Could bread additives cause AF?

Every morning I've always had lots of energy but after eating lunch, which always involved bread, I was always exhausted and felt ill and unable to do anything other than sit with my heart thumping away. After reading about people on this site going onto the Fodmap diet I decided I would give it a go. I went out and bought all lactose and wheat free products after about a week or so I realised that I wasn't aware of my heart thumping anymore and felt a lot betterl. However, I had an awful soreness in my bowels and after another few weeks when the soreness continued, decided I would just stay off lactose and not wheat. I became aware of my heart thumping again and still every afternoon I had no energy. Today I ran out of bread and decided I would have curried rice with sultanas and an egg salad. O.k so it's early days being just one day, but this afternoon I've felt like I haven't for years - full of life and energy. It's so unusual!

Now I'm wondering if its, the additives or yeast in bread that makes me feel so tired, lifeless and heart thump.

Please don't shoot me down anyone - I'm so hopeful!

32 Replies

  • Isn't that great, I wouldn't dream of shooting you down!

    Definitely seems likely to be something to do with the bread but I would have thought it to be something to do with gluten rather than the additives. Trying gluten free bread would give you an answer. Stay off the bread and see if you have a similar reaction with other gluten products such as cake, biscuits or pastry? For me it's the lactose & refined sugar but I found that out when I had IBS which turned into ulcerative colitis 40 years ago. After eliminating them from my diet I have been free from bowel troubles for the last 25 years.

  • Thanks for your interesting answer. I did try gluten free bread etc. for many weeks, but had to stop because it made my bowels so sore. Now I have Weetabix for breakfast, not gluten free porridge, and all is well again. I can eat Weetabix without any problems, it's just the bread at lunch time which brings me down. That's what made me wonder if it's additives and not gluten causing my problem.

  • Reasonable deduction.

  • Just a thought, has anyone used kinesiology for food testing?

  • Yes! With a degree of trepidation I decided to give it a whirl; didn't really expect it to work. To my surprise it did - picking up on candida ... and after taking garlic capsules ..( Kwai brand ...because they contain the allocin which kills it on contact ...not all garlic tablets contain this ingredient ) . Other slight reactions were shown & I did watch my consumption of those too. Well worth a try but find someone who is known by word of mouth ; like lots of people some are not all they seem to be...Best of luck


  • Thanks Nikki, interesting. I saw a kinesioogist for some time and it was very helpful but she didn't do allergy testing, there seems to be differing trainings.

  • Is this a new thing? A lot of wheat now is sprayed off to kill it prior to harvest, like rape is. I have heard of people being intolerant to the sprays even though they are supposed to be totally harmless. Although we don't use rape oil because of it. As CDreamer says, try and isolate what is causing the problem by eliminating things one at a time. Rye bread can be nice, not the heavy brown stuff, just normal bread but made with rye instead of wheat. Not sure how common it is over here, common in America. Or (I assume) the wheat for organic bread isn't sprayed off.

    Probably a bit of a long shot!!!



  • No, the tiredness and feeling ill after lunch has gone on for years. Your suggestion of sprays being used on wheat could be the answer, but then why can I eat wheat cereals for breakfast with no effect. Isn't rye sprayed? I've always used rapeseed oil for cooking, thinking it was the healthiest oil to have, but you've made me question whether that's right now. What do you use to cook roast potatoes? My daughter uses olive oil, but I'm sure I read somewhere that it shouldn't be used at high temperatures.. I will give rye bread a try, thank you for your suggestion.

  • I thought olive oil was good for roasting & frying because it will tolerate high temperatures without changing its chemistry? Koll rye bread is very common in uk.

    I bake all my own bread, sounds very industrious doesn't it but it's the machine that does all the work! You can then experiment with the additives.

  • Rape seed oil is excellent but it's a highly sprayed crop so buy organic, available in the big supermarkets.

  • I didn't realise that, I thought rape had to be sprayed, but if it's organic it can't be! Just looked it up and yes, "only" 78% of rape is desiccated mostly using Glysophate (RoundUp) apparently. That surprises me.

  • Thanks for the tip. I will try and hunt down some organic rape seed oil.

  • I don't know much about rye production I'm afraid, I'm not arable. Guess it would indeed be similar to wheat, but I was suggesting it to avoid wheat which I had to do for a few years.

    We use olive oil more than anything, but yes I thought it is not good a higher temperatures.

    The sprays used for wheat and rape production are supposed to be perfectly harmless (Glysophate mainly, i.e. RoundUp), but we just don't like the thought of it to be honest. We're not organic.


