What Triggers/Causes Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Attacks

If you suffer from atrial fibrillation (AFib), you likely have episodes (also known as attacks or flare-ups) where you notice the irregular, rapid heartbeat that characterizes this condition. These episodes can leave you feeling weak and even dizzy. That’s because the heart isn’t pumping the proper amount of oxygen through your body.

You may have already pinpointed what triggers AFib attacks for you, or they may seem to come out of nowhere. Let’s look at some common triggers.

Are There Foods That Trigger AFib Attacks?

While specific foods may not trigger an AFib episode, some have been shown to worsen the condition in general – particularly in large quantities. This can lead to more attacks. These include foods (and beverages) with:

  • Salt – Foods with a high salt content can increase blood pressure and worsen AFib
  • Fat – Doctors recommend staying away from trans fats and saturated fats in particular
  • Caffeine – This includes chocolate, coffee, tea and soda and energy drinks with caffeine Consuming a lot of caffeine with AFib is generally not a good idea
  • Alcohol – Even moderate drinking can bring on AFib attacks

It’s always best to discuss your diet with your doctor, who can advise you based on your overall health and any other medical conditions you have and what medications you’re taking.

Activities That Trigger AFib Attacks

Typically, anything that makes you stressed or tired can bring on an attack. Stress and atrial fibrillation often go together. Common activities that can bring on an AFib episode include travel and strenuous exercise. Holidays are often a trigger as well, because they typically include two triggers: stress and alcohol.

Extreme fatigue can be a trigger. However, the answer to fatigue is not a few strong cups of coffee or an energy drink. As we noted, you need to be careful about caffeine with AFib.

Find out About AFib Relief Without Drugs or Major Surgery

If you’re tired of taking prescription medication to deal with your AFib and you dread the thought of major surgery, find out about the Wolf Mini-Maze procedure. This minimally invasive procedure lets patients live AFib free and reduces the risk of an AFib-related stroke by 97%. Call us at 713-441-6290 to learn more.