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cynthiaG Find out more about cynthiaG
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  • chocolate a trigger??

    Well, I was doing good.....2 1/2 months and no afib. Had a mini episode last night (mini is what I call 3-4 hrs.). I had eaten dark chocolate brownies shortly before. Can the caffeine in chocolate "trigger" an episode? I thought I remember my doctor in Boston saying that it doesn't cause it to happen. I knew one was coming when I was sitting on the sofa..could feel those thumpy beats and felt a little sob when going upstairs to bed.
    \"It is not length of life, but depth of life.\"

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • #2
    Re: chocolate a trigger??

    Cynthia, I avoid dark chocolate, first I don't particularly like dark chocolate, but something from way back tells me it is not particularly good for HMCers.
    Every great thing that has ever happened since the beginning of time has started as a single thought in someones mind.
    So if you are capable of thought then you are capable of great things
    Good luck and stay well.
    Glen

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    • #3
      Re: chocolate a trigger??

      Cynthia,

      I don't know what the official word on chocolate is, but I CAN tell you that although I am able to drink an entire 20 oz (caffeinated) diet coke without so much as a peep out of my ticker... just one little bar of chocolate sends me into a tachycardia episode that last for many hours. There must be something about chocolate, besides the caffeine, that triggers this?

      Jim
      "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: chocolate a trigger??

        thanks, guys, for your responses. I'll have to ask about chocolate, because interestingly enough, I remember I had an afib episode just after Halloween when I had been eating a LOT of chocolate candy bars! I made up my mind today, that I was going to stop eating this crapola and start dieting!
        \"It is not length of life, but depth of life.\"

        Ralph Waldo Emerson

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        • #5
          Re: chocolate a trigger??

          A little story:

          6 yrs ago my niece(s) had graduated from grammer school and we all went out to dinner. It ran late and desert was offered at 10:00pm - my dad picked a wonderful Chocolate tort. I said are you sure you want to do that? He gave me a dirty look and said YES I DO. I replied - dont call me when you go into AF - WELL.... at 4am he went into AF with a rapid rate and was taken to the hospital. I walked in to the ER around 7am...took one look at him and said... "told ya so!" :P
          By noon he was cardioverted for the 10th time in 2 years.

          If you are prone to AF - I hate to say it but steer clear of chocolate.

          As a confirmed and admitted chocoholic - this is a very sad thing for me to have to say . With my family history of AF - I know someday I too will face this issue

          Take care,
          Lisa
          Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
          YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

          Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
          lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
          Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
          Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
          Currently not obstructed
          Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)

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          • #6
            Re: chocolate a trigger??

            Hey Cynthia,
            I was put on all kinds of restrictive diets that were impossible to live with. Each specialist had his own pet diet that he advocated over everyone else’s – and they were each in conflict with the others.

            In desperation I inadvertently fell into a plan that does work. I rely heavily on vegetables, undressed salads (except for Blue Cheese dressing on occasion) and fruit, but I exclude almost nothing. If I think it’s bad for me, but I love it, I will only have a little – but boy, do I savior that little. So, good things in abundance, bad things in moderation, and I vary it as much as possible to avoid insulting one malady over another.

            I’ve been doing this for some time now and don’t miss a thing, - primarily because I don’t miss a thing. I go out with friends and never have to say, “Oh, I can’t eat there,” or any other such foolishness. Life was meant to be enjoyed – and I do.

            Of course, if you have problems with a food, like chocolate, but love it, on rare occasions take enough to get the flavor in your mouth, but not enough to go down your gullet. At least you’ll have the taste of it. I mean, once you swallow it’s gone anyway, so there’s no real need to swallow it to enjoy it. Anyway, that works for me.
            Burt

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            • #7
              Re: chocolate a trigger??

              thanks you two! Lisa, I am the BIGGEST chocoholic! Brownies are my favorite sweet and unfortunately, I will have to pass on them. thanks for your stories and suggestions. just found this on the HealthCentral.com website:

              Does My Atrial Fibrillation Mean No Chocolate For Me?

              December 06, 2000
              From our sponsors:





              Bob: I have atrial fibrillation that kicks in periodically when I'm under a lot of stress.

