Short AF: Hi has anybody else experienced... - AF Association

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Short AF

Hammerboy profile image

Hi has anybody else experienced short runs of AF after eating .I generally only go into AF after a meal and it tends to self resolve within 24 hours .It doesn't seem to matter what I eat or how much so trying different meals makes no difference in my case

It was seven weeks since my last episode and so 2 days ago I had my usual one shortly after a light lunch .It was gone by bedtime so I thought I was ok for the next few weeks at least .

I've just had some toast and a cup of tea and within minutes it felt like my stomach was in my throat and my HR went erratic. I went back into NSR after a few minutes and then it happened again , then back to NSR and then 2 minutes of AF. Its now steady but about every 8 beats or so I miss a beat which I assume is Ectopics .

I definitely feel like my AF is related to a digestive issue and I've read a lot about the vagus nerve and watched Dr Gupta's videos on the subject but I always presumed it was linked to a large meal causing bloating or reactions to certain foods .

The fact I eat tea and toast regularly and occasionally eat a large meal without an episode of AF it's confusing me and especially as I had my regular episode only 2 days ago which has usually been 'it' for at least a month or so.

I'm back to normal now but still feel like my heart and stomach are in my mouth .

AF is certainly a strange beast .

104 Replies

The best way of staying normal is not trying to figure out the cause/triggers of AF, lol! Not my sentence, but l like it very much! BTW, I envy you having such a lovely smile! Some people are gifted with such a charm! (No bad intentions, I'm heterosexual, lol!)

Did your light lunch include carbohydrates? I find I can't eat them and then walk anywhere or exert myself right away, have to wait an hour or so. If I go out walking and take a packed lunch I'm fine if I just eat a banana and some nuts. So boring, when everyone else has a nice sandwich and cake!

Jean

It was a wholemeal bread sandwich with plain chicken with a fat free yoghurt. I did have a mince pie with a glass of sugar free squash to finish off lol but that never caused AF before.I woke up this morning back in AF which is unusual I'm wondering if my PAF is now progressing to persistent ?

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Hammerboy

Cut out the bread in your diet as well as biscuits, cakes and all carbohydrates to see if that makes a difference. It did for me.

Research GastroCardiac issues - Dr Gupta (UK cardiologist) has a good video explaining the gastro link to Arrythmias on YorkCardiology YouTube channel.

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to CDreamer

I'll be eating cardboard soon lol , I've cut out so much from my diet it's driving my wife nuts trying to find meals to feed me

I see CD has answered you. I can assure you a banana and some nuts for lunch will be fine along with perhaps a boiled egg and other fruit. I know how annoying it is!

Elli86 profile image
Elli86 in reply to jeanjeannie50

Totally agree with you Jean and cdreamer. However I would add a slight caveat in that even the fructose from fruit can upset my gut and in turn my heart, if I eat too much 😫

100% agree a strict diet is the way too go though. Even if it doesn’t completely eliminate your AF it should dramatically cut down episodes.

The afib cure is a great book to read hammerboy and goes into detail about this as many have mentioned. Also as creamer said dr Gupta is a pro in this and many other areas 👍

My money's on the mince pie for that episode. Mincemeat is very sweet. It has provoked an afib attack with me . Sugar free squash would probably contain artificial sweeteners that can set off afib with some people. Fat free yoghurts are full of sugar and additives. With Christmas coming up it seems cruel to advise banning all sweet stuff but you could try between now and Christmas and see if it makes any difference. If it does then you can decide whether to indulge or not on Christmas day .

Thank you , what a way to live 😀

Yes it's a drag. I have not completely cut out alcohol but instead of a normal smallish wineglass I have a sherry glass of wine with my dinner. Many a time I wish I could have more! As for food it's really a question of finding alternatives that are less problematic. A higher fat natural yoghurt with a teaspoon of organic honey or some chopped banana would be better than the commercial varieties. A couple of squares of high cocoa content dark chocolate is healthier than a mince pie but is still a treat. Home made desserts are easier to control as far as sugar content is concerned than commercial ones. On the rare occasions that I bake I never put in the amount of sugar in the recipe and the results are fine. Ground almonds make a very good substitute for white flour. In the end you get used to the new way of living.

Thanks I'll try

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Hammerboy

I second Auriculaire’s suggestions - once you adjust it’s easier than you think.

Stewed apple - sweetened with a few sultanas instead of sugar is a lovely dessert with some full fat organic yogurt. Add sprinkling of toasted seeds and nuts - delicious. Forget everything you thought you knew was healthy - eg: low fat, skimmed milk etc. Eggs are perfect balance of protein, fat and carbs - no need to add toast. Keep fruits to berries - high in antioxidants.

