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Bananas and palpitations
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Bananas and palpitations

I have noticed that after every time I eat a banana, my heart has fairly strong palpitations for 1-2 minutes. It is the oddest thing. Does anyone have any information about this? I have never had a food allergy, but for some reason these episodes happen like clockwork immediately after I eat a banana.

I currently take atenolol 50mg once per day to deal with another minor arrythmia, but this seems much different.

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Avatar_f_tn
banana = potassium

google a search on the affects of potassium in the heart.

It is always wise to study the foods you eat.  Check the vitamin contents and you can learn to balance them to benefit your system
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264156_tn?1206990594
I'm not sure what to tell ya on this. I guess if it were me I would just stay away from bananas. Do you notice this with other high potassium foods/drinks such as orange juice or tomato juice? I have certain foods and drinks that agitate my IST and I've just learned to stay away from them even though I would LOVE to devour some chocolate from time to time! :-)
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Avatar_f_tn
it was pretty funny, after I originally answered it I walked past a television that was on for noise and heard a commercial about a birth control pill that increases potassium.  Yaz.  
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264156_tn?1206990594
Yeah I know I'm actually considering trying that! I have had chronically low potassium so I thought what the heck!?
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Avatar_n_tn
It is absolutely ridiculous to think for one minute that the potassium in a banana could trigger PVCs immediately after eating it............you are reading too much into this banana coincidence.
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Avatar_f_tn
No not really!! I too have noticed it myself. In fact I just brought a banana to work cause im hungry and I have been putting it off eating it because the same thing happens to me. So go figure....
Although I have quit chocolate and caffine for the last five yrs due to this well I have taken a big step there recently and I ate some chocolate and nothing happend yeahhhhh...
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Avatar_n_tn
sooo................"and nothing happened"...........are we making flase connections, maybe?  what about orange juice?  what about when you wear the color red, or blue, or yellow?   Do  you have more PVCs on certain days?  Mondays are bad for me, or the full moon?  There is no way a banana will raise your potassium level to the point of ventricular arrhythmias, and if anything, it would cause a block.  People with normal kidney function will have normal potassium levels.  Brat was making a connection that is false.  caffeine (sp) can trigger some PVCs in certain people...............that is my point. Please don't deprive yourself of things............BTW...if you had such reservations about a banana.......why bring it to work?
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Avatar_f_tn
In fact, I made no assumption.  Jill noted that bananas had an effect on her heart.  I simply stated that bananas were high in potassium to check the other foods she ate.  I have no idea why she has the reaction.  Maybe she eats it at a particulary stressful time of day, maybe like green eggs and ham she eats it in odd places.  Fact:  bananas are a good source of potassium.  Potassium levels are important to your heart.  I love bananas, I enjoy every one I eat.  Taking in a good balanced diet is not harmful to your health.  Learning about what you eat is a good thing to do.  THIS was my point, not that a banana was harmful.
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Avatar_n_tn
thank you for your clarification..............you know I will always bust you.  lol.
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Avatar_f_tn
when you are busted by someone you respect, it is all good.
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Avatar_m_tn
Never had a banana issue...
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Avatar_f_tn
Well obvisouly have over come your palpitations or whatever it is that you have. However someone of us still have fear of them. Which I do everyday. I took the banana to work it was the only thing that was basically to go at my house. Considence maybe, but the point is when you do eat something and you have palps or nsvt it makes you think twice about eating it again. Every time I take vitamines my heart does have alot of extra palps so No I dont take them. Its not worth it to me. And yes I have tried several different times on this one and every single time it happens. Its like touching a hot stove if it hurts the first time and you get burned Im not going to do it again!! Why put yourself through that???
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Avatar_f_tn
We have such infinite choices in fresh fruit and vegetables in the southeastern US.  Not sure where you are located.  I like to cut a large bowl of fresh fruit salad on Sunday and keep it in the fridge.  I usually do it while I am catching up with friends on the phone so I feel like I am multitasking.  I will usually have to cut more in a couple days, but it stays pretty well.   My husband's doctor told him to lay off bananas, so I dont keep them around.  (HAH!)  Lots of types of melons and say strawberries, raspberries or blueberries, whatever season is running.  Some grapes.  Pineapple if it looks good.  I got some reusable / throwaway bowls and I have snack to go.  Beats being limited to just one flavor anyday.   If you dont have a refrig at work, buy a small lunchbox size cooler.  Well worth it.
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255722_tn?1333378910
If it bothers you...don't eat it.  That's a good bit of advice.  It does seem to me that the potassium in a banana causing palps immediately after eating it may be a stretch.  I am NOT saying that it doesn't happen, nor am I admonishing the possible connection.  I am just saying that the potassium in a banana would not even begin to be absorbed into the bloodstream until at least 30 minutes after ingestion, and so the potassium link is probably nullified.  Maybe, if bananas cause you a consistent problem with palps, there is another mechanism involved.  Some claim a vagal response to swallowing...do you eat bananas the way many of us do???  Three gigantic bites and it's gone :-)?  

