood. garlic would work too or milk thistle and I am a cyclist that's what I take. Italian pepper capsules with me on my bike ride it helps my lungs too .cayenne pepper is known to stop heart attacks in its tracks -it's an amazing . I just I just put it underneath my tongue and let it burn for a while and it clears out my allergies my sinus plus since my blood and helps my heart

After 2 abIations I was only experiencing Afib bouts maybe once every 2 months or so. I too, thought aspirin would protect me (on advice of my doctor). A few weeks ago, I had an acute ischemic stroke with only my 9 yr old granddaughter around. I am now on Xarelto. Please look into anticoagulants!

Paulstottman9 in reply to JMM7

cayenne pepper and garlic cloves good job thinning in blood

Dear Alpha88

Thank you for sharing this. Worth a try

Anybody heard that there is a chinese tea that stops afib studies show it works 95 percent to cure afib

Don't believe that at all. Where is the evidence?

AF can be caused by having too much sodium too. And if someone were to do this teaspoon of seasalt idea with that, it would have a detrimental effect to say the least. This is not meant to be rude, and is written in a friendly way :-)

After going several months without noticeable ectopic heart beats, I thought I was getting better. But then I began to have them again. I have noticed that one of the main things that triggered them was eating grains, especially wheat and corn. Anything with a lot of carbs or sugar will trigger them.

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