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Case study: Artrial Fibrillation

MagazineAugust 1992 (Vol. 3 Issue 5)Case study: Artrial Fibrillation

I am in my mid 40s, having spent my life to the age of 33 as a professional sportsman

I am in my mid 40s, having spent my life to the age of 33 as a professional sportsman.

My problem started at age 32, when I suffered bouts of racing heart beat during periods of non exertion. Naturally I panicked and felt nervous and very unsure of my health, which hitherto had been satisfactorily tested against some of the fittest sportsmen in the world. I suffered variation in the regularity of my heartbeat, perhaps once a month, which seemed to occur when I had drunk alcohol or eaten wheat products.Then at age 33 I suffered a bout of atrial fibrillation, which prompted me to go to a leading heart hospital for tests. By the time the tests were performed, and several hours had lapsed, my heartbeat returned to normal. ECG tests during rest and then during physical exercise proved normal, as did a sonic investigation of my heart structure. At that time, the medical profession put my condition down to excessive alcohol and caffeine and called it "holiday syndrome".

However, this atrial fibrillation continued to occur perhaps some two to three times per year, usually when I had drunk alcohol or eaten food. But the exact trigger was difficult to define because I could drink and eat on other occasions without a problem. Prior to the atrial fibrillation, I also suffered from abdominal discomfort, headache, itchy skin, diarrhoea, and once the erratic heartbeat became established, suffered from frequency to urinate, a blocked nose, and shivering, even when it wasn't cold.

I have now got used to the attacks, which go away after up to 12 hours of rest. They always occur after eating food or drink, now every couple of weeks or so. To limit attacks, I now don't drink alcohol, which is definitely a potent trigger. Wheat products only cause me a problem in excess, but certain spicy foods particularly Chinese food, seem to cause a problem almost everytime. If I eat only a small quantity of food and don't drink I rarely get an attack. At present fruit appears to be a trigger.

Over the years I have consulted several heart specialists, who have verified the atrial fibrillation, but who all say my heart structure is okay. I have also tried acupuncture, homoeopathy, removal of dental amalgam, Nystatin for treatment of candida, herbal treatment, iridology all without success. My latest consultant has tested my blood and found entrovirus antibodies and therefore suspects ME. I have been given a choline/ascorbic acid mix by this specialist in an attempt to neutralize any viral infection, and gammaglobulin injection to boost my immune system. But I am no better. I think his diagnosis that the hyperthalmus in my brain is not functioning properly during the attacks is right, but no one seems to know why and no treatment appears to work. Any suggestions? D. L. Newcastle upon Tyne.

The one area you don't seem to have explored is allergies, which could even be responsible for your irregular heartbeat (see p 8). Before you get launched into a number of heart drugs or worse, we would recommend that you have a thorough check up by a clinical ecologist or similar type allergy specialist who will isolate which food or drink is causing the problem.

Hepatitis b

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