By Anni Dahms
Owner of the retail chain
ANNI’s VITAL SHOP.
Nurse- & Health specialist,
Biopath and Nutritional Adviser.

The article is also available in SpanishFinnishDanish

 

Atrial fibrillation is a rhythm disturbance in the heart’s atrium. The atrium is contracting faster than with a normal heart rhythm.
Atrial fibrillation can often cause blood clots in the brain.

In this time, I seem to be surrounded by people who complain about atrial fibrillation. I was wondering why this was the case, until I stumbled across an article, that described different kinds of heart attack and mentioned, that the attacks occur most frequently in the months October, November, and December.
You should obviously see a doctor if you are experiencing heart problems. There are many effective ways to help your heart today.
You can take many actions yourself, to ensure that your heart remains strong and functioning, even as you get older. The heart is an amazing pump, that starts working even before we are born, only to continue all throughout our life.
We only have one heart, so we should see it as a wonderful gift that we take care of, but often we don’t think much about it, until it starts to signal that it needs attention and appreciation for its hard work.
The stress many of us are experiencing these days, is our hearts worst enemy. It is as if stress leaves a contagious source in the air, which is difficult to get around, but we must be very conscious to deal with it, in the best manner possible.
The heart is a very delicate motor, that doesn’t benefit from suddenly getting pushed to its max performance, as it can damage it.
I felt it with myself, when I had to run for half an hour with a heavy suitcase, when my plane was delayed and had to get to the next flight (which I ended up missing anyways). It lasted for a while, the feeling that I should take extra care of my heart.


The symptoms of atrial fibrillation
They are most commonly abnormal heart rhythm, difficulty catching your breath, chest pain together with dizziness and fatigue.
It is usually people above 50 that are affected by atrial fibrillation, and more than 13.000 people are yearly hospitalized with the affliction in Denmark. It is estimated that roughly 75.000 people live with the illness. Studies have shown that roughly 10% of all people have atrial fibrillation. It is a common sickness that exists in numerous variations, some people experience it as rare attacks, while other people have it more or less all the time.
Atrial fibrillation is a rhythm disturbance in the heart’s atrium. The atrium is contracting faster than with a normal heart rhythm.
Visit your doctor, if you suddenly feel that your heart is running rampant, with an unusual fast heart rhythm. Atrial fibrillation can often cause blood clots in the brain.

The diet
The diet can perhaps not completely prevent atrial fibrillation, but it is certain that you can strengthen and keep your heart healthy through your diet.

If you have a large consumption of coffee and sugary treats, then cut down on them. Instead choose a high-quality green tea, you can also alternate between teas with nettle and ginger. Make sure to drink plenty of water of a high quality. Be careful with alcohol. The heart association discourages alcohol consumption completely. Too much alcohol can trigger symptoms connected with atrial fibrillation. Avoid fast-food such as burgers and hotdogs and exclude cake and fatty deserts. All in all, the combination of fat and sugar is a poor mix.
Eat lots of foods that contain plenty of antioxidants and focus on getting anti-inflammatory foods. Make sure, to the extend that it is possible, to eat ecological foods of a good quality.
Be careful with beef and animal innards and eat very little meat in general. Make sure that fish is on the menu at least two times a week. Be sparse with all kinds of dairy products, they help increase inflammation, which is often a part of having an irregular heart rhythm.
Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. Apricots are strengthening for both heart and brain. You can eat dried apricots outside of the apricot season, but make sure that they are not treated with sulfur dioxide. It’s best to eat apricots after 3pm. Berries are good against atrial fibrillation. Your daily apple or two must not be forgotten. If you can get your hands on wild blueberries, optionally frozen, then use them in your daily diet. Another precious fruit is pineapple, which is also great for your green salads. Vegetables help flush out acid accumulations. Eat plenty of broccoli, cauliflower, red cabbage etc. Make sure that your vegetables also contain leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, chard, field lettuce etc. Let onions be a part of your daily diet and remember the healthy artichoke.
If you haven’t tried it before, then introduce sweet potatoes into your diet. They bring many benefits, one of which is the relief of heart palpitations.
Use plenty of garlic, turmeric, ginger, and olive oil in your daily diet. You should also consider coconut in its different forms, such as oil or coconut water.
Eat plenty of nuts and almonds.
Avoid wheat products, but instead use buckwheat, quinoa, millet, and wholegrain rice. The products come in many variants, such as flour or grain for porridge and pasta. You can find many wonderful recipes for bread using these ingredients on the internet. Anette Harbech Olesen has written many easy-to-follow cook/baking books that doesn’t use wheat, but instead utilises other exciting grains.


