StuMan
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StuMan, December 16,  2017  5:46am EST

Chocolate

I had read that chocolate could be helpful in reducing Afib experience and thought I would experiment.

Background: I am a 61 year old somewhat skinny, healthy racquetball player.  I have had 5 Afib experiences between 2016 and April 2017.  After the last experience I decided to drink hot cocoa once a day.  Since I don't want to intake sugar I use stevia as a sweetener; and I use goat milk instead of cow's milk (since I have a cow's milk allergy).  I take 1.5 teaspoons unseetened cocoa powder in a large mug  (50/50 milk and water mix) which I drink every morning.  Anecdotally I have not had an Afib experience since.  Maybe coincidence, maybe not.  


I do not take any drugs and am vary wary of oblation.  My doctor says I would be a good candidate.  She also wants me to take drugs.  I do neither and feel completely normal now.  She wanted me to think of AFib as a "friend" that I would have to get to know.  Jesus!!  Are cardiologists really worth an average salary of $400,000 a year with advice like this?  Obviously Afib is not serious for me right ow and maybe it will return.  So far so good.  I do NOT want to take blood thinners.  She said internal bleeding is a normal side effect.  Well it is not normal for me.  And I do not want to make it normal
10 Replies
  • Jeanamo
    Jeanamo, December 16,  2017  10:29am EST
    Hello, StuMan....welcome to this group. I am glad the chocolate drink seems to be working for you.  In contrast, there are some members of this forum who avoid chocolate as a "trigger" for their a-fib.  But as we know, a-fib affects each individual differently and what works for one will not work for another.  About your doctor's advice...and your hesitancy to take medicines or consider an ablation...the biggest concern about a-fib is that it increases your stroke risk considerably.  The anticoagulant drugs prevent clots from forming that can lead to a stroke.  I do not know why your cardiologist indicated that internal bleeding is a "normal side effect" because this is really not the case. While you may "feel normal"....if you are experiencing a-fib  at all...either symptomatic or non-symtomatic, the stroke risk is still there. Some people are not even aware when they are in a-fib. The best thing is to be in the care of an experienced electrophysiologist (a cardiologist who specializes in heart arrhythmias) so that you can be evaluated and the best course of treatment can be determined for your particular case.  I'm not sure that any of us think of a-fib as "a friend" and I cannot imagine why you were told that, .but it is a wise thing to become as well informed as possible about it.  I think you can learn a lot from reading the posts as we share our experiences in this forum.  When an ablation procedure is being considered, it seems that often having it done "sooner" rather than "later" can have a better success rate in stopping the a-fib. Perhaps that is why you are considered a good candidate. However,  it is usual for medicines to be tried before deciding on the ablation procedure. Since you've had 5 a-fib episodes that you are aware of in the past 2 years, it is important that you are seeing an electrophysiologist to evaluate your individual case.  I am concerned and hope that you will decide not to risk what can be the devastating effects of a stroke by "doing nothing". Please know that the members of this group want to offer you support and for you to know that you are "not alone" in this a-fib journey.  I am glad you have posted in this forum and please keep us informed as to how you are doing.Wishing you the best...Jean(My A-fib Experience Community Leader)
  • Tim88
    Tim88, December 16,  2017  11:05am EST
    Hi StuMan,I add 2 grams of raw cacao nibs to my breakfast cereal and 2 grams to my evening dessert.  The quantity is measured precisely, as is my morning coffee because in my case at least there appears to be a J-curve effect in that small carefully measured amounts of cacao and coffee slow my heart rate with only a small increase in BP, while any over-indulgence significantly increases both HR and BP and, most likely, the risk of Afib. It may be relevant to note that I drink coffee prepared by the cold immersion method overnight using a paper filter. This preparation method appears to ensure a low-acid, low-bitterness coffee with most of the "harmful" elements in coffee (e.g. cafestol) trapped in the grounds. As for sweetenener, I make up my own from sucrolose and maltodextrin. Like at lease one other contributor to this blog, I have halted Afib episodes in their tracks with a half cup of cold black coffee, 0.25mg of alprazolam (Xanax) and a cold shower. I strongly endorse Jeanamo's point about the need to take anticoag meds to reduce stroke risk. Yes, there is an increased risk of bleeding but that is a manageable and predictable risk. Strokes on the other hand are in a different risk category entirely and the consequences can often be catastrophic for the patients and their families. We all need to do as much as we can to minimize that kind of risk. Hope these remarks have been helpful.Tim
