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AF Association
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Do some people get AFIB only after triggers. Is it possible to avoid triggers and avoid AFIB?

Just wondering if you avoid known triggers can you then avoid Afib? I quit drinking alcohol and Diet coke after I was diagnosed. Was very low on my electrolytes. Administered Magnesium and Pottasium in the hospital. Have since been in normal rythem and on no drugs. Still stress about wierd feeling but have been in normal rythem and rate. Can elevated BP cause a one time attack. I normally had high BP for ever but have since done everything I can to lower it. I am also on 80 mg of diovan. I want to switch to Lisenopril but am worried about changing meds. If its not broke don't fix it! Am I right?

Thanks to all who really care.

5 Replies

Triggers: I can only answer for myself here, but avoiding my known triggers has made a huge difference but has not eliminated AF entirely. Most of us have had the "just when you think you have it figured out, you find yourself in A Fib" experience. I also have had high BP forever and that is absolutely the cause of the A Fib in my case. If a life of hypertension has caused your AF it is unlikely that it is a one time event.

Electrolytes: Good for you for cutting out the alcohol and diet Coke. I also tend to run low normal on potassium and have found that making sure I get plenty of it each day AND avoid getting dehydrated does make a huge difference. Alcohol is very dehydrating, ditto for beverages with caffeine so avoiding them can help. I tried taking extra magnesium for a while but did not like the side effects and it did not make much difference.

Diovan vs liisinopril: They are two different classes of drugs,(Diovan is an angiotensit II receptor blocker and Lisinopril is an ACE inhibitor) and here in the US lisinopril is much cheaper. However, if you have never taken an ACE inhibitor before some people develop a nuisance cough with it. Both can be quite effective. What does your health care provider suggest? Why do you want a change? Do you feel the lisinopril will give you better BP control? I've been on ACE inhibitors and for me, I have better BP control on the angiotensin II receptor blockers. Definitely worth a discussion with your cardiologist or EP.

And you are right. We sure do care. Be well and have a great day.



You have asked the million dollar question... Avoiding Triggers... SRM is right. Just when you think you have it figured out and you avoid what you think is your trigger... Bang, here it comes again and you start all over. I have done this for the last 13 years. As she stated, there are some known triggers like alcohol, caffeine, dehydration, sleeping on your left side and many more. But I know of many who have no problem with any of these and still have sporadic AF attacks. I couldn't even count the number of times I've sat back during an attack and said "this just doesn't make sense, What started it this time?"

High blood pressure is also a known trigger. I fought that for many years. My answer to it was SALT... I never realized how much salt I was taking in until I actually started watching it. I did not cut out salt but limited it and switched to a light salt product and my BP went almost to normal. But I still had AF. I now take 25mg of metoprolol twice a day and have held it in line. Now the contradiction.... Salt makes you retain water which keeps you from being dehydrated but I still had AF. After 13 years of trial and error I have found only one thing that I believe triggers an attack. Chocolate... And that sux... But I have had many, many attacks without having chocolate.

I know that AF is becoming a real problem here in the states and I'm actually seeing it more and more in the news. They are really starting to look at it and trying to figure it out. I think at this stage though, the only thing they have figured out is that they haven't figured anything out yet.



Hello Rick,

I would endorse all of the triggers that Tim has mentioned, For me the worst is chocolate and I would add cheese and chinese food (i.e. MSG) to the list. Post ablation, I don't get AF - although enough choc or cheese might trigger it but I'm not going there! Small quantites of choc and cheese are OK-ish, but what I can get are brief bouts of techycardia and lots of ectopics if I overdo the amount. I love my choc and cheeses ... it's difficult!

Take care, Chris H


Rick, To have AF you need to have a predisposition to AF. That normally is either genetic or acquired. Triggers are just that, triggers. You can have AF without triggers although many people find that their AF is vagal related in as much as the vagus nerve affects both digestion and heart function, coming as it does from the same root.. Endurance athletes, ( and strangely fast jet pilots) are prime candidates for acquired AF as the work they do often results in an enlargement of the left atria which can make rogue impulses more likely.

If you have no predisposition then no trigger can give you AF but you don't need a trigger to have it.

Those food and drink triggers like alcohol, caffeine MSG etc. can be avoided and the attacks reduced and magnesium supplements have been known to assist but won';t cure the problem.

Here in UK it is estimated that there are 3/4million diagnosed AF patients and probably the same number yet to be diagnosed. We have been working to promote the understanding of AF through public awareness campaigns and parliamentary groups for some years now as we estimate that 3000 deaths through stroke can be avoided each year if more people with AF are found and anticoagulated where appropriate. As I am sure you know the the main worry for patients with AF is an increased risk of stroke due to the uneven flow of blood within the heart possibly allowing pooling where clots could form.

AF and its treatment has only really been a hot topic for about 15 years and much more so in the last eight but treatment methods are improving all the time .




I have never found a real trigger for mine as what kicked it off one day won't do it again.


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