Anyway...I read the posts, and wanted to say that...while the connection between bananas and palps may be more than coincidence, it's probably not the potassium that presents the trigger.
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255722_tn?1333378910
By the way...read Celeste77's post about potassium/magnesium connections to IST.  Really good stuff, and deals with some of this amazingly well!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Consider that it could be the "sugar" and not the "potassium" in the banana bringing on more pvcs. I absolutely have more pvcs when I eat sugar or carbs.
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Avatar_n_tn
The reason I came to this web site is because I was wondering if anyone else besides myself experienced palpitations after eating a banana. I've been near being a basket case for two months now, but have had them before. I've had echocardiograms and all prove nothing more than stress. So what the heck causes the darned things?
I try to power up on potassium because diuretics in my BP med depletes the potassium. I'd much rather keep a good balance of potassium by eating the proper foods than take those white caplets large enough to choke a horse. The body can get rid of excess potassium it gets from food, but cannot dispose of excess potassium by supplements when there's too much in the system. But back to the banana thing, I've noticed the palpitations start up after I've had my morning banana.
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Avatar_f_tn
Google "Help I am allergic to banana" and you will find an article by David Cowley.  It really explains allergies from bananas and other fruits.  Some of the proteins in a banana can cause heart palps!  AND YES if it is an allergy...it can happen immediately!  Look what happens to someone allergic to peanuts.  They can just smell one and go into shock.  A friend of mine had to be intubated immediately because of his peanut allergy.  He ate a cookie which he didn't know had been sitting next to a peanut butter cookie.  Went into immediate swelling.  Check into this!  
Cindy
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221122_tn?1323014865
Again, I don't think it is the potassium in the banana, although I'd never rule anything out with these bodies we've got.  Possibly, it is just the type of food.  As stated before, people with GERD and indigestion, gas, etc can get a lot more PVC's with that.  Maybe your body has trouble digesting them, as I do.  When your body is struggling to digest, the vagus nerve is activating and since it is the same nerve responsible for the cardiac....it may be doing what we GERD sufferers know....giving us fun days!
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86819_tn?1378951092
This cant possibly be the effect on blood biochemistry if it happens immediately after eating only one (I assume you eat only one at a time even though your write does leave a loop hole --- if every time you have A bananna, you also eat Ten additional bananas... well, I think you see what I am getting at).  More likely the geometry, mechanical properties, or acidity.  You know you would have to absorb some of that potassium for it to affect you, and that takes time, so I am thinking it must be affecting the way you sense things in your esophagus. May be it is creating pressure, or acid build up is affecting something there.  It is hard to say.

However, I can tell you that I have never had a banana I didn't like, nor one the ever gave me even a single PVC.
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86819_tn?1378951092
Excuse me for making light of this.  (I read the earlier posts and lost track of dates.)

