Foods That May Prevent Atrial Fibrillation

StopAfib.org - For Patients. By Patients - Stop Atrial Fibrillation

Last time, we mentioned the Micronutrient Information Center of the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Here’s some additional information from there related to cardiac arrhythmias:

“Walnuts are especially rich in alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid with a number of cardioprotective effects, including the prevention of cardiac arrhythmias that may lead to sudden cardiac death.”

So, walnuts can help prevent cardiac arrhythmias. Wow!

Other good sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) are flaxseed, flaxseed oil, walnut oil, canola oil, mustard oil, soybean oil, and tofu.

If you’re not familiar with flaxseed, check out my flaxseed article.

If you have atrial fibrillation, it might be worth considering adding these foods to your diet.

Do these foods help with your afib?

122 Responses to Foods That May Prevent Atrial Fibrillation

  • James Malloch says:

    I take digoxin daily 250 MCG for my reoccurring A-Fib.

    Recently, I have read that the supplement Hawthorne Berries aids digoxin in preventing A-Fib?

    Is there anyone with any feedback or knowledge on taking Hawthorne Berries to also prevent A-Fib?

    My A-Fib seems to be caused by extreme exercise as I have been a Master Triathlete for 20 years and I am now 66 and in excellent physical condition except for 4 bouts of A-Fib within the last 2 years.

    I want to continue triathlon participation, but I am concerned that my A-Fib on occasion may prevent me from doing so.

    Comments welcome.

  • Judy says:

    Interesting — I may work some walnuts into my meals just for the heck of it. I read the flaxseed article as the value of flaxseed keeps coming up over and over. 3 tbsp of flaxseed has 130 calories (of course walnuts have nearly as much). Eating 6 tbsp a day for your afib might add new health problems to your array! Unfortunately, it seems like there is no free lunch and you must pay for everything somehow. Sad.

  • Mellanie says:

    Judy,

    Yes, all things in moderation, including walnuts and flaxseed. 6 tbsp of flaxseed is probably more than you need. General recommendations for flaxseed are 1 tbsp per day for those without heart disease, 3-4 tbsp per day for those with heart disease. But that replaces other fats needed in the diet.

    Mellanie

  • Mellanie says:

    James,

    I’m not familiar with hawthorne berries with digoxin. You might post a query on Hans Larsen’s Lone Atrial Fibrillation forum (you’ll find the link in our Afib Forums section). They are the experts on diet and supplements, and I know that Hans has some strong feelings on diogixin based on his research.

    As a triathlete, you may find Ralph Miller’s story (http://www.stopafib.org/ralph.cfm) to be of interest. He shared the impact meds had on his athletics.

    Good luck.

    Mellanie

  • Christine says:

    I have been using Hawthorne for about one year now and it works to regulate my heart rhythm.
    Before I started using it my heart was so bad I was constantly terrified.
    I would wake up many times during the night and no matter what I did it would not stop.
    I went to one Dr who prescribed some medicine which I would not take and I looked up Hawthorne and it works wonders.
    It has been used as a treatment for heart issues for many many years.
    It also has great anti-oxidant qualities.
    Do your research and you will find it does help a lot.
    🙂

  • Gracie Bane says:

    I have LAF and have had two attacks both at Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving the attack lasted for 7 hours. Does anyone know if eating turkey may have something to do with the attacks?

  • Judi Neto says:

    The first time I had AF was several years ago. Two family members in separate incidents died in one week while I was on a cruise. I was the executor for one of them. I attributed the AF to stress. both incidents lasted over 10 hours. The next time it happened I’m positive it was caffien. I always ask for decalf but people are lax and think it won’t matter. This month I have had 2 incidents of 4 hrs each, in my sleep!!! This is scarey.
    It seems my heart does not like me laying on my left side. I kid you not.
    I am 68 years old, feel pretty good; recently separated, and recently in college. I was told last month I have stage 3 kidney disease. Which means my GFR (filtration rate) has diminished. A normal progression of old age. My GFR is 5 3 and it should be over 60 preferably 90. So the two health issues are very stressful.
    IM LOOKING FOR A SPECIAL DIET FOR AF or safe drug AS WELL AS A DIET FOR STAGE 3 KIDNEY DISEASE. (stage 5 is dialisis or transplant) I did read about walnuts and Omega -3 for AF. But Omerga 3 can cause bleeding and I am on aspirin therapy. I would love to have an “abilaton” but my Dr will not allow. The success rate for eradicting AF is above 80%
    So that is my story, and I am freaking out.
    Is it Ok to exercise? Just walking OK? December 2, 2010

  • Dawn says:

    Hawthorn leaves have actually been found to be the better source over the berries and are used by the professional supplement companies supplying to healthcare practitioners. Always go with a reliable company that standardizes their products for consistent strength and quality–generally for content of vitexin-2-rhamnoside and catechin polymers.

  • Dawn says:

    Quick note about digitalis (Digoxin) and hawthorn. Hawthorn increases the effect of digitalis, so should not be used without consulting your doctor. Digitalis dose would have to be decreased accordingly.

  • Shane says:

    Hi I’m 48 &male, I also have suffered from a fib for many years, have tried everything but abluton I think it’s called.

