Help!!!: HELP!!! Today early morning 8ish... - AF Association

AF Association

22,564 members27,396 posts


Janith profile image

HELP!!! Today early morning 8ish … l started feeling strange. Just kind of mildly unwell … with a gurgling stomach and kind of a bloated feeling. I had just taken my meds. Hadn’t eaten anything. My husband is in Europe and l am alone in this big house and a bit stressed. Anyway, suddenly my heart began to act up … and l went into full blown afib. Of course l began to cry which didn’t help matters any. I dressed and decided to go over to the emergency room … 10 minutes away … but before l arrived, the afib stopped. So l drove back home and called my cardiologist … they directed me to come right over … he is ten minutes away. They immediately admitted me, gave me an ekg … which was normal with a heart rate in the sixties. My cardiologist increased my sotalol (l was taking 80 in the evening and 40 in the morning -mg- he increased it to 80 am and pm) …my question is this … it seems that my afib attacks always involve my stomach … l am almost afraid to eat anything … how should l proceed. I take a ton of supplements … could they be the culprit? However, when l do have afib, it goes away very quickly. Any suggestions? Thank you!!

31 Replies

So sorry that you are so distressed. Reminds me of me 11 years ago when I realized food triggered an AF experience. The vagal nerve is probably the culprit - it is a nerve which significantly influences many of the body's organs but most importantly, there is a brain, heart and digestive system link. It acts like an information superhighway between these organs.Try and be calm and think about what food you'd eaten in the previous 12 hours prior to this event. I consulted a Nutritionist and followed a new food plan.

I hope CDreamer sees your post. I am sure she will have most worthwhile comments to make based on her experiences.

Hope you feel better soon.

Incidentally, when I started this food thingy my symptoms were bloatingv- very, very painful, intestinal gurgling, burping, and diahorrea. All at random and unpredictable. It was bloating that would send me into AF.


Janith profile image
Janith in reply to carneuny

Thank you! Very helpful information. I was just researching this.

BobD profile image

The vagus nerve which is the neural super highway between brain and manayn organs can affect both stomach and heart so you condition is probably well know to many here.

It is also well documented that processed foods and meat in particular can increase AF burden along with caffeine , alcohol etc and worst of all stress,

Many people find that a reductioon in meat consumption and a more plant based diet greatly reduces their AF burden. Regarding supplements there is no supplement for a good healthy diet so you may consider "cleaning up" for a few days and see if things improve. If you find they do then you can re-introduce things gradually and see what if anything makes things worse.

Janith profile image
Janith in reply to BobD

I am going to stop taking them for a few days as per your suggestion. Thank you!

Do you actually need "a ton of supplements " it's all to easy to unbalance your levels by supplementing when you aren't deficient in the first place, it is also not uncommon to be intolerant to supplements, they aren't necessarily as safe as many think. Best to get fully tested and see if you need any.

I think that you could be right … thank you. I am going to change my routine and see what happens.

My stomach and general gastric issues are a huge trigger formy afib, always has been. I am wondering if you really need all the supplements, worth rethinking them i suspect. Best wishes.

Have u told your doc about all the supplements..? You have to be very careful with supplements as most are unnecessary, most don’t have fda approval and many interact with heart meds...

beach_bum profile image
beach_bum in reply to ColbyLH

Ya, that was the thing I focused on ...."a ton of supplements" no registered dietician would ever recommend them. I'm sure "Dr. Google" would, but they can be quite dangerous. There is no supplement for a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. My PAF is triggered by heavy meals too close to bed time, so I put the kibosh on that bad habit lol 😆

Janith profile image
Janith in reply to beach_bum

Thank you!

Janith profile image
Janith in reply to ColbyLH

Thank you! I will talk with him …

Hi, it may be worth having a look at a book titled The AFib Cure by Dr John D. Day and T. Jared Bunch. I have just read this on my Kindle and was so impressed that I have also ordered a hard copy. They discuss just about everything that anyone needs to know about AF and they have a section on supplements which affect the heart. Some supplements are good for the heart and some are not. It might be worth reviewing what you are taking in conjunction with the advice in this book. Steve

Janith profile image
Janith in reply to Snookersteve

Thank you! I will order the book immediately …

Snookersteve profile image
Snookersteve in reply to Janith

You're welcome! Hope you find the book helpful. I am going to try to follow the advice in the book as much as possible as I feel that it will really help to keep AF under control by looking after my health rather than just relying on medication.