  • Just been reading up on this spraying with glyphosate - think I'll be buying organic bread flour from now on as well. I know Monsanto and governments say it's perfectly safe but they would wouldn't they!

  • Extra Virgin olive Oil is not good for roasting, frying etc., you just have to look for the light version and it tells you on the bottle that it is for roasting and frying and is very good. Not cheap though.

  • Jean I feel sure that whatever the bread is doing is not affecting the AF rather making you ill in other ways. Remember that you need the predisposition to AF for any trigger to work. Why not try making your own bread? We used to do this but strangely forgot when we moved here ten years ago. For sure too much bread makes me feel stodgy and sluggish.


  • I used to make my own bread, even have the machine but it makes a rather large loaf and with only me to eat it now, it's not worthwhile.My heart is still calm this morning and I'm not aware of the clunky beat at all. First time for ages it's been so calm, so I'm still full of hope.

  • Could well be gluten intolerance, a lot of people do have that including me... Why not try spelt bread, you can get that in major supermarkets and it's an ancient cereal that many people find easier to tolerate. Great that you're identifying foods that are causing issues! Well done!


  • Yes, I'll try some of that, thanks for the recommendation. I think in a nearby town to me, Totnes, you can even buy spelt bread made using spring water.

  • Hi

    I too have gluten intolerance and have not been able to eat bread for years, at least shouldn't cos it makes me feel sluggish etc. but certainly doesn't affect af. Also have irritable bowel syndrome which flares up now and then.

    Good luck with sorting it out


  • I have irritable bowel too, which makes me think more than ever that I have a food intolerance. I've bought some probiotic tablets this morning and am going to see if they help my digestion, someone on this forum recommended them a few weeks ago. Poor digestion and AF appear to go hand in hand. Just had another bread free lunch and still feeling good and totally unaware of any heart beats.

  • Jean. I too have realised that my diet will affect my heart and generally how I feel. I wished if realised this before I had ablation. I since realise that chocolate will my heart into tachocario pumping away at 150 BPM which is abig increase on my 55 BPM at rest. Post my ablation I'd still suffer from acid reflux which had been a precursor for a AF episode before the ablation. I decided to have an intolerance test done. This test detected that I was intolerant to many good groups particularly wheat. I went on a special diet and within three days the acid reflux had gone and I noticed I had loads more energy. I stayed on this diet for three months and it's the best I felt for ages. I started introducing different a foods back into my diet even wheat. The AF has been non existant but tiredness comes and goes depending on the amount of wheat I've had. I suggest you go and have an intolerance test carried.

  • Good to hear that changing your diet has helped with your AF. Yes, I used to eat 'lots' of sweets and chocolate at one time, but not any more as they would usually bring on AF the next day. Yes, I agree with you I think having a food intolerance test is probably a good idea.

    It's strange, but I always find that eating porridge for breakfast will give me an acid stomach. Took me years to discover that. Also I take my warfarin mid meal or that makes my stomach sore too.

  • jeanjeannie50,

    Welcome to my world. I am (more or less) following the FODMAPS diet and also Gluten Free - which I have to tell you extends to most lager beers, and in this country to real ales too. However my problems were so severe I have had to exclude alot of veggies, including carrots. Rice is the best diet for me to follow, i.e. a chinese meal with rice noodles, and also Rice Milk. Fortunately I've restored my gut now to a reasonable state of health and I can have limited quantities of diary milk. It was about 4 years ago identified the onset of an AF event with digestive issues (massive bloating, burping, intestinal gurgling, very loud and diahorrea) but nowadays I am having a problem remembering my last AF event - and there is nothing wrong with my memory :-) however, stuff I now cannot have is wide ranging from nuts through to raspberries and grapes to scones. Re bread, even now, if I'm desperate I can only really eat bread made French style - with sourdough.

    In any event over the course of these 4 years and with the help of a qualified nutrionist and her help in analysing various symptoms that I've got to this stage and for the first time in a real long time do I feel so well.

    Sorry BobD - predisposition all duly noted - but I don't agree. If you'd sufferred the massive bloating that I have and feel the pressure it puts on the heart and the resultant consequences you just wouldn't make that statement. The fact is modern foods and the way they are grown and treated prior to harvest or killing - or afterwards for that matter - are gradually poisoning all of us - its just the food and our make up (we are all different) that enables us to relate to different things and seperates in some of us food allergies from food intolerences and the effect on our bodies.


  • Hi John - It's reassuring to hear from someone else who's having to avoid certain foods too.