Its crazy how you can find such diversity on the internet isn't it?  Most of us have no problem with bananas, but yes the reality of the situation is that there are millions of us and statistics would have it that if it anything could happen then it will.  

I am really sorry about my inappropriate post...
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391561_tn?1227050815
I found this thread A-peeling. I don't want to slip up though, and make a monkey out of myself. Could make my heart skip a beat......


                                                ;-)~~~~~~~~
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747818_tn?1248063180
This thread is really old, but I found it because I looked up palpitations and banana's. Why you ask, because I started realizing that everytime I ate a banana I would get a short run of PAC's (palpitations). Nothing major, but I found it interesting that I would get them ten minutes after eating a banana. So Jill you are not crazy.

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Avatar_n_tn
I have more frequent heart palpitations when I eat bananas too.  I thought it was a one time thing so several months later, ate a banana and my palpitations were more frequent.  I was curious so I googled, "bananas mek my hear palpitate" and came across this discussion.  I've been to the doctors several years ago and had an eco done, but was told that there was nothing major wrong.  I should go back and mention the banana thing.  I don't get the reaction from any other food or drink that I usually consume.  It's kind of nice to know that I am not the only one with this reaction.
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Avatar_f_tn
I also get palps after eating a banana. It is the only firm correlation I've ever been able to make in terms of what may trigger them. Otherwise, they seem pretty random. I don't get them shortly after eating the banana, though, but after half to one hour.

I've found that I can safely eat half of a small banana in one sitting, so that's my limit now. It's concerning to me, though, because I'm thinking about supplementing with magnesium but I'm afraid to mess with mag levels because it may affect potassium levels, and what if it is the potassium in the bananas triggering my palps, so what if the magnesium actually does more harm than good? I pretty much don't know what to do, but I think I'm on the MVPS-connective tissue disorder-low magnesium spectrum, so I should probably be brave and try some.
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Avatar_m_tn
I was also hypokylemic (low potassium) and I started taking magnesium which helps in the absorption and retention of potassium.  It worked wonders - I went from a level 2 of potassium to a 4.1 after months of taking tons of potassium!
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221999_tn?1292974438
It happens to me too. Minutes after eating a banana, I feel severe flips and flops (probably PVCs or PACs).  Coconut is another huge trigger for me. The same for tomato juice and salsa. It may not be potassium, though most of the things I listed are high in potassium.

My kidney function is normal, though I have MVP. Perhaps, some hearts are just more sensitive to certain things.  When I mentioned this to my physician, he looked at me like I had three heads.

I now try to avoid these trigger foods. Eventually, a connection may come out of scientific literature. But what burns me is when folks definitively say "nope. you're nuts. No connection", rather than a simple "I just don't know".

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Avatar_m_tn
2 things come to mind.  atenolol increases the postassium in your body, so that might be causing problems.

bananas have tyramine, and that causes papitations.

I'd research these 2 options more.

Best wishes
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Avatar_m_tn
It may be the sugar that's doing it, not the potassium. Do other sweet foods have the same effect?
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194555_tn?1264290523
Very odd post, but i am sure you are not crazy at all,  There are alot of foods out there that can cause palpitations.  For me it is MSG I can not eat chinese food anymore :( Because within minutes my heart is flip flopping for hours afterwards! Now can i eat to much salt.  I am ok with choc for now! But that could all change.  grrr

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Avatar_m_tn
Some people I know on another forum say their palps have been helped by a banana
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1144520_tn?1277119201
Could be that bananas create stomach gas and this pushes against the vagus nerve, causing you palpitations/tachy/pvc's

Also,
I think bananas digest very slowly.
Today i had increased palps because of fatty food in my stomach.
Fatty food = delayed digestion.
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1182699_tn?1297578384
Could it be more like a reflux problem?  My reflux, which is triggered by certain foods, does cause my PAC's to act up very often.
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Avatar_m_tn
Could be any of that would be my guess. Certainly now I understand the interaction with the vagus nerve things are a lot clearer. Someone suggested taking magnesium, another person swears by taurine and says he got rid of them completely with this.

