AF Association

Do you drink alcohol if it is a trigger for you ?

Just wondering if any of you drink when you think alcohol may be a trigger ? I have a couple of beers maybe twice a week. I have paroxysmal AF and I have AF episodes every few days that last for hours or days. I then revert to sinus rhythm. Sometimes the cold weather, sometimes alcohol, sometimes food, sometimes stress is the trigger. So I guess I'm just wondering if anybody else continues with alcohol when they think it is a trigger

Thanks. Love the site. I have found it an invaluable resource since being diagnosed last year.

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If something may be a trigger why would you risk it? Better to give your body every s=chance to be well surely? OK is there is a trigger you can't avoid then that is hard but something non essential is different.

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Thanks Bob. I am just now trying to ascertain what my triggers are and getting my head around the diagnosis. I recently bought a Kardia so it's easier to identify what may be a trigger for me. Thank you.

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Hello Annejos :-) I have P-AF too. I love the odd glass of wine but when officially diagnosed with AF I made a conscious decision not to drink Alcohol. I don't think it is a trigger for me but can't know for sure if it is a contributory factor.

I made the 'no alcohol 'decision firstly because I wanted to lose weight as part of a change of lifestyle which some research seems to indicate can slow the progression of P-AF . Alcohol gives us 'empty calories' so I would rather use those calories on food. Secondly I am on anticoagulants which predispose me to bruising and serious injury if I bang my head, alcohol can affect the balance making a fall more likely. Lastly I am now on a cocktail of medication, do I really need more chemicals in my body.

We all have to decide our priorities, mine is doing my best to contain my P-AF and halt its progression if at all possible so that I have a good quality of life :-)

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Thanks Doodle. I may make the same choice myself. I am just getting my head around the diagnosis and trying to improve my overall health. Thanks a mill for your response 😀

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Hi Anne, I can't help wondering, would you bang your head against a brickwall if you knew you had a headache.....but I think I get the point you are making. I don't drink much at all, and as far as I know, I never have had an episode when I have, with two exceptions. Twice over 3 years, I think "bubbles" did contribute to an episode, although it could have been the excitement of reaching 70 and being married 40 years respectively!

So it's no more bubbles for me!!

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Tesco do a great bottle of non alcoholic bubbles . X

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Cheers!

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Are you allowed to name this, please??? ; )

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Rawsons Retreat chardonay pinot noir muscat. Im sure I can name it as I have no financial interest! Also Rawsons Retreat red and white wine. All at tesco. They are 0.5%. X

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Hi Annejos - getting used to the diagnosis and learning what to avoid is the first large step in getting our lives back with PAF. I had an active love affair with wines - drinking, tasting and visiting vineyards to drink and taste!!

From diagnosis four years ago, I stopped alcohol completely as I suspected it wasn’t helping things. Interestingly, even de-alcoholised wines triggered mild arrhythmias and apparently it is the sulphides in some drinks which affect some of us.

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Hi AnneJos,

We are all adults and have to make our own choices.Listen to your body you will know if alcohol is a trigger...

Personally in my case its a big fat YES and alcohol for me is just a distance memory...

Carol .

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Not a trigger for me. I've cut down a fair bit but I am fortunate I can still enjoy a tipple every now and again. I like to think that if a clear link became apparent I would give it up completely, but obviously I can't know for sure until that day comes. I certainly have sympathy for those having to make that decision.

I always think back to my 20s, when I used to drink a lot and get horrendous hangovers. Some hangovers were worse than the episodes of AF I get now; I used to wake up and think never again. But come the next weekend...

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Hello. Nightmare isn't it giving up something that you enjoy in moderation. Are you open to trying non alcoholic beverages. They have come a long way in recent years. I have Becks Blue when we go out which appeases friends who don't understand your reluctance to drink alcohol and which tricks my brain into thinking it is having a drink!

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When I had PAF, there seemed to be many triggers. Alcohol, MSG in food, lack of sleep, stress, hypoglycaemia (I use insulin) etc......

I have a friend with high BP and a history of heavy drinking.

We’ve both now had ablations. Hypoglycaemia was the root cause for me and alcohol for him. As long as I avoid hypoglycaemia I feel good. If it does occur I notice a few ectopic beats which is a sign of the root cause of my PAF. Drinking more than a glass of beer (which I have done once or twicesince the ablation) can also cause ectopic beats. So you can avoid triggers but ablation can “cure” PAF (until it returns). I feel that avoiding triggers can postpone its return.

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Yes sadly alcohol is a trigger for me so I became tea total in 2014. Even half a glass of champagne set the AF off.