    I take a cartia ( orange pill once a day) this makes me feel lethargic & so on.

    what is hawthorne

    Regards shane

  • Linda M says:

    Hi, my comment is for Judi Neto. Judi I read your story and felt the need to write you. I read where you are taking aspirin and I had to question you on it. If you are on aspirin therapy, I would be concerned if I were you, because aspirin is said to cause kidney problems. And can also cause bleeding even on low doses. Google this: Can aspirin cause kidney problems. You will be surprised to see what comes up. If you need to take aspirin, look into taking ginger (powdered) instead. Ginger capsules are actually better than aspirin, not to mention safer, with no side effects that come from aspirin. As for your concern about bleeding with Omega 3’s, I would not worry unless you are taking over 3grams. Normal doses of fish oil should be fine and not cause any concerns of bleeding. Always follow the directions on the bottle too avoid taking to much of anything. Alpha lipoic acid is suppose to be great for many ailments including heart problems like a-fib, and many other ailments, may even be helpful too your kidneys. It is worth the try, since it is said to be safe. Anyway, I would stay clear of aspirin especially since you are already with stage 2 kidney problems. Aspirin will complicate things for you. Sadly, doctors do not tell patients these thingsfor whatever reason. And I would not listen to any doctor who tells me to continue to take aspirin with an existing kidney problem. It is a serious issue. I think the more healthier things you put in your body the better your body is going to be. Things like aspirin, are the same as taking a spoon of poison with your coffee, if you know what I mean. Natural things like ginger are safe and healthy, not to mention kind to the body. I wish you well, and hope you can turn your health problems around. 🙂
    Here is an article from a Dr. Merolas website about aspirin causing kidney problems:

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2002/02/13/aspirin-kidneys.aspx

  • Judi Neto says:

    Im new to Afib and want to know how do people live with constant Afib?
    I cant do anything Im too tired and weak during Afib. I am 68 and in very good health

    how do you know of you have chronc or paroximal?

    • Mellanie says:

      Judi,

      Have you seen an electrophysiologist (a cardiologist that specializes in heart rhythms)? You might tell him or her that you don’t want to stay in afib and want to know what can be done to get you out of afib. Good luck.

      Mellanie

  • Carolin Bael says:

    I have just been diagnosed with A-Fib. I have been on Warfarin for several years because of a blod clot in my lung and it has brought me this far. I would prefer to change my eating habits, lifestyle, whatever it will take not to have an invasive surgical procedure (only as a last resort). I am willing to change my life style. I am 76 y o and am an not a person who could be happy becoming a couch potatoe. I have read some articles and most seen to encourage a healthy diet. Please give me some feed back on where I can get the information I need. Carolin

    • Mellanie says:

      Carolin,

      The Lone Afib Forum specializes in diet and supplements to control afib. You might check in over there. The link is available on the right side of this forum, listed under Afib Forums. Hope that helps.

      Mellanie

  • Carolin Basel says:

    Sorry, I mispelled my last name in my comment. It is Basel not Bael. Would still like some suggestions/feedback. Thanks.

  • Tami says:

    I have had 5 episodes of atrial fibrillation where I have undergone cardioversionand one where I did not.
    During the first episode the EMT from a local Rescue Squad, entered my home and began talking with my husband about his artwork. When he tried to get her to take a look at me she literally told my husband I just wanted attention and if they waited long enough I would “snap out of it”. That since I” was a woman I was probably just having a panic attack.”
    Finally and reluctantly she checked my heart rate which had come down and was only 230 bpm with a blood pressure of 225/127 . (I usually have a bp of 120/60).
    My heart rythum returned to normal but when the EMT gave me a drink of water I could not swallow and I could not speak. Fortunately I recovered within minutes but for three years after I had trouble finding the right word when speaking, spelling, some of my long term memory was affected and my higher math skills were gone.
    When the future arrythmias began my husband called 911 immediately and I under went chemical cardioversion (i.v. administered Adenosine) enroute to the ER. (By the time the EMT’s arrived my heart rate was 315 bpm and bp was in the 220-225/125-150 range.

    I am so thankful that this website exists and that information about Atrial Fibrillation is being dispersed to the general public. I only hope that EMT’s, especially EMT’s in rural areas, like mine, are being educated about this as well.
    I hope no other woman has to go through what I did because of ignorance.

    • Mellanie says:

      Tami,

      I’m so sorry about what you went through. We’re trying to educate healthcare professionals that afib is not benign and that they need to take it very seriously.

      Mellanie

  • Vernell Burris Jr says:

    Greetings Mellanie,

    I am a 51 y o male. As recent as last week I was diagnosed with Arrhythmia; Atrial Flutter. I was also told my heart rate is low around 70 bpm. In addition I have sleep apnea and high blood pressure. Which my understanding complicates my arrhythmia issue. My doctor has me on Pradaxa. I have always been physically active and very competitive. My doctor has ordered me to stop working-out until my next office visit in 3 weeks. Is Arrhythmia for life? What should I expect to hear from the doctor on my next office visit?

    Congratulations on your forum, I’m so thankful for finding your website on the internet.

    Regards,

    Vernell Burris, Jr.

    • Mellanie says:

      Vernell,

      Thanks for your kind words. Your doctor wants to see if curtailing the physical activity will help, and it might.

      Afib and other arrhythmias are generally for life, unless you have a procedure to stop them. Whether or not it’s a permanent cure, we don’t yet know.

      Mellanie

  • John says:

    I had a third episode A-fib a few days ago, and have been in Diltiazem for 6 months.
    The doctor now wants to add flecainide to my daily regimen. Does anyone have any feedback about flecainide?

    • Mellanie says:

      Pink Orchid,

      Are you staying hydrated, along with getting enough magnesium and potassium? Those can all make a difference.

      If you’re exhausted from your afib, tell your doctor and ask what can be done to get you out of afib. Good luck.

