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Low carbing, low potassium, and A-Fib

Member Forum >> Atrial Fibrillation Protocol >> Low carbing, low potassium, and A-Fib

iliacs

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Posted: 2/28/2018 9:06:14 AM
Edited: 2/28/2018 4:42:23 PM (1)
 
Don’t think I’ve posted since TYP days, and much of the A-Fib discussion is over my head.  But I’ve had a personal experience I want to share.

My first bout of A-Fib was years ago.  Sent me to the hospital.  I’d had a bee sting a day or so before it started, but I ignored the palpitations, and tried to exercise it away, but it kept getting worse, eventually sending me to the ER and resulting in a couple of days of hospitalization.  Cause was never determined, but the electrophysiologist felt I wasn’t at much risk for recurrence, didn’t need long-term blood thinning after a precautionary course of warfarin.  A few months later I suffered retinal edema which was traced to 4 gr/day of niacin, and I now suspect the niacin may have played a part in the A-Fib too.

My next bout was several years later (2012 I believe) and also resulted in a night at the hospital.  This one seemed to have been triggered by heavy exertion, heat and humidity, excess coffee, and three shots of Swedish whiskey over the course of five hours or so.  Once again my electrophysiologist said he saw no long term problem, advised me to discontinue the Pradaxa I’d been started on (hospital was in a different state).  But at my request for something to prevent future trips to the ER, he prescribed Flecainide for emergency use.

More years went by with virtually no Flecainide needed.  Then, a year ago, I began having increasingly frequent bouts of A-Fib requiring use of Flecainide.  At the worst, three months ago, I was having three or four bouts a week that were ended only with Flecainide.  My electrophysiologist’s PA only offering was ablation or daily Flecainide (a drug with a black box warning).

Having just talked with three people who had ended their A-Fib through ablation (though I think in every case it was actually two or three ablations for complete relief), I began researching the best docs in my area to do the surgery.  In the course of that research, I saw enthusiastic recommendations for Beat Your A-Fib, a book by Steve S. Ryan, Phd.  I bought the book, and found Ryan had beaten his A-Fib through ablation (though again, I think multiple procedures).  The book explained ablation much more fully than anything I’d seen before, and I thought, this doesn’t seem so bad.

But in addition to the chapters on pharmaceuticals and ablation, Ryan had a small chapter on supplements and nutrition, and that provided my cure, at least for now.  He provided specific targets for A-Fib patients on calcium, magnesium, and potassium.  I was already getting enough calcium through cheese and yogurt (though not as much as Ryan recommends), and 500mg of magnesium in Dr. Mercola’s multivitamin.  But having eliminated bananas, potatoes, and orange juice over the years as I shifted more and more to a high-fat diet, my only source of potassium most days was half an avocado in my nightly salad (plus the 99mg the Feds allow in a multivitamin), leaving me woefully short of Ryan’s target, which was much higher than I would ever have guessed. 

I read that chapter at maybe 10am, went to the kitchen, and had a banana (my wife eats a half banana each day).  That was two months ago.  I also starting taking five 99mg potassium tablets morning and evening, making sure to get more avocado more regularly, and enjoying an occasional baked potato.  And amazingly, I haven’t had A-Fib or Flecainide since that first banana.  I’ve now switched over to powdered potassium, which actually improves my enjoyment of water, and I understand that if my HbA1c goes up much from 4.9/5.0, I may be eliminating bananas again and looking for other high potassium foods or just using more supplemental potassium. And whereas any magnesium over 500mg gives me unpleasantly loose stools, I feel great on the extra potassium.

One anecdotal case, but if you’re having trouble with A-Fib and aren’t getting 5 grams of potassium a day through diet and supplements, you might want to check out the book (paperback, not expensive).



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Bob Niland

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Posted: 2/28/2018 10:02:50 AM
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Dr. Davis

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iliacs

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Posted: 2/28/2018 5:04:21 PM
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Bob Niland

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Posted: 2/28/2018 5:29:24 PM
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Posted: 2/28/2018 8:07:31 PM
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Boo

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Posted: 3/1/2018 9:53:28 AM
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iliacs

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Posted: 4/9/2018 10:30:14 AM
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Boo

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Posted: 4/9/2018 1:16:53 PM
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I’m glad it works for you.


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