Sleep, Nausea Headaches and AF: I had my... - AF Association

AF Association
19,952 members24,381 posts

Sleep, Nausea Headaches and AF


I had my 6 monthly consultation with my EP and with my Gastroenterologist back in early December.

My nausea continues but not as bad as it has been.

Yesterday I had a gastroscopy in which they diagnosed a hiatus hernia and also took two biopsies. No specific info right now and in reality it was a matter of enlimination of other possible causes. I still have the view the the nausea is very much heart related.

The Nausea iss now at its worst first thing most mornings. I wake feeling a fluttering but not AF feeling, in my heart. This is coupled with severe headache and nausea combined.

At my meeting with my EP in December he was of the opinion that my symptoms were possibly the result of sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea is a known trigger for AF and back when I had many more episodes of AF I did a personal study over 6 months and found that during my period of analysis 56% of my AF started when I woke or during the night. Even now I wake in the night often feeling a need for an oxygen mask.

For this reason my EP referred me to the Respirator Consultant at my hospital and consequently I am going in to hospital on 30th January for an 8 hours sleep study.

This morning I woke with the most wretched headache, nausea and heart wobbles not helped by the deluge of responses to my post yesterday regarding the dreaded controversial "A" subject.

I am hoping that maybe the study will reveal something and that they can offer me a solution to these problems.

On a good note it is now a long time since my last abalation and the episodes of full blown AF have been very short, few and far between.


11 Replies

Not much help I’m afraid Pete. Regarding alcohol I’m not a big drinker, sharing a can of lager with my wife is normally my limit, but over the Holidays, I did drink more wine than normal but it didn’t seem to cause any problems. As far as the headaches and nausea, I know this can be an issue with some medications. In March, I’m hoping to come off Diltiazem and it will be interesting to see if I feel any better. As I say, not much help but hope you get it sorted....

It sounds wretched Pete - I hope the hernia is the culprit and you can get that treated. A little silver lining in your post is that the AF is responding to your last ablation.

pottypete1 in reply to Finvola

I had the hiatus hernia diagnosed some years ago but I think it has got bigger.

I know that it is said that there is a link between digestion, the heart and the vagal nerve but also my sleep issues may be a contributory factor.

I don't really hold out much hope of a solution right now but live in hopes after all as you say my last ablation did make my main AF problem less of an issue.


I’ll watch your progress with interest Pete. I was diagnosed with a sliding hiatus hernia 7 1/2 years ago and I’ve just been referred for another endoscopy to see what’s happening now. Trying to get to the bottom of what’s causing what is so frustrating 😩

Well Pete, I for one would be interested in the results of your sleep study. Good quality sleep has eluded me for decades and I've always been quick to blame it on being shift worker ( a bus driver) where during the course of a months work I would rotate through three different shift patterns ... earlies, middles and lates.

Now I am not so sure.

Mind you, and picking up on one of Bob D's points, I think the problem with western medicine is it focuses on components of the body whereas I feel a more holistic approach could be more beneficial.


Have you had a monitor since your ablation? I ask because I had an episode when I woke up in AF, it passed in 30 mins but I felt very nauseous and had a thumping headache for hours afterwards. Not a welcome suggestion I'm sure, sorry. I hope you get an answer soon .

Good idea but I cannot be fitted with a holter monitor because of my severe urticaria reaction to anything stuck on me for more than a very short time.

I have been told that the attachments required for the sleep study are not stuck nor are they tight so I am hoping that that will be the case.


Have you tried testing your blood sugar first thing in the morning? Headaches and nausea can be caused by very low blood sugar. Do these disappear or improve after eating breakfast? You can buy glucose meters and test strips in Boots or online. They are not cheap but are easy to use can be useful.

Hello thanks for the suggestion.

My wife has a blood test kit so I tested my blood sugar this morning ans it was 4.8 which is pretty well as normal as it could be.

I appreciate your reply but it seems I need to keep trying to find another solution.


Sorry to hear you are under the weather Pete. I can only send commiserations and best wishes. For the nausea,have you tried grated fresh ginger in warm water or in a slice of very lightly buttered bread? Also recommend Old Jamaica Ginger Beer,or equivalent.Not normal 'ginger ale' type fizz.Drink any proper ginger beer,leave it to go flat.

Stem ginger also effective.

Worth a shot.Recommended to my friend during chemo.

Thanks for the suggestion.

I have tried ginger in various forms and my first drink in the morning is lemon and ginger. Sadly it makes no significant difference.

It seems that not only does it take 7 ablations to control my heart rhythm problems the medical profession are also finding it a challenge to sort out my nausea.


You may also like...