The Doctor’s Kitchen recipes are great but they do contain spice. Dr Rupy got AF as a young junior doctor so turned to food as medicine and gives full explanations as to what foods help and why - thedoctorskitchen.com

Once you are stable you can very cautiously try the odd one off treat of a biscuit or mine is a croissant once a month mid morning but keep it to very occasional.

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to CDreamer

That's very helpful , thank you

I would agree sounds like a gastro issue is the straw that breaks the camels back. I would look at changing your diet radically with professional advice e.g. reduce gluten at least 90% & sugar 75%, no caffeine or alcohol and closely monitor the situation with diary notes before taking more corrective steps.

It sounds like your current lifestyle is far too close to the AF threshold and a number of changes are necessary. Unlike others here and based on my personal experience, I believe many AFers can identify triggers and Lifestyle changes can contribute to less AF. Good luck.

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to secondtry

What do you mean by the AF threshold and my lifestyle ?

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Hammerboy

Research Lifestyle and then take a good, hard look at how you live your life = Stress Management, Importance of eating good quality food free of sugar and all processed foods, ensuring you get good quality sleep and have the right amount of exercise.

You might find the book The AFib Cure very informative. Many people have eliminated AF from their lives purely by changing their behavioural habits and foods they consume. Sugar, gluten, dairy should be the first to eliminate. If that doesn’t help consult a nutritionist or try the FODMAP diet.

If your AF is triggered by eating I doubt you are going toward persistent, sounds like it’s being triggered by Autonomic Nervous System - vagal AF.

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to CDreamer

I'm trying to convince my GP that my AF is being affected by the gastric issues I've experienced over the last 12 months. He feels its all down to acid and just ups my PPI dose but I'm not convinced .It does seem my gut is the catalyst for all my symptoms including chest pains an hour after eating with a permanently tender abdomen .

scorp1o profile image
scorp1o in reply to Hammerboy

I couldn't even convince my original cardiologist that the vagus nerve had any part to play in my AF - even though each episode is accompanied by violent and noisy burping which I never suffered from before. Fast forward to new cardio, who is an electrocardiologist (ie electrics too, not just plumbing) and he says the link is very common!

I am a foodie pig but eating too much, too fast or too carb laden or too sugary does bring on episodes. I restrict my wilder urges but also 'forget'and suck it up. However, they also occur for no reason! A strange beast, as you say.

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to scorp1o

So many variations , my EP is certain there is a vagal link but offers no advice on it .

secondtry profile image
secondtry in reply to Hammerboy

My personal theory, based only on my experience, is that most AFers (extreme athletes & physiological conditions excluded) are there as a result of poor lifestyle choices and negative lifestyle experiences; AF being actually triggered if and when your personal threshold of these occurrences is reached or to use an analogy when the glass finally overflows.In attempting to correct my position over a number of years, I am astonished how far my lifestyle has gone in unhelpful ways and I am guessing you may be in a similar position...or maybe you have already taken corrective action?

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to secondtry

Well I eat more sensibly , exercise more and am not overweight . I don't smoke and haven't had a drink for 4 years now .Since my ablation 2 years ago I've retired so no more stress , I just don't know what more I can do to alleviate any potential triggers . I do feel my ongoing gut issues have a role to play but in the current situation I cant get any quick answers . I'm still waiting for the result of a CT angiogram carried out 7 weeks ago , the hospital are sympathetic but just quote covid delays .If I had an actual aneurism which they were screening for I'd probably be dead by now .

Eating a fat free yoghurt and a mince pie with a glass of squash in the same meal is not really sensible eating for someone with vagal afib. You might find you have to be more radically sensible. CD's advice on diet might seem hard to follow but might be the answer.

I'll do my best

I can relate to this. When I had a two-week Zio test, it showed short runs of AF-like activity and tachycardia. These often occur during breakfast. I've had a few traces on my Apple Watch that thoroughly confuse its algorithms making it report back only as "Poor Recording" when what was happening was a mixture of ectopic beats and AF.

Back to when I had atrial flutter in 2019, I was convinced it was related to my digestion, I have a small hiatus hernia, with reflux, and diverticular issues. The flutter came on after a stodgy lunch of fish and chips! Nowadays, that's no more, thanks to my ablation, but all last week, breakfast brought on tachycardia and ectopic beats a-plenty. I took some bisoprolol to calm it down.

I've asked my cardiologist who rightly says that there's often a connection with gastric issues, but not one that is easy to show as causation. I told him that I've read many people in the US blame irritation of the vagus nerve but he was not convinced saying that whilst that was a well-known cause, it was very unusual and one that would cause brady- not tachycardia, at least initially.

One thing that was shown to be happening to me once was that my stomach can become pressed up against my diaphragm by food and air in the stomach and intestines, and then the diaphragm can touch the base of my heart and spark off ectopic beats. These are known to be pre-cursors of AF in prone people. That might be the cause - a physical irritation rather than anything food related. Also, in some people the oesophagus presses physically against the atrium and the normal peristaltic movements brought on by swallowing might well bring on ectopic beats. It certainly did with me once while a nurse was watching my ECG. That might be what is happening to you?