      Mellanie

    • Mark says:

      Good point Melanie. Did anyone know that there is a prescription magnesium chloride that has 200mg/cc? You can take it intermittently during the day in water titrating it to a dose that minimizes your afib. Acute afib can be treated with an oral dose of 500mg. It’s formulated by Windham pharmacy in Windham, N.Y. You will need a prescription from your doctor to obtain it. If your kidney function is normal, you should not have a problem with high doses. In addition, this formulation does not seem to affect the bowel as much as magnesium capsules. It still may be a good idea to increase the dose gradually.

  • M. K. Anwar says:

    Dear Christine

    you said you used hawthorn for your heart abnormalities. Was it atrial fibrillation for which you used hawthorn? also pls. tell how do you use hawthorn? Do you take the leaves or you process them or you buy in packages from market? Also where can I find Hawthorn. In country hawthorn probably isn’t grown.

    Please tell details. Thanks and best regrads.
    M.K. Anwar

  • Robyn says:

    I am in AFib right now as I write this. ugh 🙁 I was fine until I ate some blueberry yogurt and an English Muffin with Apricot Preserves. Seems that every time I eat something sweet other then natural sweets ( like apples, oranges etc,,, ) my ticker starts to freak out. It use to be just cold drinks that set it off. I use to be on Atenolol, but it starting affecting my speech and memory. I was so tired all the time I just decided to carry it with me just in case. I’m 48, and have had AFib for 7 years now. I DO NOT RECOMMEND getting Cardioverged. The ER Doc almost couldn’t restart my heart after three attempts to bring it back to normal.

    My episodes happen maybe once or twice a year. I started a Juicing regiment and also started adding Green Magma to my drinks. Great stuff!!! I guess I need to lay off the sweets. Any one out there have the same issues?

    Thanks, Robyn

    • Luis says:

      Hi Robyn. It’s been a long time since your comment but it is very interesting to me because yesterday night I felt repeated ectopic beats (which in my case sometimes are followed by an AFIB episode) and the only thing that I can think could provoke it was a cup of blueberry yogurt, I found this comment just searching for yogurt and arrythimia. Very good advice yours to be careful with the cardioversion.
      Greetings and Thanks.
      Luis

  • Pat says:

    It is a cardioversion. It can save your life. There is more than one way to do it. There is medication the ER can use to restore normal rhythm rather quickly. A mechanical cardioversion does NOT stop the heart, just corrects the rhythm. An ER doctor should not perform cardioversion. Only your cardiac electrophysiologist. Persistent atrial fib can lead to stoke and heart failure, so just living with it is deadly. Persistent A-fib absolutely requires a blood thinner to prevent blood clots which cause stroke.

  • Beverly says:

    Robyn, when you eat a meal with lots of carbs/sugars you get a serge of insulin. insulin can cause a shift in Potassium. It is moved from the blood stream into the cells. I have a problem with loosing potassium and recently found that out. Any time your potassium is messed up it could trigger a cardiac problem. Limiting your carbs will help your heart and also your blood sugar. I also use co-Q10 and it makes my heart feel calm instead of gittery. thanks Bev

  • Hello Mellanie and thank you for the information you delivered into cyber space for those who are seeking answers for this terrible health condition. You appear to be one holistic health practitioner who knows what they are talking about. Thanks are extended to the other posters before me who have given some good information also.

    Do you know if Nattokinase helps AFIB? It is a natural clot buster without the side effects. Is anyone reading this taking Nattokinase for their AFIB?

    Also, is it okay to take less than a cup of coffee in the morning if one has AFIB?

    Thanks for your answer

  • randolph von Gans says:

    John had this question , I had a third episode A-fib a few days ago, and have been in Diltiazem for 6 months.
    The doctor now wants to add flecainide to my daily regimen. Does anyone have any feedback about flecainide?
    I used flecainide for 7 years without a recurrence of Afib, after I had a blockage of a coronary artery this could not be used, since then I have had two episodes of afib in 6 months.

    • grami_1838 says:

      What dose are you on, I was on 120 but sstill went inot Afib but now she has me on 240 and if I get tired all the time like before she says Pacemaker is the next step but I have faith that 240 will work I don’t want surgery

  • Jennifer says:

    My husband (64) was diagnosed with a-fib about 3 years ago. He has gone through 3 Cardioversions the 2nd worked about a year and a half the 3rd worked about 3 days than back to afiib then back to normal about 1 month later than back to afib about 2 months after that which was 4 days ago. So sad… This time is the worst yet. He is very busy and has will not stop his business, but he is exhausted. He is on so many pills and lost faith in his doctor since he didn’t ask certain question upon his first visit 3 years ago and never told him to change his lifestyle or even ask his current lifestyle. Are there any foods or natural remedies that have helped others to put there heart back in rythym?

  • Sharon says:

    I found this web blog by accidentally typing a search backward in google.

    I was trying to double back to again MAKE SURE I read correctly. The web site I was after is one I consult frequently because I’m no food genius. When I saw this I thought, ok, lets share.

    http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=111

    Scroll down until you hit his subtitle: Cardiovascular Protection from Omega-3 Fats, then READ.

    Some of you may not like Tofu and Tempeh. In our situation its wise to overcome that unless you are seriously allergic. Not many are since tofu is used in a WIDE range of food manufacture.

