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Caffeine and Arrythmia
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Caffeine and Arrythmia

After a long time (24 years) dealing with exercise induced tachacardia, I began having arrythmias from out of nowhere i.e. during sleep, lying on the couch etc.  I finally decided to cut out caffeine to see if that was the problem.  In the beginning of no caffeine, it was "YES this is IT".  But now after about 6 weeks, I am having them again.  I do like chocolate which I have not cut out but chocolate and tea are about the only sources of caffeine that I now ingest.  I am 50 years old, in pretty good shape and always conscious of my physical health.

Question 1:  How little caffeine ingested could actually, possibly be the cause of my arrythmia and
Question 2:  What other diet substances could be the culprit.  I do like a drink almost every day usually red wine.

Any suggestions?
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Avatar_n_tn
First it would help for you to know the kind and source of the arrythmias. If you have not had a good work up from a cardiologist I would suggest one. To be quite honest I think the area of rhythmn disturbances often is a mystery for even the best doctors. If the cause is not structural in the heart and is somehow related to stress or diet it is difficult for them to know exactly why or when or how it all works out. I would recommend experimenting with cutting out certain foods like caffeine, sugar, large portions, etc... and see what happens. I have done this over the years and sometimes I find triggers and then later they return but in the absence of dangerous underlying causes, you may be like me and have to treat the symptons possibly for the rest of your life or just redefine your "normal" with a "new normal" that includes arrythmias. Good Luck!
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280299_tn?1216859276
Caffeine for me was a great factor in my SVT. I used to drink 3 cups of tea a day and 2 cups of coffee, each day, on the weekends. I have since quit caffeine altogether for over a year now and have not had any episodes of SVT.

I have also read that an ingredient in red wine also can trigger SVT.

I think these triggers are different for each of us. I know after drinking only one cup of tea which has about 1/3 the caffeine of coffee can start my heart racing.

Hope this helps...
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255722_tn?1333378910
Oh boy.  First of all, it may or may not be the caffeine at all, but if it is, chocolate is the WORST source.  The amount of caffeine "like" chemicals in one Hershey Kiss is equivalent to a full cup of coffee.  It is not caffeine, but a similar chemical that stimulates the brain and releases endorphins/adrenaline--thus the almost addictive craving for chocolate in some of us.

Also, red wine is a major trigger for many arrhythmias including SVT.  There is a recent "study" cited at the following web address that shows a correlation to red wine and triggered arrhythmia (http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2261/4/13).

Be aware though...sometimes it's none of the above that causes our bouts to act up.  I usually avoid caffeine like the plague. But there are times when I can have as much coffee as I want and nothing happens.  There are also times when I haven't had caffeine for weeks and BAM....
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584903_tn?1233834986
How about keeping a record on the excellent heart rhythm tracker of potential 'triggers' and your incident timings. We are all different but if you can identify definite 'triggers' then it is best to eliminate them and it will give you a sense of 'control'.
I found that alcohol had a delayed reaction in that either I would wake up with SVT in the early hours of the next day or would spend the next day with really bad PVC's.
However by keeping records the good news was that i found my tolerance limit which for me was 2 drinks with at least a 2 day gap in between. This took time to find but was worth it as I do enjoy a drink. Coffee again I can tolerate but in moderation.
dave

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