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SugarIsIt, October 15,  2019  11:11pm EST

This stops A-Fib, or reduces it's severity.

After 9 years of trying different foods and logging EVERYTHING I ate, I found sugar (and to a lesser degree, salt – i.e. dehydration) was triggering my Afib. Doctors don't want to hear this - there is no money in telling patients to eat less sugar. Each person has a different sugar threshold - and it changes as you get older, so you need to count every gram of sugar you eat every day (including natural sugars in fruits, etc.). My tolerance level was 190 grams of sugar per day 8 years ago, 85 grams a year and a half ago, and 60 grams today, so AFIB episodes are more frequent and last longer. If you keep your intake of sugar below your threshold level your AFIB will not happen again (easier said than done of course). It's not the food - it's the sugar (or salt - see below) IN the food that's causing your problems. Try it and you will see - should only take you 1 or 2 months of trial-and-error to find your threshold level. And for the record - ALL sugars are treated the same (honey, refined, agave, natural sugars in fruits, etc.). I successfully triggered AFIB by eating a bunch of plums and peaches one day just to test it out. In addition, I have noticed that moderate exercise (7-mile bike ride or 5-mile hike in the park) often puts my Afib heart back in to normal rhythm a couple hours later. Don’t know why – perhaps you burn off the excess sugars in your blood/muscles or sweat out excess salt??

Also, in addition to sugar, if you are dehydrated - this will trigger AFIB as well. It seems (but I have no proof of this) that a little uptick of salt in your blood is being treated the same as an uptick of sugar - both cause AFIB episodes. (I’m not a doctor – it may be the sugar in your muscles/organs and not in your blood, don’t know). In any case you have to keep hydrated, and not eat too much salt. The root problem is that our bodies are not processing sugar/salt properly and no doctor knows why, but the AFIB seems to be a symptom of this and not the primary problem, but medicine is not advanced enough to know the core reason that causes AFIB at this time. You can have a healthy heart and still have Afib – something inside us is triggering it when we eat too much sugar or get (even a little) dehydrated. Find out the core reason for this and you will be a millionaire and make the cover of Time Magazine! Good luck!   




PS – there is a study backing up this data you can view at:

5 Replies
  • Patio7
    Patio7, October 16,  2019  8:28am EST

    I have found just a nice dessert, like homemade apple pie, is enough sugar to push me into afib, especially if I am in a vulnerable space, say overtired or dehydrated a bit .  Easy fix...just don't go there😠

  • grandscheme
    grandscheme, October 16,  2019  8:28am EST

    Good morning SugarISIT.

    Thank you for this post. Lots of wisdom here. Interesting information on sugars. Not much of it in my own diet, but I'll pay more attention now.

    Long ago I cut out sodium to a degree beyond what most people would or even could. Food now tastes terrific because it's not overly doctored. And I cook most of my meals. It took a while to grow accustomed to the new reality, but I've done it because my health is number one priority.

    Our American foods are LOADED with sodium, mostly as preservative, lesser so for flavoring. The restaurant reviewer Craig Claiborne swore off most sodium after a doctor told him to change his lifestyle or else. A big OR ELSE. He wrote a cookbook amending excellent recipes to ones with the most minimal amount of sodium. It can likely be found through the library. 

    Now if someone forced me to eat even a small bag of potato chips I'd be totally revolted by the salty content -- it would taste vile.

    There needs to be a good balance of sodium, water, potassium and other components to stay healthy. But anyone who lives off take-out, cold cuts, drive-through window foods, restaurant meals etc.,  may (I say "may" because I can only speak for myself) be complicating their health. The heart has an extra burden when we're loaded with sodium and insufficient water.

    I have a fun life with lots of socializing --  I mention this because everyone in my life now knows what I can and will not do in terms of food. I also gave up alcohol long ago because that is a universally recognized trigger for many people, and stay away from caffeinated products. I'll do anything to control this life-altering condition which is occasional for me.

    When everyone around me is lifting a glass of wine I life one filled with sparkling water.

    Stress is another trigger. So I chose carefully who I spend time with and avoid people who want to argue or have short fuses. Recently I was in a situation where someone became angry (not at me, thank goodness) but I could feel my heart skip a beat or two. Adrenaline rush.

    There is sooooo much afibbers can do to manage their condition by lifestyle changes and your tip on sugars is welcome.


  • Spencer
    Spencer, October 16,  2019  8:35am EST

    Spencer here... I think what you say is true for some, but not all.  AFib is a very personal and individual disease and triggers are not the same for all.  For me, my biggest and hardest AFib was commenced while sitting on my couch after a nice party on New Year's Eve.  Most of my AFibs started with me on my couch, and I seriously doubt that lounging was my trigger point, but then again, it might be.    My point is that many will have triggers, but many will also have none.

  • grandscheme
    grandscheme, October 16,  2019  10:06am EST

    Hi Spencer,


    My heart stopped on New Year's Eve two years ago and rescue was called, then pacemaker was inserted. And I'd had no alcohol or "trigger" foods.

    Just standing, then wham, prone.

    But the siren made a nice NYE noise!



  • MellanieSAF
    MellanieSAF, October 16,  2019  9:29pm EST

    I have to disagree with your comment that doctors don't tell you not to eat sugar because there is no money to be made. The doctors I know want their patients to get better - it's not a case of trying to make money off of you. I'm sorry you have had this experience, but I don't think that is the case with many or most doctors. 

    And keep in mind that every afib patient is different. What worked for you may not work for others. For some people, exercise starts their afib, and for some, exercise stops it. We are all different. In fact, afib is not a single condition. As one of the world's top cardiovascular surgeons reminds us, "afib is a bunch of different conditions that all share the same name." 

    For example, you say that you must not eat much salt. For some people, afib comes from a dysfunction of the sodium ion channels in the heart, and in their case, they are not getting enough salt.

    Since you have found what works for you, you might want to test it out in the Afib Triggers Study where each person tests their own triggers. You'll find details and a link here:  The results will be published in a major publication in order to inform doctors who treat afib about the impact of specific triggers such as sugar, salt, dehydration, cold foods, etc., on afib.


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