You have probably heard of atrial fibrillation before.
It’s incredibly common.
According to the Heart Rhythm Society, atrial fibrillation, also called AFib, is the most common abnormal heart rhythm. l In a normal heart, all four chambers beat in a steady rhythm; in a heart in AFib, the atria, or the upper chambers of the heart, fibrillate, or quiver, to cause the heart to beat irregularly.
WHEN AFIB IS IGNORED If you haven’t visited your doctor for any pressing symptoms, it’s entirely possible that your irregular heartbeat could be ignored for months or even years – sometimes, until it is too late. Atrial fibrillation can have negative symptoms that impact quality of life in some people, while in others, no symptoms are apparent.
AFib isn’t technically life-threatening, until the condition progresses. In more severe cases, atrial fibrillation can lead to heart failure or a stroke. In less severe cases, the abnormal electrical discharges in the atria that affect how the heart pumps can cause symptoms like fatigue, an irregular pulse, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, difficulty exercising or completing daily activities, tightness or pain in the chest, dizziness or lightheadedness, or increased urination.
But when it comes to the health of the heart, atrial fibrillation is a major warning sign that should not be ignored. In 2015, Loyola University Medical Center researchers discovered that having an irregular heartbeat after surgery, called post-operative atrial fibrillation or POAF, could greatly increase the risk of heart attack or stroke within the first 12 months after a surgical procedure. 2
Undetected AFib can be dangerous, and there are a number of lifestyle factors that can increase risk. Drinking a moderate-toheavy amount of alcohol could increase the risk of atrial fibrillation, says 2011 research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.3 Having sleep-disordered breathing can also spike the risk of AFib with age.4 Being overweight can raise atrial fibrillation recurrence, though Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute researchers discovered in 2015 that patients who had undergone cardiac ablation, a corrective procedure for cardiac arrhythmia, were able to reduce AFib instances when they lost weight and kept it off. 5
Even cold weather can increase stroke risk in those with an irregular heartbeat, according to the European Society of Cardiology.6
BE STILL, MY HEART Having a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation can be scary, especially since the exact cause is so hard to pin down. Many times, an irregular heartbeat can occur because of other conditions that compromise the health of the heart, including coronary heart disease and high blood pressure. Atrial fibrillation risk can rise with age and may be related to unregulated inflammation in the body — making any one of us who eats the typical Western diet full of processed, inflammatory foods at risk for this potentially life-threatening condition.
When you visit your doctor for any of the symptoms listed above — with unexplained fatigue being the most common symptom of AFib — you may receive a diagnosis for atrial fibrillation if your heart beats at anywhere from 100 to 175 beats a minute. A normal heartbeat is considered 60 to 100 beats a minute.
It is at this time that your doctor might break the bad news to you: Most cases of atrial fibrillation are first treated with medication, a treatment route that is not guaranteed to work and may come with side effects. As the condition worsens, multiple cardiac ablations may be in order and if these “minimally” invasive treatments don’t help, surgery may be recommended.
While using medications to control the heart rhythm can provide some relief, a lifetime of medication use for any health issue is never a “quick fix.” Researchers have discovered that not only can the use of popular blood thinners trigger an irregular heartbeat, but atrial fibrillation patients who are on blood thinning may be at a higher risk of developing dementia if their prescription drugs are nit within the recommended dose. 7.8
In short, take too many toxic heart medications for too long, and your health may still hang in the balance. Fortunately, taking key nutrients each day can have the opposite effect — strengthening the health of the heart so that it begins to beat in time.
But first, we know that AFib may develop in part due to inflammation. Cutting all inflammatory foods out of the diet is critical at this stage in the recovery process. Stop eating all processed foods, dairy products, and starchy carbohydrates. In their place, enjoy plenty of fresh or frozen vegetables; dark-skinned fruits and avocados; beans, nuts, and seeds; healthy oils; oily fish; moderate meat; and healthy carbohydrate alternatives. Drinking a minimum of six glasses of distilled or filtered water per day with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda in each glass can improve oxygen transport to the heart.
You can help to bring an irregular heartbeat back into balance with the support of four critical nutrients: Serrapeptase, taurine, iodine, and selenium. The powerful anti-inflammatory enzyme Serrapeptase, when taken with the enzyme Nattokinase, digestive enzymes, grapeseed extract, and pycnogenol, can calm inflammation and boost both arterial and cardiovascular health. Taurine is known to reduce arrhythmia and strengthen the heart muscle, making up 50 per cent of the free amino acid in the heart.9 Iodine is another essential nutrient considered vital for heart health because of its ability to stabilise the heart rhythm, best taken with its critical cofactor selenium needed to aid in iodine absorption. 10
While an atrial fibrillation diagnosis can be discouraging in our heavily medicated society, it is not without hope. Removing inflammatory foods and supplying missing nutrients can encourage your heart to return to its regular rhythm. Strengthening the heart from the inside — and not controlling the heart with medication from the outside — can make all the difference when your heart skips a beat.
A careful blend of powerful enzymes such as Serrapeptase and Nattokinase, plus digestive enzymes, antioxidants and proanthocyanidins such as grapeseed extract and Pycnogenol, now in a delayed release capsule for optimum performance.
1. “Atrial Fibrillation (AFib).” Heart Rhythm Society.
2 Robert H. Blackwell, Chandy Ellimoottil, Petar Bajic, Anai I(otharit Matthew Zapf, Stephanie Kljethermes,
Robert C Flanigan, Marcus L. Quek, Paul C Kuo. Gopal N. Gupta. New Onset Postoperative Atrial Fibrillation Predicts Long-Term Cardiovascular Events Following Radical Cystectomy. The Journal ofUrology 2015; DOI: 10.1016/j.juro.2015.03.109.
3. Kodama S Saito K Tanaka S, Horikawa C, Saito A, Heianza Y, Anasako Y, Nishigalo Y, Yachi Y, Iida Ohashi Y Yamada N, Sone H. Alcohol consumption and risk of atrialfibrillation. A meta-analysis J Am Coll
4. Redline Reena Mehra. Central Sleep Disordered Breathing Predicts Incident Atrial Fibrillation in Older Males. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 2015; DOI: 10.1164/rccm.20150815230C
5. Intermountain Medical Center, “Weight is significantfactor in the recurrence ofatrialfibrillation, new research finds. ” ScienceDaily.
6. “Cold weather linked to increased stroke risk in atrialfibrillation patients.” European Society of Cardiology (ESC)
7. Geoffrey DBarnes Eleanor Lucas, G. Caleb Alexander, Zachary D. Goldberger. National Trends in Ambulatory Oral Anticoagulant Use. The American Journal ofMedicine, 2015,’ DOI: 10.10164 amjmed.2015.05.044.
8. Bunch TJ et al “Percent time with a supratheropeutic inr in atnalfibhllation patients using an antiplatelet agent is associated with long-term risk of dementia” AHA 2014′ Abstract 13426.
9. Exp Clin Cardiol. 2008 Summer: 13(2):57-65.
10. “Atrial Fibrillation, Arrhythmias and Iodine.” Health Alert, June 2006, Volume 23, Issue 6.