Dietary supplements

  • Start with a broad-spectrum vitamin/mineral product, which is of good quality and easily absorbable.
  • There should also be a good and likewise easily absorbable vitamin-B product as a part of your base. Optionally you could supplement with extra vitamin-B12, in spray form or as a tablet.
  • Take extra vitamin-C. 1 – 1½ grams daily. It is important with all cardiovascular disorders. It helps repair the blood vessels and prevents inflammatory changes that causes atrial fibrillation.
  • You can optionally supplement with vitamin-E, up to 350 mg daily. Some people prefer to get their vitamin-E through wheat germ oil.
  • Selenium, 100 – 200 mcg daily can also be a great help.
  • Magnesium can be recommended, preferably 600 mg in the evening. There must also be calcium present in your dietary supplements. If you are not taking a supplement of vitamin-B, then you have to supplement with B6, as it aids the absorption of magnesium in the body.
  • Q10 is recommended, in doses between 100 – 300 mg daily. Make sure to get a product that has a documented absorption rate.
  • Omega-3 is very important for the heart and counteracts heartrate disturbances. It can be taken as a fish oil, roughly 2 grams daily, or in the form of flaxseed oil, 1 table spoon daily. Omega-3 does also have a vegan edition which is made from algae.
  • Hawthorn comes both in liquid and capsule form. When I personally experience difficulties with my heart, then I always turn to this and have done so in many years. I feel it has a remarkable strengthening effect on my heart, but it might not be as effective against atrial fibrillation. It is a great remedy for high blood pressure.
  • Pycnogenol is bark from a French pine tree and it’s very effective at preventing blood clots and supports a good blood circulation. You should take 1 tablet in the morning. It is a powerful antioxidant, that protects the body from damages from oxygen radicals and thereby prevents inflammation.
  • Garlic is also preventive against blood clots.
  •  The amino acid Taurine counteracts potassium deficiency, and it has been shown to help some people with heart problems, by strengthening and making the contractions in the heart muscle more efficient. Taurine can be a great 3-step rocket, together with magnesium and B6.
  • The amino acid L-carnitine also works as a heart strengthener and is known to improve irregular heart rhythms.
  • If you are receiving any prescription heart medication, then you should always discuss the supplements you are planning to take, with your doctor. The doctor should, in my opinion, be able to provide guidance about what combination of the allopathic medicine goes together with the dietary supplements that so many heart patients wish to use. This is very important, and the allopathic medicine often is affected by different supplements.


Tips

  • Stay far away from tobacco. If you are a smoker, then reduce your tobacco consumption as quickly as you can muster without getting stressed.
  • It is important to avoid stress, especially the long-lasting stress can be very burdensome on the heart. If you drive a car, then practice patience.
  • If you are overweight, then make sure that you start losing weight in a sensible way, again without too much stress, you may be able to utilize a dietician. The hard part comes after you have reached your desired weight, namely that you must keep your weight stable. So, if you have used a dietician, then keep that connection, incase you might need it again.
  • Make sure to get exercise. It is important, if you want to have a healthy heart, that you are active, so blood is circulating properly. If you are having a cold or have just had one, or another infectious disease, then you must spare your heart. Avoid exercise until you are completely healthy. It is often a virus in the heart muscle. We usually function fine with it, but if the heart is strained during an infection, then it can act up, as it doesn’t like to get pressured in these situations.
  • You must be aware that sick teeth can have tremendous influence on your heart. Certain teeth have direct reflex pathways to the heart. It takes a professional dentist and doctor to guide you in this matter.

Louise Hay writes, the heart represents love and our blood represents joy. Our heart lovingly pumps joy through our body. If we deny ourselves joy and love, then our heart shrinks and gets cold, and that is when heart attacks happen.
Louse Hay also mentions, that the people who experience heart attacks are never happy people. To avoid more heart attacks, you must give yourself time to appreciate the joys in life.