Steve

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to Ppiman

Thats a definite possibility , my cardiologist agrees with vagal irritation being causal but of course he refers me back to my GP for further investigation and all he can come up with is acid depressants which even at a high dose doesn't help with a permanently tender abdomen , chest pains after about an hour of eating and pain radiating to my back. I'm not experiencing any reflux. I see him again Wednesday , what happened to the old tests like barium meals etc which could explain more possibly

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Hammerboy

I sorted out my gastric issues by working with a Lifestyle Doctor - I was incredibly lucky as she also practices as a GP at my surgery. Breakfast is usually the WORST meal simply because most people take cereal with milk or toast. Increase your fat intake - so always full fat yogurt - better still kefir, eggs are good for me & I find I don’t then want to snack.

I’ve always avoided PPIs as they tend to aggravate the problem. Carbs are digested in the upper colon as they require an alkaline environment, stomach is acid - good for digesting protein & fat so especially first meal of the day make protein & fat.

The other thing that triggered my AF after eating was getting up from table too soon - Autonomic system of which vagus nerve is just one part - needs us to be in Rest & Digest mode for good digestion.

We’ve all learned these things the hard way through experience & share here in the hope that others can avoid our mistakes.

Best wishes

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to CDreamer

Thank you , interesting ideas for me to go forward with

Ppiman profile image
Ppiman in reply to Hammerboy

I think they do still use barium, but the CT scan seems better at giving a 3D type look and with lower overall X-ray dosage, I guess? I bent over a year ago while dismantling a cot for my son and set off tachycardia, soon after that nausea set in and that went on for all-but a year accompanied by exactly what you describe. It was truly unpleasant but a CT scan was clear. Now, thank goodness, the nausea has finally subsided, but I am left with a tender abdomen just below the sternum to the left. My GP is content that there's nothing important going on, so he reckons it must be related to my hiatus hernia although it's not acid that is causing it (not least as I take esomeprazole for reflux).

Steve

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to Ppiman

Interesting , my GP recommended an endoscopy 2 months ago which revealed no hiatus hernia but H Pylori After a week of antibiotics I was told I was now clear but apart from nausea , the original symptoms are all still present .He's put me on 40mg of Esomeprasol daily until I see him Wednesday .It's frustrating as I think if I can settle my abdomen down my AF will too

Ppiman profile image
Ppiman in reply to Hammerboy

I often think the same. I've searched in vain to find information online but all I can find is anecdotal and I've come to take little notice of anything but scientific stuff as people's descriptions, sensitivities and claimed causes vary so widely. It's pretty clear though that gastric symptoms can be difficult to diagnose and hard to treat. I think taking a PPI for a week or two is a good way to test whether acid is the issue as they do pretty much mop it up. H. pylori can, so far as I can read, take quite a bit of sorting out and might need a repeat with a different antibiotic, so I suppose that might yet be the cause of your woes.

Steve

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to Ppiman

Well I've had the stool test which shows no sign so I'm told I'm clear. I'd like them to think outside the box and look at other reasons than just acid and I'm sure taking 40mg of Esomeprasol isn't exactly helping

Ppiman profile image
Ppiman in reply to Hammerboy

I have to take it otherwise the acid goes crazy and my GP worries more about the bottom of the oesophagus with that happening.

I just don't think doctors are sufficiently interested in things that they can't easily identify or help. The bodily systems are so vastly complex, too. Arrhythmias are a case in point. It must be nigh on impossible often to find or attribute a cause, even though a lot of people online are quick to point to "triggers" or to claim miraculous cures from a daily dose of magnesium (oh and it has to be mag taurate!! ;-) ), vitamin D, turmeric and the like.

Steve

Auriculaire profile image
Auriculaire in reply to Ppiman

Just because you get no benefit from supplements you should not mock those who do. Even if it is due to the placebo effect they are no longer suffering - and you are.

Ppiman profile image
Ppiman in reply to Auriculaire

Ah there now - it's only my sense of humour and frustration at finding these things to be worthless. I've always said that it's worth trying and if they work for a person, then that is great.

Blinded clinical studies tend always to support my own experience I've found over the years but that's neither here nor there in practice. Scientific studies on the apparent widespread levels of gluten intolerance as well as on the effectiveness of homeopathic medicines, for example, point to something other than objectivity going on in people's minds, but that is a wonderful thing - for the profiteering companies and "consultants", too, of course.