    I saw one gentleman post that hes about 62 and willing to change his diet rather than undergo any invasive procedure. I’m a vet. I had to have stents put in at a V.A. hospital. Yes its an emotionally frightening experience but you really don’t feel it. Invasive these days isn’t like it would be in the 1960’s or so. Or Buddha forbid even earlier but I agree because there is a risk of a blockage breaking away and a stroke happening right on the table and you’re awake to experience it. (No, I didn’t.) But like you I have changed my diet radically. No fast food. My meat intake is close to zero. Most of my food is beans, veggies and tofu. I prefer bison burgers as a splurge once a month, if that. Most of my “junk food” comes from a health food store.

    Thanks for listening to my little health food speech.

    Namaste

    • Mellanie says:

      As someone who is allergic to soy, let me caution folks to be very careful with it as soy is a very common allergy. In addition there are other reasons to be careful not to over-consume soy products. So be very careful with soy.

  • I think people should first concentrate on removing foods that may cause arrhythmia from their diet, and only after this focusing on foods that may prevent arrhythmia. Otherwise you’re just fixing a symptom, not an underlying cause.

    I’ve had arrhythmia for many years, and I managed to defeat it only by removing certain foods and drinks from my diet. I did not add anything new.
    You can read my whole story (along with complete medical documentation) here:

    http://www.mcarticles.com/a/how-i-cured-my-arrhythmia-a-personal-story

  • jim p says:

    I have had afib for the past three year. I have been converted 5 times and had 1 ablasion so far any advise. Im on thinners and digoxin.

    • Mellanie says:

      Jim,

      So the ablation didn’t work? What has the electrophysiologist who did the ablation recommended as the next step?

      Sometimes a second ablation will solve the problem, especially if it is flutter rather than afib. But if it is afib, sometimes surgery is worth considering.

      Mellanie

    • ElmerFittery says:

      I heard about a combination surgery/ablation.  They do both procedures at the same time.  Basically a COX-MAZE procedure to the surface of the heart plus a ablation to the interior of the heart.  I heard about it from Ralph Damiano MD – my cardiologist.
      Barnes Jewish Hospital Plz # 3108 Saint Louis, MO 63110 =
      314-362-7260
       

    • mellanie says:

       @ElmerFittery , Yes, Dr. Damiano does a hybrid procedure (surgery and catheter ablation), and many other teams of surgeons and EPs around the US are doing this as well.
       
      Mellanie

  • William says:

    just found this site today, great stuff! I am 42 and have had afib fo close to 5 years now. I was a tobacco user for many years (snuff) and have quit since last year….the 1 st couple of times i had episodes was in relation to drinking to much the previous evening…all that is behind me now, i even gave up caffeine…so i rarely consume alcohol, havnt had caffeine in a couple of years, i dont touch nicotine anymore….and i still get 2-3 episodes a year. i dont take any meds because they make me feel terrible, i do work out 3-4 days per week…i do believe that the right diet can help prevent afib, as aspartme has given me a flutter now and then, i just dont know what that diet is??
    My doctor tells me to stop all these bad habits, which i did, butr she never mentions the stress that i have in my life and how that can be a possibility??
    please comment….

    • Mellanie says:

      William,

      Stress is a very common cause or trigger, though not often mentioned by doctors. See our blog post below about stress. If it weren’t such a common issue, there likely wouldn’t be 147 comments on that blog post. In addition, you can click on Stress in the list of categories (lower right side of the page) to see more stress-related articles.

      Does Stress Cause Atrial Fibrillation?

      Mellanie

    • grami_1838 says:

      I was just in the hosp with Afib, it is scary I’ve had major surgery on my foot and worried about finances so the stress level is high but they insitst it doesn’t cause it but what I don’t understand when your blood pressure goes up from stree how can it not cause you to go into Afib
       

    • mmoss says:

      Grami,
      Post-surgery afib is not that uncommon, but typically goes away in 95% of those cases. Some people have spoken about their success with using magnesium, potassium, and fish oil to help. You may also consider staying well-hydrated. Good luck.

      [email protected]

    • cindylou says:

      Some diet triggars you did not mention that trigger AF attacks are foods with MSG:

      http://www.ezhealthydiet.com/msg-in-food.html

      Here are some of the names by which MSG in food has been disguised. We suggest that you avoid all foods with these additives:

      Monosodium Glutamate Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein Hydrolyzed Protein Hydrolyzed Plant Protein Plant Protein Extract Sodium Caseinate Calcium Caseinate Yeast Extract Texturized Protein Autolyzed Yeast Hydrolyzed Oat Flour

      The following are additives that frequently, but don’t always contain MSG:

      Malt Extract Malt Flavoring Bouillon Broth Stock Natural Flavoring Natural Beef or Chicken Flavoring Seasoning

      As you can see, many of the names of hidden MSG in food sound very “user friendly:” Natural flavorings, bouillon, seasoning etc.

    • cindylou says:

      See my below comments regarding MSG (MSG is in the same chemical family as aspartme, both of which are also known as excitotoxins: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2384105525501310962)

      Also, add Magnesium (we like “natural calm”), trace minerals (we like (TraceMins), and Hawthornberry. This info has allowed my Mom to address her AF at age 78 and use no drugs. They had put her on coumadin. I would suggest you get set up with a holistic nutritionist as well, this conditon is too serious to handle by yourself.

    • Lucy says:

      I totally agre. My 84 year old mother does not respond well to traditional meds, …she still takes some. Coconut juice helps her to slow down her heart when it is racing, a low fat diet free of chemicals and preservatives is of essence(it can be done). We allways suspected her thyroid was hyper..though no medical tests could prove it…she began taking a “nutritional supplement for the tyroid” by RV Garden…Thyroid Support and that did it. We found that when she goes off this product her A Fib acts up. If you research thyroid and A Fib you will find that there is a connection. Inform yourself, have an open mind and be willing to make changes, there are options! Wish you all the best!

