Afib, palpitations and ectopics: I had an... - AF Association

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Afib, palpitations and ectopics


I had an episode of PAF on Wednesday after drinking some beer. Yesterday I went to the same pub but had a large cup of tea instead of drinking any alcohol. Shortly after, I found that my heartbeat became heavier than usual and that I had more ectopics than usual. This persisted for an hour or so and after taking my usual Sotalol (a bit earlier than usual -I usually take it before bed) things calmed down. I hadn’t had a stressful day at work or anything. I felt, rightly or wrongly, that there was a real chance I was going to go into AF again, although this didn’t happen. As I type this I find that I more ectopics than usual and a slightly heavier heartbeat than usual, just sitting in a chair. There is nothing obvious which would cause this. I haven’t previously had any problems with any sort of drinks. It seems to occur when sitting still rather than when moving about ( or perhaps it is just more noticeable). I am wondering whether my PAF is starting to go up a gear and I am heading for permanent AF. Certainly, the ectopics (which I accept are themselves harmless) are causing anxiety and seem to be strongly associated with AF episodes although whenever I say this to doctors they insist the two are disctinct. Any ideas what might be happening?

13 Replies

"There is nothing obvious which would cause this. I haven’t previously had any problems with any sort of drinks."

I know numerous people who have used "Fairy Liquid soap" all their lives - not any more, as it has caused them to have a rash etc. Your situation is imo the same as any other product, if your resistance/tolerance has broken down, then the past counts for next to nothing.

"It seems to occur when sitting still rather than when moving about ( or perhaps it is just more noticeable)."

I believe that there is something in the above. There are a number of points imo to take into consideration; I have also known the heat, volume, and food consumed before and/or during the period of drinking liquid to come into the equation . The sitting down is not one to be dismissed, as it imo allows any bulked up food caused/added by your drink to restrict the space around the heart, causing a change albeit small in your BP - imo enough to set it off. My weekly Friday night out of 3 to 4 pints of beer, allows me most of the time to get away with it providing 1) I have eaten 3 - 4 hours beforehand ie a bit of space in my stomach 2) I am standing up! Most certainly NOT sat down.

It is an enigma trying to identify the cause, unfortunately, the goalposts keep on moving. However, some of the pointers above might help - fingers crossed on that.

EngMac in reply to john6

I have been trying all kinds of options to impact my neck and back, and for me, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that ectopics and AF can be started, varied and stopped by moving my neck and back. I would say a lot of the presumptions made by people related to food, drink, sleeping and sitting positions, etc are all caused by neck and back issues, because these are continually changing. Heart doctors don't accept or research any of this so they haven't any knowledge that helps. They only know what they know. Now fixing your neck and back, from my experience, will not be a walk in the park. I make progress and then there are setbacks. I do know when AF will start and often can stop it and ectopics, especially by going for a brisk walk. Other options also work many times. I have stopped AF hundreds of times. It is frustrating to know what causes ectopics and AF but not achieving total elimination of them. And I have EKG charts to prove I can do this. Yet showing them to heart doctors just gets a blank. And they won't look into this possibility.

john6 in reply to EngMac

I am all for trying different techniques, if it works for you, then go for it, as it doesn't really matter how you get there

You will no doubt have heard of the Vagal nerve? My thoughts are that your neck/back/ posture theories, are more than likely linked to that.

You are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT ON with what you say. There is an epidemic of AFIB in this country ( the U.S.) and the doctors are CLUELESS as to what causes it.

I have discovered that


and 2) my neck and spine being out of alignment

has everything to do with my AFIB episodes.

There is a Naturopathic Chiropractor named Dr Peter Glidden who has a LOT to say about this!

Anyway, yes, walking is good. Sitting is a bad idea.

Just had my 3rd cardioversion w 5 days in hospital and quite frankly I’m sick of the the whole business.

Moving back to the west coast will help. The map Dr Glidden showed of red dots where all the millions of AFIB patients are blew me away. Guess where they all are? On the EAST COAST OF AMERICA! The stress pot.

Another good reason to head west to the sunshine and the wide open spaces....

“ Oh give me LAND LOTS OF LAND AND THE STARRY SKIES ABOVE....DON’T FENCE ME IN,,” ✨💜🌈👍🐴💫🌙☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️🌝

momist in reply to john6

Your 'Fairy Liquid' example has struck a chord with me. I used that green gel hand cleaner (Swarfega) for years and years in great quantities. I've always been a DiYer and maintained, repaired and re-built my old bangers etc. Then suddenly, I got really bad dermatitis on my hands at any slightest use of the stuff. I now use the 'natural' citrus based types only, and wear gloves a lot. Similarly, I ate sandwiches for lunch throughout my working life, munching through huge amounts of all kinds of bread. In the final ten years, my digestion got really bad. Soiled underwear bad. I was checked out for all sorts of things and it was put down to IBS. Then a GP suggested one day "try avoiding bread and wheat products". That cured me entirely. I've even had the biopsy for coeliac disease, and found that I'm NOT coeliac, but I have to remain 'gluten free' for the rest of my life.

I wonder if AF is related to something in my lifestyle that I've not yet identified?

john6 in reply to momist

It is surprising what can happen to you when you (think) that you are eating healthily. Going back some years ago, I used to eat (Ryvitas Dark Rye), lovely with butter/ butter substitute and sliced apple. Thinking that it was healthy and certainly low calorie, I would have 4 to 6 pieces everyday enjoying them very much. The downside and I did not recognise it straight away, was that I nearly disappeared (okay a bit of an exaggeration). It took a while to recognise what was keeping my insides (shall we say flexible), so, If anyone suffers from constipation, they really are the answer. I guess they are a bit more Wheaty than ordinary bread.

Hi Sam, sounds to me that you have vagally mediated PAF i.e. the Vagus Nerve that connects the brain to the heart and then down to the stomach is overactive nb I won't go into the parasympathetic and sympathetic workings. I would introduce some meditation/yoga/Tchi Gong/prayer on a daily basis. The idea being to rebalance the Vagus Nerve. I have been working on this for the same reasons for a couple of years now, not helped by my poor sleep pattern but I am slowly winning. Good luck.

Samazeuilh in reply to secondtry

Thanks for this very interesting reply. This is exactly what a friend said recently. I will be looking around for a Tai Chi class to see if this helps.

bennie06 in reply to Samazeuilh

The thing with Tai Chi is that you can go at your own pace. Also need to have an open mind.

Typically, tea has caffeine in it. Caffeine is one of my triggers. Could that be it?

There are many many great herbal teas out there w no caffeine.


Sounds like you are reacting strongly to histamines. You may have without you knowing it an histamine intolerance. Sometimes for reasons unknown, the body stops producing enough enzymes to breakdown the histamines. One can substitute this enzyme ( Diaminoxidase) by taking it in capsule form. If I were you, I would first read up on histamine intolerance and you will notice some of the symptoms are fimiliar to you. Then if you can find the right doctor who is prepared to test the lack of this enzyme from a blood test can start working in the right direction. But sorry no beer, whiskey etc. One has to lower ones histamine consumption. Good luck. 🥂no champagne!

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