Steve

Auriculaire profile image
Auriculaire in reply to Ppiman

If you want to talk about blinded clinical studies let's talk about the studies that actually show ( when the statistical trick of relative risk is removed and the negative studies the drug companies have filed away in their vaults come to light) that many widely used pharmaceuticals are little better than placebo . But they can have much worse side effects than vitamins and minerals and they are making their manufacturers far more money whilst on patent. Or how about positively dangerous crap like Remdesivir . WHO finally came out and said it was of no use for covid but it is still being used ( despite established nephrotoxicity) at an eye popping price. There are no bigger profiteers than Pfizer , Merck ,J&J and co. And criminal profiteers too if you look at the billions in fines they have paid this century alone.

Ppiman profile image
Ppiman in reply to Auriculaire

I think there are many profiteers in the health care fields and, in my books, it doesn't really matter whether it is Pfizer making billions from millions of people via taxes, or a quack making tens of thousands from a relatively few. Both are wrong but both are facts of life in a capitalist economy. The centrally-controlled communist economies of the USSR did have superb medicine for a time, with enthusiastic and committed research scientists and doctors at the forefront of healthcare but, well... it didn't last; and we know why as corruption was at its heart, just as it can be at the heart of capitalism. What we need is to find ways to optimise capitalism.

Regulatory authorities try to control the big companies and have massive legal powers to do so; but few such regulations exist, or are viable, for the quacks. On balance, give me Pfizer and Merck with their wonderful drugs that are saving so much suffering. Look at Siemens, too. Easily criticisable and yet producing scanners that are eye-wateringly good and essential to modern life. Their latest CT-scanners use, what, a tenth of the X-rays of those made in Russia, say, thanks to competitive capitalism. What a stunning achievement.

The antivirals never have looked good to me but I think the media love them more than doctors. The newer ones are, it seems, far more effective than Remdesivir, but that drug was a stepping stone onto the newer ones and the cost of developing them is simply enormous. No scaling up of these drugs is possible without stock markets and investors. They want their returns. Many are pension companies paying out to you and me, so I want them to have their returns, too.

Steve

Auriculaire profile image
Auriculaire in reply to Ppiman

Regulatory authorities will never have the will to control Pharma companies as long as they are not adequately funded by the taxpayer and depend on funding from industry. Nor as long as the revolving door employment policies exist . As for the lobbying of democratic bodies by Pharma , the food industry and chemical industry - that too is a recipe for corruption. Large fines for misbehaviour are just accounted in as the price of doing business. Long jail sentences for top executives would be better. A lot of the money these days in R&D is coming from government ie taxpayers - look at the NIH's partnership with Moderna for their vaccine. But that money never seems to go back to the taxpayer.

Ppiman profile image
Ppiman in reply to Auriculaire

I do agree that more power (and manpower) is needed, and not just in pharmaceutical regulation. The political governance of the UK since, what, 2010, has denuded so many regulatory authorities of staff and cash to the point that many are there in name only, I'd think.

It's not in any way a good situation.

Steve

Auriculaire profile image
Auriculaire in reply to Ppiman

Apparently restaurants are likely to get spot checks for cleanliness almost never so only ones that are regularly poisoning people ever get looked at!

Ppiman profile image
Ppiman in reply to Auriculaire

It seems random but I am sure if we knew the truth of it all we'd be enraged by what is going on. A new donut shop (!) locally was spot-checked yesterday, so it is happening (my nephew manages the place). They found some crumbs on a table and were critical!!

Steve

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Ppiman

Have you read the work of Prof Tim Spectre on gut health and the research he has conducted on Identical Twins?

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to CDreamer

I haven't personally, I'll have already thanks

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Hammerboy

Sorry that was addressed to Steve …

Ppiman profile image
Ppiman in reply to CDreamer

You gave me the link before and I have since read quite a lot from him - thank you. He's a very committed and highly intelligent person with a deal of humanity. My son is keen on his ideas about the biome and certainly tries to eat in ways that work to keep it healthy.

Steve

What antibiotics did you take? Any antibiotics will bugger up your microbiome ( some more than others) and that could take several months to return to normal. Are you taking a magnesium supplement?

I took the usual doses of Amoxycilin and Metronidazole Tested after 10 days and told I was clear.I'm going to ask my GP about magnesium as I know its reduced by taking PPI's

Metronidazole is a very nasty drug . I would not bother asking your GP about magnesium. Dr Gupta who posts very informative videos here recommends it. GPs are often not very well up on vitamins and minerals.

I'll have a read , I have a lot of respect for Dr Gupta's views so far .Sadly I can't say the same for GP's in my own experience, most seem lazy and just want to write a prescription and unless I have asked more questions or pushed a point its on to the next patient

True here in the USA. The Drs sit in front of or carry their computer with them and it seems unless the computer tells them the answer, they are totally lost. So frustrating for us patients. You are getting some good advice here. Some things are trial and error to see if something works for you. Magnesium is good to take. If you can find a Dr to test your nutrient levels that would be a big help. None of the Drs I've seen would bother doing that. Nor take in consideration the vagus nerve. It's appalling to me how little some of the Drs know. 🙄 Good luck and hope you find something that helps you. Take care.