  • Richard says:

    My A Fib always starts with what feels like a spasm or contraction in the top of my stomach then I feel my throat flutter right in the little depression on your lower neck. If I let is go on too long my heart starts to flutter too. I was in the hospital 2 years ago because I went to the emergency room and they admitted me. I told the Dr. I have to watch what I eat, if I eat too much it will trigger and attack. The Dr. gave me Bentyl for my stomach to control the attacks and it seems to do the job. I take a Bentyl when I and starting to have an attack and it stops in 30 minutes. No one believes me when I tell them food causes me to have an attack. Has anyone else heard of this?

    • Mellanie says:

      Richard,

      Absolutely. That’s a hallmark of “vagally-mediated” afib, which is related to the vagal nerve and can result from eating. It is less common than “adrenergic” afib.

      Mellanie

    • Lynnster says:

      @Richard… I have the same problem and that’s what spawned me finding websites like this one in search of an answer! Thank you!

    • Scott says:

      Yes! Food seems to always be the problem before I have an afib attack. My understanding is that it’s all about body inflammation – certain foods cause inflammation in the blood vessels, stomach nerves, etc – which (for me) can trigger high blood pressure complications, sleep apnea and afib. I doing more research on this – but for me it’s fresh fruits and vegetables and low sodium chicken all the way.

  • Brenda says:

    Mellanie, my husband is in permanent AF, discovered shortly before he was diagnosed with a rare auto-immune muscle disease called polymyositis – and AF is often found with this. 2 cardioversions didn’t work for more than a week each, during which he felt good. Would you know, or be able to point me to, whether Ablation might be considered as having a chance of success? Thanks.

    • ElmerFittery says:

      It works anywhere from 50% to 80% of the time.  If you have multiple procedures you get up to 90% cure.  When to do it depends how debilitating it is verses the possibility of death.  Hard call.  I have been considering having the procedure  for about 5 years.  On thing I can say is that the technology is improving.

  • Dan says:

    Hello all. I just had an episode of A-Fib a few days ago. Was in the hospital for 2 days. Right now my doctor is giving me metoprolol to control it. Last checkup he is surprised it isn’t working. he doubled my dose and now im wearing a halter for 24 hours. Results next week. he says if it don’t stop, im looking at a pace maker. Heart with sonogram was strong, looked great he said. he said this has happened to me from my sleep apnea. i do wear a cpap. anyways, i wanted to get your opinion on a pace maker. and if that seems like a good idea. I’m really scared as to all of this, im only 44 and when i found this site i wanted to get your opinion. Thank you so much for your time…

    • Lynnster says:

      @Dan… When they put in a “pacemaker”, they cut the natural pacemaker we already have to regulate our heart. you will be totally dependent on the component. Find a good MD that’s gone “Alternative”.

  • LennieRomero says:

    Had my first SVt yesterday. 33 male nurse. Onset was abrupt and scary. Hr went to 234. EKG showed sinus tach. For the most part I live a very busy life. Work, school, maintaining my own home and the care of my 99 yo grandmother and mom with Trach care. I will Be seeing a cardiologist. Any advice for affective lifestyle modifications other than eliminating stress?

    Thanks

  • Aveco says:

    I am a new atrial fib patient. I am not sure if you have discussed this before, but just before I have an episode of AF, I have to urinate very frequently, sometimes going to the restroom 2 or 3 times. I do drink a lot of water each day, but is this a ‘normal’ symptom just before onset of AF?
     
    Thank you + thanks for the interesting questions and answers found here!
     
     
     
     

    • mellanie says:

       @Aveco This is a common response in those who have vagally-mediated afib. As I understand it, it is a result of the body trying to stabilize the chemical balance in the body.
       

    • barbara says:

      Like you l also urinate a lot when I have an a-fib spell. I have read about the vagal type of afib . I thought l was only person that experienced this. I know how you feel. My doctor doesn’t seem concerned.

  • ElmerFittery says:

    My cardiologist told me that there is a pace maker that will control atrial atrial-fibrillation.  My electro-physiologist said there is no such device.  Anybody out there have a pacemaker to control afib?  thanks

    • mellanie says:

       @ElmerFittery , What your cardiologist probably meant was that the pacemaker slows the fast heartbeats that are being transmitted to the ventricles (lower chambers of the heart) so you don’t have ventricular fibrillation that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest. However, your EP is correct – there is no pacemaker that will stop the afib itself.

    • Doris Goheen says:

      I have had a pacemaker for a year. It was put in to make my heart start beating whenever it stopped. It has no bearing on my AFib for which I have started taking Xarelto Rivaroxaban.

  • richt says:

    I have been diagnosed with a fib, in which they had to shock my heart back into rhythm the first time. Dr put me on Sotolol which I still kept going into a fib, then he increased my sotolol & I still keep going into a fib, he now wants to put me on flecsinide, which I am a little scared as to all of the bad side effects. Is anyone else on this medication & do I have need to be concerned?
    Rich

    • Aveco says:

       @richt I am not an MD, but as an AF patient – these meds have been suggested to me by my cardiologist, and so far –I have declined. They are toxic drugs and I don’t want to risk taking them. I have tried to change my lifestyle with a careful diet, stress reduction, low salt, exercise, etc + lots of diltiazem each day. The possible side effect: “sudden death” isn’t something I want to try.

    • Jimmy Ling says:

      I am also on Diltiazem and I wonder i have read in other blogs their is a difference in the generic or the name brand Cartizem. Have u found a difference when u use a different manufacturer?