Looking for some relief, I am today trying a homeopathic remedy - fingers crossed.
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Avatar_m_tn
I was taking Atenolol for about 8 years for my arrhythmia.  The Atenolol completely drained my energy, so I decided to give the naturopathic route a try.  My doctor put me on a couple different supplements, but the palptations started up as soon as I completely quit the Atenolol.  He thought that a low potassium level might be the problem and it seems that he was right.  I've started taking organically bound minerals which contain potassium and magnesium among other things and haven't had a single episode since.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi again, where do you get the organically bound minerals from?

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Avatar_m_tn
They are made by Standard Process.  I get them from my naturopathic doctor, but they are available online from Amazon.  Keep in mind that I am taking these in concert with several other supplements as part of a regimen developed by my doctor.  So before you start taking anything, it would probably be a good idea to talk to a doctor.
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Avatar_n_tn
Standard Process Products are available at Holistic Pharmacies as well - like People's Pharmacy in Austin.  I am a nutritionist who also suffers from potassium induced palpitations, and yes, they happen within minutes of eating a banana, drinking coconut water, or OJ.  It's uneducated to say that anything you ingest can't affect you instantly.  People who get near peanuts go int shock within minutes.  People who inject heroin feel the effects within seconds.  So yes, if a banana is the cause of your palpitations, you would know it right away.  Anyone with a sensitivity or allergy knows that it doesn't take days to feel a reaction.  It basically throws off your electrolyte balance and that can be VERY dangerous to the heart - not from eating one banana, but from long term dehydration.  It is agreed that this all takes place in the kidneys, however, that doesn't mean that the blood balance of potassium wouldn't then immediately affect the heart - it would.  Avoid potassium rich foods if they are bothering you and work with your doctor or practitioner to determine the cause of this issue.  
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996946_tn?1385991151
To tell you the truth, there's nothing left that I can eat....between diabetes and watching blood sugar levels, and taking the blood thinner warfarin because of the a-fib, and a statin ( no grapefruit).  For every yay, there's a nay.  I was wondering if anyone out there feels like the palps build up over a few days and then they break into an episode of a-fib or some other equally aggraving arrhythmia?   After my a-fib is over I feel free for several days, really goood, till the whole cycle starts all over again.  Does anyone else sense that?
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Avatar_n_tn
I honestly think it's all in your head. Come on think about it. Bananas causing palpitations?

Here's my opinion on that.

Palpitations seem to happen with people under certain stress or certain situations, especially if it's due to an anxiety/phobia disorder. So what could have happened is, one day in the distant past, you got a palpitation after you ate a banana. Your brain associated banana with palpitations and from there forward, it would happen at the same time (while eating a banana).

I noticed that I started to get palpitations after I walked a flight of stairs and it took a long time of going to docs and knowing I was okay to realize that it was just exercise induced palpitations. But it was more mental than physiological.

You don't need to stop eating bananas. You need to get over your fear of eating bananas. Fear, anxiety, etc. is what causes some people to never leave their house or in your case...may cause you to never eat another banana.

There is absolutely ZERO way possible that the bananas nutrients are metabolizing in your bloodstream in just a few minutes. The only way that is physically possible is if you liquified the banana and gave yourself a banana shake enema. Your colon would absorb the nutrients directly into the blood stream.

Stop obsessing over banana palpitations. It's ridiculous. Yes, I also suffer from palpitations and weird stuff that happens. It's all stress related, hypochondria related or generally obsessing over the palpitations. You seriously have to change the way you think or you're going to have to deal with a life long problem with stuff like eating bananas, or being in confined spaces or whatever the hell it is that might trigger your attacks.

There's NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU except your brain and obsessing over stuff like this. I know because I've been there.
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Avatar_f_tn
I noticed I got palpitations minutes after eating a banana too.and it's not imagination or obsessing, but it's after a meal and that is the clue for me
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Avatar_n_tn
The  answer was revealed in a post in 2010.