Thank you 🙂

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Hammerboy

The antibiotics will have also killed off the helpful gut bacteria. Our gut flora is open warfare as to who wins results in good/bad digestion. It's real goodie and baddy stuff.

You can get an analysis of the gut flora present in your gut from testing and a list of foods which encourage good bacteria and those that discourage the bad from multiplying eg: I had an overgrowth of about 3 'bad' bacteria and Tannin supplements and garlic and change of diet sorted the bad bacteria and change of diet encouraged the good - but it took months. There is no quick fix with this stuff but you may not get much help from your GP as it has to be an individual analysis and treatment plan - no one fit for everyone.

Once you start on PPI's it's almost impossible to come off as you will be prone to rebound and as Steve says, then you could easily have damage to the lower oesophagus so you need to be very careful. Taking specific Enzymes and probiotics and pre-biotic foods are the best way to restore the balance - hence the suggestion of taking kefir and other fermented foods but again you need to go carefully. The old fashioned method of keeping a very detailed food/symptom diary can sometimes help identify the worst of the culprits but bear in mind that symptoms can be delayed so often you will get the symptom 24-72 hours after eating the food. It's a very tedious but inexpensive way of seeing if you do have sensitivities to various foods.

I agree that GP's are not normally the best people to advise - LifeStyle doctors are trained in both Nutrition and General Medicine and will only advise after testing and always based on the latest science - but they are not that many of them - yet!

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to CDreamer

You are right in what you say , my GP thinks he can wean me off PPI's completely but has no answer as to why I've been on them for over 20 years and he's been prescribing them himself for over 5 years years .It all started with reflux but has progressed to tenderness , nausea and now AF .His answer is to stop them and use gaviscon if I get relux .Two eminent consultants have had no answer either , just increase the dose

Ppiman profile image
Ppiman in reply to CDreamer

I think we'd all like to see one of those doctors but given the extra time they need for consultations, I can't see the masses ever having access to such a one, only the relatively wealthy. That's sad.

Steve

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to Ppiman

It's all about covid now I'm afraid

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Ppiman

I agree. The initial consultation privately is about £300 and takes 2 hours. Add in testing & soon up to £1k. However, many who could afford to go privately would prefer to spend that amount in the pub over a period or on holiday than investing in their health and well-being.

My GP does what she can within the NHS with her dual training informing her decisions but as she says - there is no way she can go in depth in a 12 min consultation with a restriction on one appointment, one subject.

We can only hope it will improve.

I have to say they I am very happy with the NHS service I’ve received recently - excellent follow ups after COVID - my husband got an appointment with ENT within 2 weeks, I saw my neurologist today whom I haven’t seen since 2017 in person, x-ray follow up tomorrow - we have been able to book face to face appointments with GP all the way through - after telephone triage. I had house call from GP when I had COVID and was quite ill. In many ways it’s been speedier than pre-COVID but accept that’s not been everyone’s experience.

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to CDreamer

As I've previously mentioned all my appointments have been quite timely including hospital procedures .My issue is to date ;

Anal Fissure -7 weeks for follow up appointment , eventual operation .

Colonoscopy- 8 weeks for results to get to GP

Endoscopy -results emailed to GP same day

CT Aortic Angiogram-

8 weeks and counting , still not reported on .

Cardiologists secretary very helpful but hitting a brick wall trying to get someone to reply from CT Dept .

It's been quite a year , oh and AF just to to cap things off 😉

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Hammerboy

That sounds like admin issues and I think we can all relate to such incidents. Trouble is the NHS can’t win because when they invest in either admin staff (NHS tend to pay less than the going commercial rate for admin) or admin technology there is a perception that thy are ‘diverting money away from front line services’ and it becomes a political issue about too much being spent on management. And to be fair COVID has meant a lot of absences because people having to self isolate, even though they weren’t ill.

Because of the lack of investment in secure technology it’s all by letter = snail mail. Our hospital recently invested in a new system - I have my concerns about it but now my GP can look up all the results as soon as they are posted. I can look up all the results as soon as they are posted. I don’t have to wait on the ward for discharge paperwork by the doctor. I get posted the summary report through the secure portal.

I saw my neurologist yesterday who ordered blood tests - he didn’t explain which ones but because I can look up his summary report which was posted by the time I left the hospital, I can see exactly what was ordered and I will also be notified when the results come in.

I don’t know how many hospitals have this system but understand as yet it’s only a handful.