    • mmoss says:

      Hi Jimmy,
      People frequently report differences between generic warfarin and brand Coumadin, and we occasionally hear patients report about differences among manufacturers for other afib drugs. You might want to discuss this with your pharmacist for more definitive answers. Good luck.

      Melissa @StopAfib.org

    • Lynnster says:

      My doctor (a medical MD but alternative) has put me on 4000 MG of Omega 3’s Fish Oil (this is the blood thinner), Natto-Serrazimes, Ginko Biloba and Digoxin. The Afib drugs can and do create a permanent Afib. This therapy is for 6 mos. If I still have Afib in 6mos. we will do another round for 6 mos. By then it should be healed! My Afib is not caused from any kind of heart disease or anything they can find.

    • grami_1838 says:

      Dear Richt, Ask your Doctor about Diltizem I’m on 240 mg, and so far so good, no side effects that I have noticed. I was on a lower dose and went into afib but she upped my dose and no afib

    • richt says:

       @grami_1838
       @grami_1838 
       Thank you, I will.  I hope it will work for me. And I like the fact of no side effects. 
       

    • Heather says:

      Richt, I am 29 years old and was taking Flecinaide (sorry can’t spell it) 50mg twice a day. I didn’t have any side affects. It’s critical that your heart is structurally ok before you begin these meds though. I am trying to have a baby so they put me on the pill in the pocket approach. I had a fib this morning and took 200mg of flec and 50 mg of atenolol. It is scary beginning new meds especially these serious ones. I feel for you. Just know that you are not alone.

    • mmoss says:

      Richt,
      You may be interested in posting your question about Flecainide over on the StopAfib.org discussion forum. There are quite a few users over there who may have similar experiences or stories they could share with you about their afib journeys, which may include Flecainide or other drugs. I can understand your fear in taking such a potent drug, and making sure you choose the right option is often tricky. Good luck!

      StopAfib.org Discussion Forum: http://forum.stopafib.org. To post or ask questions, you’ll need to register. Instructions for registering and getting started are here: http://forum.stopafib.org/index.php?showforum=25.

      Melissa @StopAfib

  • Aveco says:

    After I had a lengthy pity-party when I found out I am an AF patient – I just try to do the same things I used to, with modifications. No more gardening for 4 hours after work, or hikes in intense sun. Thankfully I can still swim laps all year, and have even met a few lap swimmers who are AFibbers too. It is so common! Love this site, and enjoy the interesting comments and questions.

  • richt says:

     @Aveco 
    Thank you for your comments.  I was afraid of the new med he wants to put me on. But I am still having episodes at night where it wakes me up.  At the moment I will stay with the sotolol but will increase my exercise & diet.  I am also on blood pressure medicine so I didn’t want to add more med on top of that.  I heard that walnuts are good for a fib, does anyone know what other foods are good for a fib?  Just want to stop having episodes.
     

    • debbieshew says:

      I have just been diganoised with Afib and its driving me crazy, I think they have it under control with medication but I wanted to know if there is some diet to follow to help with this problem.

  • Aveco says:

    I think you may have fewer episodes when you get your blood pressure under control. I understand how upsetting it is when you wake up at night with AF, but don’t be discouraged. One thing I have tried after 12+ hours of AF, the day after when I am not feeling great –  I have started to read more, which has helped my morale, and the quiet time is beneficial too. Sorry if that sounds kind of new-age hippie chick. Best of luck to you.

    • Barbara says:

      I just stumbled upon this site and I’m so glad to read all these comments and concerns expressed by everyone about their afib. My cardiologist has recommended Sotolol but again, I’m nervous about taking it. I am currently on Bisoproplol which keeps my rate relatively regular however, the rhythm is all over the map. My afib wakes me up at night too. Besides eating properly, exercising and stress release, I’m going to try some natural products like Vitamin B12 and perhaps CoQ10. Can anyone suggest any other natural products? Thanks for your input.

  • Michele says:

    Hi Scott,I just wanted to know what other foods could help me with A-FB along with the sleep apnea? Thanks for the tip, I mostly eat chicken and fruit so any other info I would gladly appreciate and good luck to all who reads this.

  • Aloma Wright says:

    I have been trailed on a new drug called Xaeelto rivoroxaban for AB..as well as high blood pressure tablet. Prior to that I have been on Warfirin which required weekly blood test to monitor.
    However today my urine had blood in it…which is one of the side effects.
    I would like to improve my diet..and wonder if the Thai diet would be a good thing..as it is loaded with good fats and fresh vegetables..
    Any other tips with diet would be appreciated…

    • mmoss says:

      Hi Aloma,
      What is the Thai Diet? We are not familiar with it. You may want to discuss the blood with your doctor to make sure your dosage of Xarelto is right for you. Our discussion forum is undergoing maintenance, but will be back soon and that would be a good place to discuss diet with others. (forum.stopafib.org)

      Melissa

  • Cade says:

    Hi! I am 27 and also have afib. My first episode was about three years ago a week before I was getting married. Which the Dr shocked my heart back into rhythm. The second episode was two days ago while I was at work. The Dr told me to go home and take the flecainide that he prescribed to me. After a few hours after taking the meds it went back into rhythm. I don’t like taking these meds. Are there any other options? They said stress was the key factor!

    • Marika says:

      Hello Cade, I have very bad atrial fib episodes, but the propafenone my cardiologist prescribed has a mile-long side effects, so I don’t want to take it. Recently I read the book “The Magnesium Miracle”, and I started adding magnesium to my vitamin regiment. I noticed a big improvement in thefrequency of episodes.