Tyramine, a phenolic, in bananas, not potassium, causes release of epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine which can cause arrythmias.

In addition, there is tyrosine in bananas, an amino acid that forms epinephrine and norepinephrine. So you have a double whammy. This is why some people have reactions to eating bananas.

If you cannot metabolize or deaminate the tyramine and inactivate it, you have a triple whammy with a hypertensive crisis with arrythmia. This can be life threatening in people with low enzyme levels that metabolize tyramine.

The enzyme that breaks tyramine down is MAO or monoamine oxidase. Some people have a genetic deficiency of this enzyme. Others are low because they take drugs that suppress this enzyme.

There are many foods that contain high levels of tyramine: Bananas, aged cheeses, red wine, pickled foods, aged meats, smoked meats. nuts, and many mores. Suggest you google tyramine and see.

As a physician I have seen migraines, arrythmias and hypertensive crisis from eating too much tyramine containing foods in people who have low MAO levels. If you are in the majority and have normal MAO, then these foods may never bother you unless you pig out and eat too much and then you may have a headache or PVC.

I hope this clears up the problem with bananas. It is not a food allergy. It is a physiologic effect of the phenolic and amino acids found normally in the bananas and possibly a lower than normal MAO. The treatment is don't eat them or any other foods with tyramine.
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Avatar_n_tn
The  answer was revealed in a post in 2010.

Tyramine, a phenolic, in bananas, not potassium, causes release of epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine which can cause arrythmias.

In addition, there is tyrosine in bananas, an amino acid that forms epinephrine and norepinephrine. So you have a double whammy. This is why some people have reactions to eating bananas.

If you cannot metabolize or deaminate the tyramine and inactivate it, you have a triple whammy with a hypertensive crisis with arrythmia. This can be life threatening in people with low enzyme levels that metabolize tyramine.

The enzyme that breaks tyramine down is MAO or monoamine oxidase. Some people have a genetic deficiency of this enzyme. Others are low because they take drugs that suppress this enzyme.

There are many foods that contain high levels of tyramine: Bananas, aged cheeses, red wine, pickled foods, aged meats, smoked meats. nuts, and many mores. Suggest you google tyramine and see.

As a physician I have seen migraines, arrythmias and hypertensive crisis from eating too much tyramine containing foods in people who have low MAO levels. If you are in the majority and have normal MAO, then these foods may never bother you unless you pig out and eat too much and then you may have a headache or PVC.

I hope this clears up the problem with bananas. It is not a food allergy. It is a physiologic effect of the phenolic and amino acids found normally in the bananas and possibly a lower than normal MAO. The treatment is don't eat them or any other foods with tyramine.
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1655526_tn?1330659229
How do you find out if you have low MAO? Is that part of a regular blood screening that is done for a regular physical or is it something you have to request?
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Avatar_m_tn
Wow, so hostile over this is not healthy, this could cause palpitations. who knows what is actually going on but your not there to experience it so you should chill before you have a stroke
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Avatar_m_tn
Bingo...   Sugar ....  any kind of sweets  triggers me    more water i say  .
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Avatar_m_tn
If you don't know what to tell the person who posted the question then why are you responding to them?  Nothing more annoying then someone who just likes to hear themselves talk.
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Avatar_m_tn
If you are not sure what to tell the person who posted this question then why are you even responding?  Nothing more annoying than a person who just likes to hear themselves talk.
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Avatar_m_tn
If you are not sure what to tell the person who posted this question then why are you even responding?  Nothing more annoying than a person who just likes to hear themselves talk.
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Avatar_f_tn
I get PVCs after eating bananas, too.  It's so weird.  For me it's absolutely not the potassium that causes it because I have a separate disorder that causes chronic hypokalemia and I take massive amounts of potassium supplements (far more in each dose than is in a banana) without resulting PVCs.

It's very odd.  I've noticed it again and again and again when I eat bananas and I have no idea what would cause it.  Doesn't happen with other fruits.
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