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Tomato Sauce and Arrhythmia
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Tomato Sauce and Arrhythmia

I have been living with atrial fibrillation for more than 25 years.
I am an otherwise healthy 60 year old male, who exercises regularly and eats well.
I recently had my third ablation in 6 years.
This last one was performed at Cleveland Clinic Florida. According to the doctor who performed the procedure and the fact that I had been in sinus for nearly three weeks, without any arrhythmia medication, the procedure was a success.
However, last night, three hours after eating a pasta dish with cabernet marinara, I experienced chest pounding palpitations, and was kept awake most of the night with a distressing return to Afib.
When I awoke this morning, I was laid back down with dizziness, sweats and continued palpitations.
My wife called 911 and the paramedics who tested me (ekg, bp check, etc...), said that while I was in Afib, the symptoms did not seem life threatening.
I placed a call to my cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic but he's on vacation.
This is not the first time that I've experienced adverse reaction to tomato sauce or tomato soup.
Is there a correlation here? Or am I just going through the healing process on the way to a successful recovery?
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7 Comments Post a Comment
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612551_tn?1247839157
The only thing I have that relates to your post is permanent AFib, and age, I'm a bit older.

However, I will offer the understanding I have gained form reading many posts on this Community that ablation healing can take a lot longer than three weeks... so my guess is you may well return to NSR as the healing continues.

But, given you are in AFib at the moment I'd suggest at least taking an aspirin a day until you can meet with your EP.

As for tomato I'd think it is not related, in fact I believe tomato is high in antioxidants and is "good" for the heart.
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996946_tn?1416866031
Did the Dr keep you on coumadin or any other heart meds after the recent ablation?  As you well know, there are almost as many triggers as there are episodes of a-fib.  It's likely that this is just part of the healing as Jerry said. You do need to be on a blood-thinner during the healing process, at least 90 days or so. Many people are also kept on an anti-arrhythmic during that time also. If your Dr is on vacation you should check in with whoever is covering his patients .  It will help put your mind at ease.
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Avatar_m_tn
In response to questions about marinara sauce causing heart palpitations:

Tomato sauce is a concentrated source of potassium.  If you have a similar reaction when eating a banana (or, to a lesser extent, an avocado) on an empty stomach, it's due to problems with potassium from fast-absorbing sources.  It affects heart rhythms, especially in people who have limited kidney function and/or low blood pressure; such people need to limit potassium intake and often increase sodium intake.  Another test is potassium chloride (No Salt brand seasoning), but that can give fast and nasty reactions.  Even a small amount in Campbell's Healthy Selects soups can cause strong reactions.

Another thing that can cause heart palpitations is an allergic reaction, but tomato sauce is most likely a potassium issue in someone who has known heart or kidney problems.  The kidneys come into play because poor kidney function stores potassium in the body and makes it easy to create an excess.  Potassium causes heart palpitations in an opposite way to how sodium does; the balance of these two elements is important for proper circulatory function.
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995271_tn?1408549100
I was thinking food allergy too.  Great info from LornaLMT, thanks!
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1569985_tn?1328251082
Tomato sauce is acidic and causes problems with my reflux.  That, in turn, irritates the vagus nerve and may bring on arrthymia.  I can't eat tomato soup anymore.  It could be a trigger for that reason.

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Avatar_m_tn
I have a-frib and have noticed a strong correlation between eating pasta with tomato based sauce and a-frib incidents. This observation extends to pizza containing tomato topping and soups containing tomato.
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1569985_tn?1328251082
Tomato soup bothers me, but not pizza or regular tomatoes.   I am taking Zantac 150 for my reflux, otherwise I probably couldn't eat any of it.  You might want to consider an antacid.  Good luck with this.
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