              I've been told not to eat chocolate. It's not the caffeine in chocolate that's a problem, but the chocolate itself. To the best of my knowledge, I haven't had caffeine for a long time.

              I am on digoxin, which seems to delay my memory.

              Dr. Dean: Atrial fibrillation is a fluttering heart.

              As you know, chocolate does contain caffeine and also theobromine, which is a stimulant and a vasodilator. But to my knowledge, the amounts are just not enough to do people any harm.

              Chocolate can kill a dog, though, and the theobromine in the chocolate is the fatal ingredient.

              You should avoid huge amounts of caffeine, but I don't think you need to avoid it altogether. Of course, you should follow your doctor's orders, though, and if you're getting along without caffeine, you may as well stay off it.

              Digoxin comes from the foxglove plant and is one of the oldest herbal-based drugs around. Vincent Van Gogh was given it to treat his mental illness, and large doses of digoxin can certainly affect mental function. I would doubt that you're on a very large dose though.
              \"It is not length of life, but depth of life.\"

              Ralph Waldo Emerson

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              • #8
                Re: chocolate a trigger??

                Most people don't feel any effect from chocolate, but HCMers are not most people. Our hearts are super sensitive and dark chocolate is a big trigger, especially if you are prone to afib.

                My aunt once ate a box of SnoCaps ---they're dark chocolate--and went into afib immediately.

                S

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                • #9
                  Re: chocolate a trigger??

                  I was wondering,
                  If dark chocolate can put you into A fib, will white chocolate pull you out of it?

                  Actually, I was thinking, if chocolate can bring it on (ie: trigger it) is there some food or supplement that could help guard against going into A fib? I would think there should be. Look at all we’ve found out about vitamins – food supplements that help prevent or guard against a lot of things – or the prevention of scurvy, or a host of other ailments. There must be something to counter the effects of theobromine, or to shield you from those types of triggers.

                  We’ve still got a long way to go.
                  Burt

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: chocolate a trigger??

                    Oh what a sad topic. I love chocolate...in fact I ate 2 choc bars yesterday... I didn't have any problems but then I perhaps am not prone to Afib. I hope not anyway. I have heard about how dogs can die from choc, although have yet to know of one. My [email protected]#$ dog eats EVERYTHING and has yet to die. Most days I am glad.

                    Anyway here is what I found....

                    Theobromine affects humans similarly to caffeine, but on a much smaller scale. Theobromine is mildly diuretic, is a mild stimulant, and relaxes the smooth muscles of the bronchi in the lungs. In the human body, theobromine levels are halved between 6-10 hours after consumption.

                    Theobromine has been used as a drug for its diuretic effect, particularly in cases where cardiac failure has resulted in an accumulation of body fluid. It has been administered with digitalis in order to relieve dilatation. Because of its ability to dilate blood vessels, theobromine also has been used to treat high blood pressure.

                    Different types of chocolate contain different amounts of theobromine. In general, theobromine levels are higher in dark chocolates (approximately 10 g/kg) than in milk chocolates (1-5 g/kg). Higher quality chocolate tends to contain more theobromine than lower quality chocolate. Cocoa beans naturally contain approximately 300-1200 mg/ounce theobromine (note how variable this is!).


                    Unfortunately I do not like milk chocolate as much as dark choc. ah well.

                    One more thing. Jim, this is the first time I have seen your pic...you look much younger than I had anticipated. You look great for your age!!!


                    Cheers all

                    Pam
                    It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.

                    Dx in Feb/99. Obstructed. No ICD, no surgeries, no family history. 2 sons ages 14 and 6.

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                    • #11
                      Re: chocolate a trigger??

                      GOOD NEWS on Chocolate, OK it has NOTHING to do with AF - but heck I thought you would like to know. Hershey has a new low carb chocolate that is actually tastes pretty good - it is milk chocolate, i too prefer dark chocolate, but heck it is low carb!

                      Just thought my fellow chocoholics may want to know this 'important' information!

                      Lisa
                      Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
                      YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

                      Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
                      lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
                      Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
                      Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
                      Currently not obstructed
                      Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)

                      Comment

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