  • Sam Mather says:

    I am 22 years old and was diagnosed with a fib last year. I am currently taking 80 ml 3 times a day of solotol. I am always tired and am looking for anything that would help me naturally. I am a mother of 3 and do not want this bringing me down. Any and all information would be greatly appreciated! You can email me at [email protected]
    Thank you in advance.
    Sam

  • Sam Mather says:

    I am 22 years old and was diagnosed with a fib last year. I am currently taking 80 ml 3 times a day of solotol. I am always tired and am looking for anything that would help me naturally. I am a mother of 3 and do not want this bringing me down. Any and all information would be greatly appreciated!
    Thank you in advance.
    Sam

  • Mary lou Louis says:

    I was recently diagnosed with AF and i was wondering how do i get rid of it once and for all!!! I really was scared cause i have 3 children and with this happening to me, i don’t know what expect. I see that there is a lot of things that may slow down the pace of these episodes, but is there anything where it won’t come back at all!!!!

  • Mel says:

    I went to my Doctor,and had a heart rate of 150,i was in the hospital for a few days. I was given,Metoprolol,cardizem,multaq,
    clopidogrel,and 1 asprin a day.
    Every thing may be good for a while,and then my heart will just go
    high.my eating habits are change.my heart itself is good,i dont have
    sugar.no high colostrol.I am not a large person.
    I notice that when i take the multaq it sends my heart faceing.
    Does this happen to others?

  • I am 76 and have had 2 ablations.I am not cured.I love
    the doctor,but he did not fix it.I am on Multaq,and
    atenolol..I also take xanex..I am not sure what sets
    it off.My episodes are at night and I now take an
    extra atenolol when it happens.It passes within and hour.

    • mmoss says:

      You may be interested in joining our discussion forum. Click here to get to the StopAfib.org Discussion Forum. To post or ask questions, you’ll need to register. Instructions for registering and getting started are here.

  • Bryan Ray says:

    I just started having afib in Feb, and ended up with a blood clot in my lung. Right now I’m weaning off of Caffeine, and was looking for more information concerning what I can eat to start me on a better healthy road to recovery. I’m 56 and very active in running and biking. Your forum page is very hard to navigate and none of your instruction on how to create an account are easy to follow.

    • Myrna says:

      I am 76. Had afib for decades, maybe all my life. Was on different meds felt terrible, in and out of hospital until my doctor said you are grounded. Sent me to Washington Hospital Center for ablation. I am off of afib meds. I feel some flutter occasionally if I get stressed. I take blood pressure med. I recommend ablation for afib. Go to good heart rythm Doctor and hospital that does them professionally.

  • ALVIN ADAMS JR says:

    JUST FOUND THIS FOR AFIB… I AM HAVING PROBLEMS WITH THE DOCTORS;;;TRY THIS TRY THAT..WAITE 3 DAYS, WAITE 4 DAYS…. I AM ON CUMANDIN, EFFIENT , PLAVEX WHEN ( FINISHED WITH EFFIENT),,,MY CUMANDIN INR WENT TO 2.5 AND TO DAY…5.5,,,SOUNDS LIKE LOTS OF ??? TO ME….MY BODY ABSORBS MEDS FAST.AND I HEAL FAST..I AM 73…VERY ACTIVE…. AND NOW I AM SCARED….WHAT TO EAT, HOW TO ACT..AND THE MEDS CAUSE BLEEDING..ETC…WALNUTS SOUND LIKE OLD SCHOO….I HAD THE ELECTRO SHOCK TO HEART AND IT WENT TO RHYTHM..AND NOW 3 DAYS LATER BACK TO AFIB…I AM GETTING TIRED OF RUNNING WID HELP mmOSS… OLD BUT NOT DUMB…HELP,,,,ALVIN ADAMS.214-709-5199 HELP THESE DOCS WILL NOT KILL ME…:(

    • allan says:

      get on magnesium right of way..not the pill..get eithr remag..a liquid or natural calm a powder and take every day..within a few weeks you should see improvement

  • loretta says:

    I have a fib for 5 years nothing works im 74 im not stupid im on new medicine not working now they say a sleep test is next HELP join the crowd I very tired of it to I don,t think I,m going to get better

  • Jes L says:

    I’ve had constant a-fib for the past 7 or 8 years, but it’s the type that’s tolerable. Recently I’d been feeling stressed so I started going to a sport massage therapist. He introduced me to Genie Rub professional massage units. So I purchased one and I use here at home regularly with the extremity accessory attachment. I swear EVERY home should have one of these units! I had read massage therapy lowers stress and can be good for the heart. Who couldn’t use less stress which tends to kill people?? So anyway, I recently discovered another small miracle called ground flaxseed. I discovered it by accident. I had purchased a bag of ground flaxseed a couple of weeks ago, heard flaxseed was good for the heart, but I never opened it to try it. I almost threw the bag out having lost interest till the other night when my refrigerator had been empty except for the bag of flaxseed! I’m single, you know the story. So being hungry at the time I said what the heck. I poured a little of the ground flaxseed in a cup, grabbed a spoon and headed for the living room. I ate it while watching TV chewing on each spoonful! 🙂 Guys eat anything in front of a television? I also drank some water with it because it grew rather thick chewing on it. I was NOT expecting a reaction, however, but 10 minutes later (I kid you not) I happened to noticed I was feeling differently. I noticed my heart was quiet. Having had a-fib for many years I’d grown used to feeling/hearing my heartbeat. I was overjoyed because my heart was quiet! So needless to say I chew-on a few tablespoons of ground flaxseed every day. It’s been nearly a week now and my heart is still quiet! I love it! What I think is happening is it’s lowering my blood pressure. My BP had been a bit high lately. I take my BP at home sometimes. I haven’t checked it lately. I’m not mentioning the brand of flaxseed I had purchased as an advertisement or anything. I just know some people might ask what flaxseed it was. It was Spectrum Essentials Organic Premium Ground Flaxseed. I just happened to see “ground flaxseed” while food shopping at the store a couple of weeks ago. I remembered having read flaxseed was good for the heart so I grabbed a bag!