The other issue I think many of us have is that most GP surgeries won’t notify you about test results if they are negative but only if the results show something of concern so patients are left hanging - unless you contact the surgery to ask and that’s a waste of everyone’s time when there are delays. That’s certainly the case in ours. If your surgery has the computer capability, you can download the NHS App and register. It’s a bit of a faff to register as there is a lot of checking for security reasons but then you can see your results from all tests the GP ordered as soon as they are posted - so specialist reports online - the GP has the results instantly.

The trouble is when there are the sorts of delays you have experienced is that patients are left hanging and worried and that increases anxiety and that in turn exacerbates conditions such as AF.

I’m going for follow up chest X-ray today after bacterial pneumonia following the COVID infection because there were ‘anomolies’ so will be interesting to see how long it takes for the radiologist to report - I’ll let you know.

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to CDreamer

My thoughts are what's the point of a quick appointment or procedure if the results take 2 months to come through.My wife works for the NHS in admin and she said they are throwing money at it?

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Hammerboy

Obviously not effectively.

Ppiman profile image
Ppiman in reply to CDreamer

That was interesting to read and it's good to know that you are being well looked after by our sterling health service. I can report pretty much similar GP-wise, but I know that we are lucky as some local surgeries seem to have all-but put the shutters up. Our local hospitals have been in the press as having the longest waiting times and such like sadly but I have also heard of people having excellent treatment. My daughter-in-law works at our major hospital and she reports that they are really busy. She has found nursing through covid to be a real strain.

In general, it's not a good time to be ill!

Steve

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Ppiman

Absolutely which is why I’m so surprised and pleased at the rapid response. My sister is a ICU nurse manager and says similar about the strain on staff. I was very worried about her this time last year and wonder what the affect of another year of nursing young, very ill people will have on the system.

My experience A&E was a completely different story and overheard conversations of ‘were they still safe to open’?

It is what it is at the moment and why need to look after ourselves as much as possible both physically and mentally.

Ppiman profile image
Ppiman in reply to CDreamer

One of the things that sems to be happening is that people are panicking about health sooner and bypassing their GP and going to A&E or a walk-in equivalent. The "111" service seems geared up to move people away from GPs. I often wonder just what the government is up to with all this. Up to no good would be my thought.

Steve

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Ppiman

Absolutely agree.

Ppiman profile image
Ppiman in reply to Hammerboy

Hi - very few people suffer hypomagnesemia as it's called on PPIs. As I understand it, it came to the notice of the health authorities through schemes such as the yellow card that more fractures than expected were occurring in patients on PPI tablets. But those people were elderly and many had osteoporosis, too. And yet, the PPI was then shown to have affected them and made things worse. Some others developed arrhythmias, but again, a relative few.

PPIs are seen as, essentially, safe drugs, ones that prevent many very dangerous conditions from occurring such as erosive oesophagitis and Barrett's oesophagus. I wish I didn't need them, but I've become convinced that they are safe enough and certainly the lesser of two evils.

Metronidazole is an essential antibiotic active against the anaerobic bacteria that can cause havoc in the intestines. Many people owe their lives to it. Like all antibiotics, it is almost certainly heavily over-prescribed and it shouldn't be as it has risks attached to it. But doctors don't have quick and efficient hospital level testing on hand, and don't like to risk patients becoming acutely ill, so they prescribe antibiotics.

Steve

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to Ppiman

I see how the GP feels now as the increase in dosage and change to Esomeprasol hasn't really worked

DIB69 profile image
DIB69 in reply to Hammerboy

A good daily probiotic may be helpful the antibiotics you were prescribed will have killed off the good as well as bad bacteria and this could further upset your gut.

I love mincemeat...it does not reciprocate. I get horrific heartburn.Also, it may be a carbs issue? Whole grain/multigrain/white...all carbs...just FYI. I know, it sucks, because I'm a bit of a carbolic myself.

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to beach_bum

Thanks it does suck as before AF I could eat anything

It may be related to what you are eating vs how much. I’ve found eliminating foods with gluten or high carb content help. Your digestive tract may be inflamed.

Something I've tried to adjust to but doesn't seem to help .I do think my small bowel could be inflamed though I don't know how that could be diagnosed

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Hammerboy

Blood tests for inflammatory markers. Your GP can easily do those. I have them regularly.

Your last sentence may say it all. There’s a growing understanding of a possible link between vagus nerve and both digestive as well as heart rhythm issues.Although I’ve not had any AF to speak of for more than 6 years now..I definitely notice more ectopic beats when I have an upset tummy.

Is that a connection for you too?

Remember that the vagus nerve controls year heart rhythms as well as your digestion...

Have you thought about a touch up for your ablation?

I'm on the list for an RF ablation , I'm told it will be a long wait .I went on the list in June

Do you know who is doing it for you, same EP as last time?

As far as I know

Thing is we're all different and the things we consume are all different. For example all medicines are good for us ... except the ones that some of us can't tolerate, or when we consume too much.