    I find the Fodmap diet a little too restrictive, kept to it for a few weeks then adjusted it slightly. How can anyone live excluding onions and garlic from their diet! Do you avoid these? Also I've always eaten unsulphured apricots and with the Fodmap diet they say to avoid any fruit that has a stone. I guess if I watch what I eat my intestines will heal and then I'll be able to introduce small quantities of foods that I love. It's great to hear that you feel so well now. I believe my AF will be better controlled on this diet and yes I'm sure bloating does affect AF.

  • G'day jean,

    Yep, I agree, FODMAPS is quite restrictive and I don't follow it to the letter - trust me - rather, I use it as the basis and play around with stuff. Yep, I avoid onions and garlic although Spring Onions I'm fine with. I do avoid carrots, long green beans, peas. Am OK with broccoli, brussels and cauliflower - also OK with cabbage and spinnach. Fruit - only eat banana, strawberries - raspberries are a no no - as is porridge (oats). Strangely, stuff like coffee and alcohol, cheese is OK too so long it is something like Edam - have no impact at all. No noodles (as in chinese meals) unless they are Rice Noodles. No nuts either. And thats just the tip of the ice berg !!!

    Good luck and I hope you make good progress.


  • Strange you mention porridge, which is generally considered to be healthy, because I can't eat it either. Used to have it every morning and had no idea it was that that was giving me the most dreadful acid stomach for many years. Can get away with having the occasional bowl.

  • Hi, since diagnosed only 6 weeks ago (well long before that actually ) with PAF have felt like that everyday , been on diet all that time and had no bread , but have had ryvita ,hate way heart always thumping , keeps me awake for hrs sometimes, seems extra bad today since had Tika masala , have not drunk or had anything but decaffe coffee either , all this time , also get lot of dizziness , doc says anxiety and gave me antidepressants, so glad you had a good day, long may it continue ! Let us k ow .lynn

  • Yes, it's a horrible feeling to have your heart thumping away and keeping you awake - I know that feeling! Also sometimes it would feel like it was an old piece of machinery on its last legs and clunking away. I've had PAF for around 7 or 8 years, so don't get too worried when it kicks off now. The only problem is my PAF can only be stopped by having a cardioversion and I have to wait weeks to get that because my INR has to be tested weekly for four weeks before and be in the right range before my hospital will carry out this simple procedure. Two ablations have helped, but not stopped the PAF, though it doesn't beat quite as fast when I have an attack now although I usually end up in hospital.

    I've had the odd bouts of dizziness in the past too, but not recently thank goodness. Not a pleasant feeling!

    The last time I was admitted to hospital the doctor said I was dehydrated, so now I always start my morning by having two glasses of warm water at hourly intervals. I thought I was having my normal intake of fluids about 7 or 8 mugs of fluid per day, but that obviously wasn't enough. I'd like to try drinking water only for a day, at least I wouldn't be consuming the half teaspoon of white sugar I put in my hot drinks. I usually have both decaffe tea and coffee. Sometimes I think it's possible to drive yourself mad by thinking 'can I have this or that'. For instance with water, should it be from the tap or bottled, then should it be bought in a glass container as chemicals from plastic can leach into it. I guess it's each persons own decision as to how far they go with this. One thing's for sure - we are being bombarded with chemicals in our food and drink. Yes, I'm still feeling well thank you. Hope you are too.

  • Good point Jean , happy to hear you are doing fine .

    I thought I'm the only one noticed that , but I linked it with white flour!

    It works for me , so I'm having only whole wheat bread , and only once in the morning , maybe rice at lunch

    I read once that white flour may cause allergies which cause blockage in the nose , but my sister who keep on reading about those stuff informed me that it is white flour negative impact on all our body including heart and digestive system

    I'm having food intolerance also for all my life . If you noticed most of us here have that!

    Her explanation that after people played with genetic for flour our bodies are not recognizing the wheat anymore and reacting differently.

    Not sure of that but it may explain few things.

    Anyway that is one of those endless triggers ;)

    All the best


  • Thanks for your response Maitha. I was eating wholemeal bread and getting strong heartbeats and feeling so drained after having eating it at lunchtime (was fine in the morning with lots of energy), so for me I think it may be the additives in the bread I was eating. Or as Koll and a few others have suggested the spraying of wheat before it is harvested. I've cut bread out totally right now, but will probably go to a nearby town and buy some home made spelt bread which they sell in the weekly market. I'm still feeling really well. Are you any better after your ablation and are you home again now?

  • I'm happy to hear that diet helped you , hope it will always do.

    Actually I'm a lot better than before the ablation , I was feeling so bad , having daily SVT attacks even with sotalol , where I had two of them during my long flight.

    As you are aware I'm currently thinking of the third ablation for the PVCs , it is not easy to take that decision again and again.

    Thanks for asking

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