    • Jes L says:

      I also want to mention I’m a bit of an odd duck. I don’t like doctors nor prescription meds. Since I don’t have family and only a few friends I don’t take anything for the a-fib. I’ve chosen to take the risk than to suffer taking the meds or heart procedures. It’s been 7 or 8 years now and my symptoms are tolerable. In fact, I’m feeling better in recent years than I had years ago! Years ago I used to have occasional problems with shortness of breath. I used to get scared from that! Now I just monitor how I feel. I minimize stress by using my Jeanie Rub Professional massage unit and I sometimes stop-by to visit my sport massage therapist for a 30-min massage! I also eat the right foods that are good for the heart such as avocado, blueberries, fish, no salt sardines, dark, leafy salads, pomegranate and now ground flaxseeds! I also stay away from orange juice and most fruit juices. I noticed my prostate is healthier for it! I pee like a teenager as long as I stay away from orange juice! Once in a while I go for walks and I’m thinking maybe I’ll start bicycle-riding again! I believe the main things that are helping me are: I like to eat heart-healthy foods, sometimes vegetarian, and I keep all forms of stress in check via the use of massage therapy. I also like to live gratefully for what I have.

    • Brenna Lara says:

      Hi Jes,

      Thank you for sharing your story and thoughts concerning your afib and ground flaxseed. You may be interested in joining our patient discussion forum (http://forum.stopafib.org/index.php) to connect with other patients who collectively have a great amount of knowledge and experience. You may want to post your story there, and you may also learn a lot from others who have already shared their experience. I hope that you are able to find others to connect with there that can give you advice, suggestions and hope. There are many resources on living with afib that you might find helpful. Best of luck to you! We wish you sinus rhythm.

  • Rosemary says:

    Prayer works I too have afib it has been 4 years now.
    And I’m barely learning to eat the right foods.
    And I do take natural herbs and vitamins and working with a naturopathic doctor. Most afib friends have told me to have my thyroids checked out. Some of these friends believe their afib has stopped. Since they had their thyroids checked out. So I will do that pretty soon. So I will pray for all those here suffering from afib I am a firm believer in prayer. I now have much compassion for those suffering from afib. It can be a scary thing this I know for sure where the heart is concerned. So be at peace and know GOD is with you.

    • Brenna Lara says:

      Thank you for sharing your afib story, Rosemary. You may be interested in joining our patient discussion forum (http://forum.stopafib.org/index.php) to connect with other patients who collectively have a great amount of knowledge and experience. You may want to post your story and questions there, and you may also learn a lot from others who have already shared their experience. I hope that you are able to find others to connect with there that can give you advice, suggestions, and hope. There are many resources on living with afib that you might find helpful. Best of luck to you! We wish you sinus rhythm.

    • Neka says:

      To Rosemary
      Thank you for your sharing life WITH a fib.
      Also:we who have this all so are blessed by your prayers and sharing you hope in our Lord. This has blessed me.
      Also:I wanted to let you know I have joined in prayer with you e all who have afib

  • Mickie says:

    I was diagnosed with AF 7 years ago. I have tried many different suggestions from the doctor and friends with AF, nothing has worked for me. I will try some of the suggestions (flaxseed & walnuts) and let you know if any of them work for me.
    My sister-in-law has AF and she puts a ice pack on the back of her neck for about an hour and says it goes away. I have tried this but no results.
    Mickie

    • Brenna Lara says:

      Hi Mickie,

      I’m so sorry that nothing that you have tried has worked for you. Please see my answer to Jennifer below, where I suggest that you visit our patient discussion forum. It is located at http://forum.stopafib.org/index.php. There you can connect with other people and get some advice and tips that might help you. It’s a great community to meet other patients and share stories and experiences. I hope that you find it helpful! Wishing you sinus rhythm.

  • William says:

    I want to know if Afib causes systolic readings that
    Vary from 118 to 145 to155. In 20 minutes without exertion

    • Brenna Lara says:

      Hi William,

      Thank you for sharing your afib story and your question about afib causing systolic readings. You may be interested in joining our patient discussion forum (http://forum.stopafib.org/index.php) to connect with other patients who collectively have a great amount of knowledge and experience. You may want to post your specific questions there, and you may also learn a lot from others who have already shared some questions and answers.

      You’ll need to join to see and participate in the discussion. To do so, go to forum.stopafib.org, and click on the big red button that says, “Sign Up”. Once you sign up by registering your email address, your preferred username, and a password, you’ll receive an email to confirm your interest in joining the forum. Click on the confirmation link in that email, and you are ready to go. You’ll be able to log into the forum, read the discussions, and participate. I hope that you are able to find others to connect with there that can give you advice, suggestions, and hope.

      For more information on afib and afib management, we have many resources available to you.
      • News Stories on afib http://www.stopafib.org/news.cfm
      • Patient Resources at MyAfibExperience.org

      We wish you sinus rhythm. Please let me know if you need help registering for the forum or if you need help with anything else at all.

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