Everything has a toxic dose (even water), and just because something is not toxic doesn't mean your body won't react negatively. The difference between an allergy and an intolerance (which some of us have and some of us don't) means that everything you consume will (at some dosage) cause irritation or worse symptoms. And each toxin can impact different organs (throat, lungs, stomach etc).

I'd strongly caution against RELYING on the experience of others (we're all different, e.g we have different intolerances and allergies) just as I would caution against IGNORING the experience of others (poisons are toxic to us all, even at low doses).

I think it's useful to bear in mind that if your AF is vagally induced, then it's susceptible to irritation of any organ on the vagal nerve. I'm no expert on the vagal nerve, but I believe it's connected to the bowel, stomach, heart and lungs - hopefully someone more knowledgeable can confirm for you.

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to Zozzy

Yes I think you're right but finding someone who will take the time and has the knowledge to get to the bottom it is a journey in itself

Zozzy profile image
Zozzy in reply to Hammerboy

The two obvious sources of food intolerance to consider are gut and genetics.

I think you can get DNA tests for the latter (will tell you if your genetics make you susceptible to an intolerance), but i don't know how you can test your gut other than by an aggressive protocol of exclusion of food groups, then sub-groups, then individual foods - which seems very time consuming.

If you're serious and willing to spent some time and money on it then I'd start with the DNA test and maybe see if you can get an allergy/intolerance test. If you're lucky you may find something that works without having to resort to exhaustive food exclusion.

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to Zozzy

Thanks for the ideas

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Zozzy

Excellent summary

I share your frustration with trying to get to the bottom of it. My PAF used to be quite well controlled with Ranitidine and Bisoprolol and only had a couple of incidents when I would not eat regularly or was dehydrated or ate tyramine heavy foods such as mature cheese, steak etc. Since the demise of ranitidine I've been tried on cimetidine, pantoprazole, famotidine and now nizatidine none of which seem as good although after suffering Covid a year ago I'm not sure my AF hasn't just got worse. Like you, I'm convinced there's a gastric element but can't get to the bottom of it. No caffeine, fizzy drinks, BMI now 25, no alcohol for a year, avoiding lactose and gluten but still suffering more frequent episodes. Bisoprolol seems to settle the fast heartrate and going back into NSR but suffering a lot more ectopics these days which often lead into AF. Have been told an ablation is best and, reluctantly, I agree although suspect it may help the symptoms rather than the cause. But, having had a gastroscopy, cystoscopy, ultrasound and echocardiogram all finding nothing I'm not sure what else to try. I wonder whether it's worth consulting a nutritionist but aren't quite sure where/how to find one. You have my deepest sympathy as there's nothing worse than feeling helpless in trying to solve a problem that seems to defy a solution...although I'm convinced there is one out there and will continue to look! If you find an answer, let us know so we may all, potentially, benefit! Good luck.

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to UK_5010

I'm amazed so many of us are suffering like this .Great we have a forum we can share our experiences

Mudge2008 profile image
Mudge2008 in reply to UK_5010

Thanks to the nurse practitioner at my electrophysiologists office, I discovered tyramine is a huge trigger for me; I have been avoiding it as much as possible since February with no AF episodes since. Not too much about it in AF literature but you can find info related to migraines and MAOI inhibitor diets. As Zozzy stated it is difficult to uncover what the problems are as we all have different levels of tolerance for the variety of substances that can have an impact.

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to Mudge2008

That's interesting, what food is it in

Mudge2008 profile image
Mudge2008 in reply to Hammerboy

That is the problem; it is in so many foods-primarily aged or fermented foods including overripe fruits..."Tyramine is an amino acid commonly found in a variety of different foods. For some, tyramine can trigger an AFib episode because it is known to elevate our blood pressure levels. There have been a few case reports written showing a link between tyramine and triggering AFib, and that eliminating tyramine-containing foods could improve atrial fibrillation.

Examples of tyramine heavy foods include:

Aged cheeses such as cheddar, parmesan, and gorgonzola

Pepperoni and salami

Sauerkraut and kimchi

Soybeans and snow peas"

Here is a more extensive list:

chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/viewer.html?pdfurl=https%3A%2F%2Fhealth.qld.gov.au%2F__data%...

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to Mudge2008

Many thanks

UK_5010 profile image
UK_5010 in reply to Mudge2008

I've read a few items suggesting kimchi and sauerkraut (fermented and unpasteurised) are supposed to be good for the gut! What chance do we stand of getting it right all the time? Trial and, mainly, error I guess!

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to UK_5010

Testing or trial and error through very accurate food/symptom diary. Write down every, single thing you eat and the day/time and write down every symptom you have with time/date (there are apps available these days which help).

Zozzy explained it very well above - so many variables - I thrive on fermented foods whilst Mudge doesn’t.