Janith profile image
Janith in reply to Snookersteve

Hi ..l ordered it through Amazon … $17.00 … hard copy … the reviews are fantastic! It will be here tomorrow! Thanks again.

Hi Janith - I can only repeat what both John and Bob have said both about vagal AF and eating plans.

There is SO much research going on at the moment around how different people respond to different foods but really you are the expert on you so my suggestion would be to keep a very detailed food/symptom diary - lots of apps to help you identify triggers/symptoms - but you need to be meticulous.

I was advised by a nutritionist to take a BComplex Vit - it made me feel fatigued and ill. Took me several weeks to identify the cause - the filler in the tablet of 3mg Magnesium which for most people wouldn’t be an issue but was for me.

My suggestion would be to keep mainly to low carb plan with plenty of fibrous veg and good fats, some protein and I take 3 portions of some sort of fermented food/drink every day for gut microbes as latest research indicates that having healthy GutBiome is essential for good health in every way. Track every single ingredient and symptom for 2 weeks. You may identify something, you may not.

Listen to your body and trust it as it is your best friend - if stomach gets bubbly know it’s telling you very clearly that something isn’t right so try work out what. When you get that bubbly feeling sip plain hot water and go and do some deep breathing exercises and keep repeating the phrase Balance.

I would also suggest a conversation with your cardiologist about Sotolol which contains Beta Blocker which is not advised for those with Vagal AF. You will find a good explanation of how/why here:-

Maybe ask your cardiologist to consider?

I would also strongly recommend The AFib Cure as it does have excellent suggestions as to supplementation.

Janith profile image
Janith in reply to CDreamer

My book arrived today! I will start reading it …! Cannot wait!

The gurgling drives me mad, I had stomach issues before but more usual ones sore spot , acid reflux but the gurgling seemed to start with beta blockers. I take PPI's and gaviscon and now started reducing beta blocker dosage ( Just ) this gurgling still persists at the moment.

Janith profile image
Janith in reply to tabletphobic

Thank you!

I have found the video`s on Youtube by Dr Sanjay Gupta, to be really helpful. Just a suggestion. x

Thank you.

i have the same problem, but began taking acidophilous which is a probiotic and this has calmed things down for me. I'm careful about taking other things apart from magnesium. I hope you're feeling much better soon. Best wishes.

Janith profile image
Janith in reply to bassets

What type of acidophilus do you take? Liquid, chewable tablets or regular tablets … any specific brand? Thx.

I have Holland and Barret Capules at the moment.

Janith profile image
Janith in reply to bassets

I don’t think that you can get them here. I’m doing a little research.

I have gurgling (sometimes feels like spasm/churning/shivers/tremor) type symptom(s) but cardio electrophysiologist hasn’t a clue! You’d think these specialists would well aware of this symptom as it’s been mentioned on many a post here ... Sadly my “gurgling” doesn’t match aFIB outbreaks according to the data they collected off my inserted loop monitor. EP suggested a neurologist. Doh!

Janith profile image
Janith in reply to AussieHeart

Why a neurologist? Makes zero sense.

AussieHeart profile image
AussieHeart in reply to Janith

Actually I just searched vagus nerve and neurologist and I can see why EP suggested this specialist now. I fainted twice before investigations began for arrhythmia. My general practitioner thought it could be POTs but no aFIB/ectopic beats. I had intestinal surgery four years ago to remove a neuroendocrine tumour so maybe my vagus nerve was damaged in that procedure but there’s a lot of aFIB posts here suggesting churning is common so unsure what causes mine or your symptoms but I’ll check with GP. They all just point to anxiety and send you on your merry (not) way!

Well, l am under anxiety at the moment … my husband is abroad without me … we have two properties there needing his attention … l am in our big home here in Texas … just me and my cat … it’s very scary for me but l am trying to stay strong. Thank you!

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Janith

Anxiety is the pits and will exacerbate your palpitations. Long, deep and slow breaths think and repeat in your mind the word Balance. Is it general anxiety or worry about something specific?

Janith profile image
Janith in reply to CDreamer

You are so kind … really … general anxiety … thank you!

You may also like...