  • Shannonslattery
    Shannonslattery, December 17,  2017  5:49am EST
    It is refreshing to see you are trying other ways to deal with Afib other than all the medications the doctors want you to take, which do not cure Afib! I believe in time the medical community will take a life style approach to Afib if the patient has no other conditions. I am 69 with Afib, no other health problems, exercise, eat well, meditate, yoga, also eat chocolate and do not take medications. I wish you the very best.
  • spook2
    spook2, December 18,  2017  6:15am EST
    I perceive that "Friend" thing is in the context of "keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."  I would not assume a misperception of a physician's attempt at meaningful metaphor negates the assembled knowlege of his/her ten plus years of training and experience in the field.  Chocolate might appear to give some intervention, but ultimately, stimulants in general, coffee, tea, chocolate, etc., are going to adversely affect cardiac rhythm.  Meanwhile, not taking HOAC's makes one a walking, and calling a spade what it is, time bomb for a CVA event.  Respectfully from the most remote county in The Lower Forty-Eight.
  • Hammer
    Hammer, December 19,  2017  3:55am EST
    Starnge how coffee doesn't affect me at all.
  • Gene157
    Gene157, December 20,  2017  7:26am EST
    I am a retired electronics engineer and try to analyze my situation like an engineering project.Stuman, your attitude will lead you into harms way. Do some research on the internet and stay away from anecdotal sources.Eugene
  • Patio
    Patio, December 20,  2017  8:09pm EST
    Please do some research on why you should take an anticoagulant. A short story: my three older sibs have afib and are on at least an anticoagulant. Very sadly my younger sis died of stroke in March from likely  untreated afib. Six months later I landed in ER with a flutter and then afib.   Now being treated. I was likely the rare person happy to be in ER. My sis not so lucky. Rethink your decision please. Good luck. PS. We all feel normal when not in afib.
  • Mellanie at StopAfib.org
    Mellanie at StopAfib.org, December 24,  2017  6:14am EST
    All,If Stuman is only 61 and has no other stroke risk factors (he mentions that he is healthy), then an anticoagulant is probably not recommended for him.However, if he has high blood pressure or diabetes (doesn't sound like it from his description), then that would change things.For each of us, it's important to assess our CHA2DS2-VASc score (https://myafibexperience.org/forms/item/13/64) in order to know whether or not anticoagulants are necessary. And, we should be reassessing each year as things changes.Mellanie
  • Sherri55
    Sherri55, June 24,  2018  10:29am EST

    Even with medications I still had a Stroke and two rebounds in which I went into Afib Tachycardia and was asked if I was on any blood thinners and had to say no so the hospital has contacted my Cardiologist and suggested that he put me on one but while I was in the hospital I was given Coumadin and that helped since my Afib calmed down and wasn't having anymore rebounds from the Cerebrovascular Stroke

  • Thumper2
    Thumper2, June 25,  2018  8:35am EST

    Stuman, the idea of taking chocolate to deal with reducing Afib is one that tickles my fancy!  As for blood thinners, I have been on Warfarin for 12 years, with no internal bleeding and with no problems with  bleeding from scratches, etc.  I felt "normal" for years (on some drugs to lower my blood pressure, which worked), but in the meantime, my almost symptomless AFib was causing my heart valves to leak more and more, and I began to feel tired all the time.  I WISH I had gone to an electrophysiologist (not just a cardiologist) much sooner and had ablation(s) much sooner.  Ablations are not "difficult" but by the time I had them, they didn't work for me.  Keep studying and experimenting!

    Thumper2 (Judy)

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