Start by eliminating the easy, well known triggers - ultra processed foods, sugar, gluten and dairy.

UK_5010 profile image
UK_5010 in reply to CDreamer

A food diary is something I've considered but my diet is fairly boring and similar and sometimes I'm fine with something one day and another week an episode of AF will occur. The doctors suspect it's vagal based but whether it's food or something else.....? I think that's why they believe an ablation is probably the best way forward. I guess I should take comfort in the fact that tests seem to be negative although I've recently been given antibiotics for a suspected slight chest infection (which I'm hoping may contribute to the recent prolonged run of ectopics) and they thought my thyroid score was a bit below normal from blood tests so want to keep an eye on it - wonder if that could be contributing to the AF as have also found myself losing 3kg over the last few months without trying?

Mudge2008 profile image
Mudge2008 in reply to UK_5010

I know right! It is so difficult to figure out and if I had been keeping a food/symptom diary I could have figured it out sooner! I recall drinking kombucha a few times and going right into AF, as well as eating delicious, homemade Greek salads then going into AF. Never making the connection as these are healthy foods! Had my 3rd ablation almost a year ago; stopped the flecainide a few weeks ago; fingers crossed. Wishing you success with figuring out what your individual triggers are...

UK_5010 profile image
UK_5010 in reply to Mudge2008

Thanks for the reply. Hope you find the most recent ablation has done the trick. I'm hoping to retire in a couple of years and longish walks are on the agenda...but not in the current state of health!

Hi Hammerboy :-) 5 years ago and just before I started getting frequent episodes of P-AF and was diagnosed, I had a scary couple of weeks when swallowing food made me feel faint and sent my heart into fast chaos for a few moments. I thought maybe because I had a bad cough at the time I had coughed too hard and damage something. It went away as suddenly as it came but I have had reoccurrences of one off events .

Once I knew about AF, was diagnosed with P-AF and experienced a variety of odd things going on with my heart I came to the conclusion it has become very sensitive and is easily disturbed.

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to doodle68

That makes sense to me

Bread can cause a lot of people problems in one way or another. I find that a good quality sourdough is more easily digested and therefore doesn't trigger AF so readily. Like you, and others on this site, I've definitely noticed a close relationship between my gut and my heart rhythms. All very interesting albeit annoying and worrying at times.

I’ve often thought that my PAF was also diet related as it also effects me depending on meals, but I used to question myself because I’d eat the same meals week in week out and often have no reactions.

I’ve had a few mini AF episodes lately, mostly at night but it wakes me, and then within 10 minutes I’m going the toilet. That’s why I’ve always thought my digestive system is linked to my PAF.

I also lately have introduced more carbs to my diet, and sugary crap, it’s Christmas time - maybe there’s a link to that too?

It’s so hard trying to find the triggers when they’re so random.

My biggest issue at the moment though is sleep, i wake up after 5-6 hours of sleep and I just feel very edgy/shaky/fluttery in my chest/rib area - which I’ve only noticed since these PAF episodes have been noticeable. Everything I nod off, I immediately awake with a start, subconsciously worried I’m not going to wake up. Anyone else get this?

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to MrXile

I feel your pain ,much the same symptoms as me

MrXile profile image
MrXile in reply to Hammerboy

Has your doctor told you this is a.) a symptom and b.) completely normal? I’m stressing to hell lol

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to MrXile

My GP isn't up on AF but my EP who carried out my ablation is convinced gastric issues are linked especially with vagus nerve irritation .I can't say if that's normal but for me one goes with the other .Stress certainly doesn't help that's for sure

MrXile profile image
MrXile in reply to Hammerboy

Okay mate, we’ll thanks for the extra little bit of information. Stress is the biggest thing for me, I feel something and I’m off on a tangent thinking the worst. Every time.

I find it hard to relax about it.

I’m definitely of the same thinking that I like you, are one of the ones highly effected by digestion and the vagus nerve irritation.

May I ask what you do for stress/anxiety?

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to MrXile

I retired early which was a help . I go to the gym a couple of times a week , I'm trying to learn the guitar and walk my dogs .I'm lucky I live in the countryside too .

I had a very stressful job and I knew I'd pay eventually .

MrXile profile image
MrXile in reply to Hammerboy

Oh I envy you living in the countryside, I really do. Dogs are a great stress reliever.

Unfortunately I am too young to retire, and not in a position to do so, and I live on a housing estate here in Cheshire (not the good part lol, I’m near Runcorn/Widnes).

I think I’ll have to cut the carbs completely and try relaxation techniques, and then think about the countryside (which I do love!).

Thanks pal. Appreciate the responses.

Hammerboy profile image
Hammerboy in reply to MrXile

You're welcome , hope your health improves soon 👍

MrXile profile image
MrXile in reply to Hammerboy

Thanks. You too, always got to try and stay positive eh.

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