AF Association

Ectopics and food

I wonder if anyone has considered a connection between ectopics and food triggers. I know many people avoid caffeine but what about other types of foods.

I noticed that I tend to get ectopic meets at the same time every day. For me they usually start between four or 5 PM. I've noticed that pattern and wonder if it has something to do with what eat?

Anyone else think it could be food related?

10 Replies

The link between arrhythmia and digestive problems is well known and results from interaction via the vagus nerve. If you search this top right there will be lots of info for you to absorb.


I was talking to my neurologist yesterday - for an autoimmune disease - who is very keen on nutrition. My episodes of AF had become frequent so I had seen my EP recently about treatment. Both EP and neuro have offices adjacent to each other so I do get some joined up thinking here sometimes.

I am working with a nutrionist who suggests I drastically reduce my carbohydrate intake. My neuro asked if I knew the reason why? I didn't so he explained that heavy intake of carbs - plate of pasta for instance - has a detrimental effect on body chemistry - you can deplete blood serum of potassium which can leads to various potentially serious conditions such as high cholesterol, diabetes and Hypokalemia (low potassium levels in blood serum) which causes sudden muscle weakness or paralysis. It wasn't until we were talking about a general upturn in my health recently and no AF episodes that I correlated that to the change in diet. One of the symptoms of Hypokalemia is Arrythmia particularly Brady/Tachycardia.

My neuro is delighted I am working with nutritionist and as he follows my monthly bloods says that all the blood work ups verify the improvement and all my red markers have gone - one was high cholesterol, but also low haemoglobin and electrolyte imbalance. Evidently the results that is coming out of nutrition research is very interesting and he sees this as a way forward.

Nutritonist says less than 5% of all food intake should be carbs and to avoid all carbs and starchy foods, especially root vegetables, in the evening.

Other than that keep well hydrated and ensure electrolytes levels generally are balanced. I also take a variety of recommended supplements.

Nutrition can be very individual and I had full GI analysis done, very pleased I did, as even though I was already taking some supplements, not always the right dosage or at the right time.

Vagus nerve certainly plays a part and improving vagal tone will also help.

One has to remember that we are react very differently and there may be multiple causes but also remedies, I hestitate to call it a cure as it has a very specific meaning.


Hard for me to imagine a diet with so little carbs. I wonder how you do it: no cereal or toast for breakfast, whatever do you eat? Would you mind sharing a couple of typical meals to help me get my head around what that would involve?



E.g. - 1 day

Breakfast - Smoothie - I call it green sludge but it tastes delicious -

Water Kefir, apple juice, coconut water, peeled lemon, ginger and good handful of greens - spinach, watercress or kale, good spoonful of organic, active yogurt - Hubbie likes it sweetened so sometimes a small spoon of honey (still a carb!)

Mid-morning coffee with goats milk

Lunch - chopped avocado, chopped tomato (not allowed in the Fodmap though as it is a Nightshade), chopped crisp lettuce topped with poached egg - delicious and one of my favourites.

Dinner - meat or fish or chicken or pulses or game with green veg or green salad,

Snacks - nuts, seeds, fruit or dark chocolate or protein bar.

Basically if you think of a plate of food a portion would consist of 30% protein/fat, 65% greens and 5% carbs - but all carbs would be completely unprocessed so consist of whole seeds, fruit, etc.

Fats - cook in butter and add olive oil.

Most people don't eat enough fat these days, especially avoid anything labeled low fat.

We have been so mesmerized by mis-information by large food companies that we no longer know what is good for us.

Especially avoid cereals and bread for breakfast - absolute poison - I can't even get my stomach to accept input any longer - it literally gets stuck in my gullet and I choke.

I do have the odd treat - last night we went out for dinner - had a delicious meal without bread, potatoes, rice or bread - followed by a rhubarb and almond cake with unsweetened raspberry sorbet.

Simples really and Yummly & Pininteresnrescipes are good inspirations - but it does require a huge mindset shift. Surely that is better than a lifetime of toxic drugs or ablations?

Best wishes CD.

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What you describe is so different (and so much greener) than what I eat ... I can see that it's not just a question of leaving out the carbs and substituting something in their place, but much more a complete change of diet. Looking through our kitchen, very few of those ingredients are even present - a diet like this for me would have to start at the supermarket. Thanks CD for taking the time to describe it - that certainly gives me "food" for thought.


Do it gradually - just change one thing a day or even leave out something for one meal, then it doesn't feel as dramatic and yet u won't feel deprived. It took me 3-5 months to adapt and now I don't even think about it.

Best wishes

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Mine also usually start in the late afternoon and too much sugar is one definite trigger. Other times, they are just there, being a nuisance.

Sometimes mild exertion - a brisk walk for example - stops them or as Bob replied to your other post, slow, deep breathing as described on Dr Gupta's video.

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Yes. I can only eat small meals and never fill myself up or anywhere near it. I also avoid the usual triggers, caffeine etc etc.


Yes I also agree with everyone else I have changed my diet drastically and now on supplements as my 2 ablations this year were not entirely successful, I am trying to follow the Fodmap diet it is extreme but I have had good results! I do lapse from time to time with cake or such like and immediately rewarded with very fast heartbeats and ectopics! Also no lattes or tea which has been very difficult but trying to like herbal tea or just plain old water! Its just trial and error and everyone is different but its worth a try.

Regards Ingrid


I found the Fodmap too difficult as I love everything that is banned but I have tried to reduce those foods. I now think that drinking only water is normal and find cordials and carbonated drinks so sweet now I can't drink them! Never have drunk tea and love my herbal teas but I do like a coffee and missed it so much but I can now drink a coffee with no problems - and I so enjoy it - but instant still causes fast HR.

It is just shift of mindset and when you get the rewards of NSR why wouldn't you. Well done!


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