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Hi

Yes, certainly a trigger for me so now been "straight edged" for nearly 2 years since successful cryoablation.. Before ablation, like you, anything could set my PAF off so who knows in the end, but now AF free, am not taking any risks that may contribute to "its" return! Bit annoying at first, but now quietly smug at times when others describe their prosecco hangovers! Also nearly 60 and to be honest I can't complain as had a fun youth and probably alcohol never suited my system that much anyway! If social occasions arise where a "toast" or the need to have a glass when you arrive somewhere, I just say thank you, and walk around with it for bit then put it down! Sneaky I know, but saves awkward explanations for those who don't know about the dreaded AF!!

To be honest, my very first cardiologist I saw 20 odd years ago said to me, you could blame tripping over a step for your AF! It's a bugger that no one quite knows what triggers it kicking off in the first place....Great news is that now, so much progress has been made in improving techniques in helping to settle it all down (hopefully!)

Good luck with your decision

Sarah

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If you are in permanent AF should you deny yourself an alcoholic beverage if it is something you enjoy. What’s worse, triggering AF or enjoying a nice glass or 2 of red wine. Be the boss. AF won’t kill you and the glass of red wine may even be beneficial in more ways than one. Remember, it thins the blood and therefore helps in avoiding a heart attack. Personally, it helps keeps me at peace with the World. C’est la vie.

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mycallc...are you in permanent AF?

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Yes. Have been for around 5 years after being paroxysmal for 6 years prior to. Just out of interest, I can say that AF has been less of a problem for me once it became permanent. Whilst my pulse is constantly erratic, I rarely notice it now though I can sense when it becomes very slow.

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Excessive alcohol is a trigger for me and so I drink it in moderation. I know what is a safe amount to drink.

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hi,

I too am PAF and seems to be that wine is definitely a trigger for me yet I can have a southern comfort with coke and am fine! Mind you, I only ever have the one and it's very occasionally. Last one was on Hogmanay. I had a glass of white wine the other evening and within an hour.......off I went into af that lasted for hours. I eventually had to get up in the wee small hours to take an extra Flecainide which takes about an hour to kick in. For me stress is also what sends the beats all in a fankle!!!

Trial and error I'd say as to what the triggers are and off course everyone's different.

stay well,

Blue :-) x

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My doctor also enjoys a beer, saying that there is no reason as to why I should not. Having said that I am certain that whilst he meant well, it affects us all differently, it certainly does in my case. I have had to analyse my diet, in my case bit by bit to see what affects me. As many know, it is extremely difficult to pinpoint exact causes - but I am getting there..........well sometimes lol. Unfortunately, the goal posts seem to keep moving, ie one thing affects me one day, it does not the next, alcohol being the same.

I guess that a lot will depend on your type of Afib! I have been told that I have Afib - but not what type. Reading quite a bit on here, I am of the opinion that I have Vagal Afib that affects my stomach contents. For instance, if I eat a hefty meal, or consume a lot of liquid, (or both at the same time), then I can guarantee I will get a bad episode of Afib, (not that there is a good one), anyway back to drinking alcohol...........

I find that (as already previously posted), when I go out on my once a fortnight jaunt and drink around 4 pints of normal strength beer, I will be fine most of the time if I do the following 1) My last meal would have been 4 hours prior to going out, so I am not drinking on a full/near full stomach ( a combination of drinking and eating bloats me, in turn setting it off). 2) If possible drink standing up, as it allows the liquid to drain down, as opposed to welling up in the stomach area, thus pushing back against the heart giving it less room to work. To a lot of people the aforementioned may seem absolute rubbish, but in my case most of the time (8/10) I am fine.

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Follow any drinking with a corresponding amount of water and it may help. Had ablation done 6 months ago, and so far been free from afib. I don't drink much, maybe one, or two drinks per day, but I follow each with 8 oz of water

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Thanks everyone. It's good to get a perspective on it. Coincidentally I have just returned to sinus rhythm after a 30 hour 160 bpm after gulping a glass of water too fast 😀

Now I'll have to put water on the trigger list .....

Thank you 😃

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Hello annejos

I’ve been back on this wonderful site in the past couple of days and replying about alcohol on both occasions!

I don’t drink a lot but I do enjoy red wine with a meal when I’m socialising. No problems with my PAF at all. Same with a long g and t in the summer.

I can and do drink good quality coffee every day.

Everyone is different and I can assure you if I went into AFib in any way after alcohol I would stop immediately.

I am coming up for 70 and PAF Apixoban and no other meds. My trigger is lack of sleep and stress. I’m very careful to avoid those situations but still managed to go to India for three weeks in November travelling around - third trip in three years all after PAF diagnosis.

Not boasting please don’t think that, just want to give you and anyone else, encouragement.

Keep well

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I drink only decaf coffee now as normal coffee definitely is a trigger for me.

Blue :-)

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