Has anyone experienced this "Demon in ... - Arrhythmia Alliance

Arrhythmia Alliance

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Has anyone experienced this "Demon in your chest or fish out of water" feeling ?Your take is appreciated!

groundedcloser profile image

Can anyone relate to this or am I the only one who feels there's a demon inside of me from time to time :)))

So I think I might have paroxysmal Afib(very benign, happens 1 to 2 /year) and it is triggered by salt, coffee, stress, medications(halls cough drops) which I eat like candy or was, MSG in Asian foods)

So on Saturday, I was out with my friend

It was a cheat day apparently for me. I don't really cheat as I'm on a whole foods diet but I went off.

Caffeine rich, syrup rich chai

Greasy Pizza

Then tacos

Then Asian food with soya sauce, lots of salt

Then 2 packs of halls

and Sugarfree gum with aspartame

Then I went to bed 1hour after eating and my heart just went off rhythm like it felt erratic, then skipped beats, then extra, then just flutter and then I got up, coughed hard and I was back in normal rhythm. It lasted about 5 seconds.

Funny thing I've had this happen 2 before, only at night and when I'm at rest and in my head. Never when I workout or during the day.

Once again my blood tests indicate my lipid panel is normal, my BP is normal and no history of heart disease in my family and in my parents who are still alive at 75.

I think it could have been all of that stuff I consumed as they acted as triggers. Not to mention I was exhausted and anxious. I do suffer from anxiety attacks here and there.

has anyone experienced the feeling like this where you heart feels like it's all over the place for a few seconds and irregular and then you just breathe or cough and you're back in normal rhythm? I didn't have any other symptoms like chest pain, dizziness, tiredness and I workout like a savage and have amazing conditioning.

Your take on this would help so any advice or anyone who experiences this or has in the past or am I the one who feels there's a demon in my chest from time to time? lol

I don't necessarily want to go to a Dr at this time, as they will give me a monitor and it's not going to catch anything. I'll have to have it on for 1 year. Once again it's a very paroxysmal case and I honestly don't think there's anything chronic . It can also be due to indigestion, the vagus nerve being irritated by all of those stimulants/irritants or going to bed too soon after eating.

5 Replies

I've certainly had the feeling like a fish is flopping around in my chest and it's horrible! I was diagnosed with AF 16 years ago . It happened a lot mostly at night and at times I wondered if I'd be found dead in my bed next morning. At first it would rarely strike, but then became worse and worse lasting for hours. I discovered that artificial sweeteners would trigger mine and I now have a diet that excludes them and all artificial additives.


Hi groundedcloser, You are in good company with that alarming feeling in your chest. It's the common end result of many kinds of heart arrhythmias. I think that certainly an eating binge, when you usually eat a very sensible diet, could certainly provoke this. Sugary foods can often do it as can chocolate and alcohol. So can eating a large meal as or quantity of food at one sitting through irritating the vagal nerve, as you've mentioned. If you want to prevent these seemingly rare attacks of Afib, then probably a good idea to curb the binging. There isn't likely to be much to be worried about at one attack per annum but if your Afib becomes more troublesome, then of course it should be investigated.

TracyAdmin profile image

Thank you for your post, you may find it helpful to download our patient booklet 'Identifying the Undiagnosed Person' and 'Palpitations Checklist' from our Patient Resources website, it is known that high stimulants can increase your heart rate if consumed in quick succession or over a prolonged period of time. It is important not to ignore such symptoms and its advisable to contact your health care provider at your earliest opportunity. heartrhythmalliance.org/aa/...

Hi. You have no choice but to visit a doctor. Absolutely necessary. Phil

I am 3 months post ablation for AFlutter.It was successfull as I'm off all tablets and no more tachy episodes.

However, on Friday I ate a whole slab of 70% chocolate while watching TV.

Suddenly I felt this bump, thump in my chest. It increased to chaotic ectopics and palpitations with no base rhythm at all. Hard extra beats with missed beats continually. Sore chest and dizziness.

I was convinced I was about die but would rather die in my bed than in a hospital corridor on a gurney.

It lasted for an hour and a half but still feeling a bit strange.

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