Coffees Impact On Your Overall Heart Health
Recent research, including a study from the University of Southern California, has found an association between coffee drinking and longevity. Studies have also shown less cardiovascular disease among people who drink coffee, making coffee actually heart-healthy.
But what about caffeines role in all this? While many studies find benefits in coffee, many of those benefits occurred whether the coffee was caffeinated or decaffeinated. Its possible that there could be something else in coffee that boosts health. Or, it could be that there is another confounding factor affecting the results after all, these studies have only proved a link, not a cause and effect.
Research presented at an American Heart Association conference, though, provided a mechanism for how caffeine itself might improve heart health. Drinking a cup of coffee significantly improved blood flow among small blood vessels, which may keep your heart from having to work too hard.
What Causes A Palpitation
Palpitations occur for a variety of reasons, including what you have had to eat or drink.
Michael Giudici, M.D., a University of Iowa cardiologist who specializes in arrhythmias, lists these elements as reasons for occasional heart palpitations:
- Caffeine-related palpitations can come from drinks like espresso that are high in caffeine. Reduce or eliminate beverages that contain caffeine such as coffee or soda to avoid palpitations.
- Consuming large quantities of chocolate has been linked to heart palpitations. Chocolate provides the same stimulants as caffeine and can trigger abnormal heart rhythms.
- An increase in alcohol consumption can cause heart palpitations, especially in patients with previous heart problems.
- Some over-the-counter medications that contain decongestants, such as cold and allergy medications, act as stimulants increasing the risk of palpitations.
- Fatigue, stress, and lack of sleep can either cause or worsen palpitationsmanaging stress and developing healthy sleep habits is important.
Things You Can Do To Help With Supraventricular Tachycardia
If your episodes of SVT only last a few minutes and do not bother you, you may not need treatment.
You can make changes to your lifestyle to reduce your chances of having episodes, such as:
- cutting down on the amount of caffeine or alcohol you drink
- stopping or cutting back on smoking
- making sure you get enough rest
Your doctor may also be able to recommend some simple techniques to help stop episodes when they happen.
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Try The Valsalva Maneuver
A breathing technique called the Valsalva maneuver can prevent an AFib episode. You donât need any special equipment, and you can do it pretty much anywhere. Simply pinch your nostrils and keep your mouth closed while attempting to breathe for 10 to 15 seconds. This increases the pressure inside your ear and chest, which reduces some heart arrhythmias. Your ears might pop, and thatâs OK. Just donât blow too hard, as it might damage your ear.
Ingesting Too Much Magnesium Can Result In Cardiac Arrest
Jenna Liphart Rhoads, PhD, a registered nurse and medical educator for Nurse Together, says that too much magnesium can have life-threatening health complications. âIngesting too much magnesium can cause cardiac arrest by disrupting the electrical activity in the cardiac muscles,â she explains. Sudden cardiac arrest is the abrupt loss of heart function, breathing, and consciousness, and âif not treated immediately,â it can lead to death, experts at the Mayo Clinic warn. You may experience chest discomfort, shortness of breath, weakness, and heart palpitations before sudden cardiac arrest, which warrants a call to 911 or immediate visit to the emergency room. And for more on your heart health, If You See This on Your Skin, Your Heart Attack Risk Is Higher, Study Says.
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Coffee Won’t Upset Your Heartbeat It Might Even Calm It
But a large new study has found that most people can enjoy their morning joe or afternoon diet cola free from worry — caffeine doesn’t seem to increase most people’s risk of arrhythmias.
“We see no evidence for this broad-based recommendation to avoid coffee or caffeine,” said study co-author Dr. Gregory Marcus, associate chief of cardiology for research at the University of California, San Francisco. “There could be some individuals where caffeine is their trigger, but I think the growing evidence is those cases are actually quite rare.”
In fact, results indicate that every additional cup of coffee a person drinks daily might lower their risk of arrhythmia by about 3% on average, according to the study published July 19 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
“The majority of people, even those with arrhythmias, should be able to enjoy their cup of coffee, and maybe there are some people for whom caffeine or coffee may actually help reduce their risk,” Marcus said.
Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages worldwide, but its properties as a stimulant have prompted many doctors to warn heart patients against drinking java, Marcus said.
Of that large group, about 17,000 developed a heart rhythm problem during an average follow-up of 4.5 years, researchers said.
Consider A Magnesium Supplement
Some research suggests that getting enough magnesium may lower the risk of AFib. One study showed that people who had low magnesium levels were more likely to develop AFib. In another, people in an ER for atrial fibrillation who got magnesium along with usual care were more likely to return to a normal pulse than those given a placebo. The jury is still out, as not all the research supports this. So you may want to ask your doctor if itâs a good idea to take a magnesium supplement.
New Evidence On How Alcohol And Caffeine Affect Heart Rhythm Found In Ucsf Studies
In separate studies, UC San Francisco researchers examined the effects of two widely consumed beverages coffee and alcohol on irregular heartbeat.
- UCSF scientists investigated whether regular coffee consumption was associated with arrythmias and whether genetic differences in caffeine metabolism affected the association.
- During follow-up, just 4 percent of participants developed an arrythmia.
- There was no evidence that regular coffee consumption or genetic differences in caffeine metabolism increased cardiacarrythmia risk.
Caffeinated coffee has been associated with a lower risk of cancer, diabetes, Parkinsons disease and overall mortality. Without much evidence, it is also assumed to heighten the chance of arrythmias. UCSF cardiologist and electrophysiologist Gregory Marcus, MD, and a team of researchers set out to test this assumption. In the largest prospective cohort study of its kind, they utilized data from more than 380,000 participants aged 40 to 69 from a large databank of health and genetic information in the U.K. Participants, slightly more women than men, were grouped into eight categories based on how much coffee they drank, with a median of two cups a day. They were also genotyped for variations in caffeine metabolism.
No evidence of caffeine-arrythmia relationship
Caffeine is safe and possibly protective
One drink doubles the chance of acute AF events
Is It Your Circulation
Some causes of low blood flow to the brain include blood clots, clogged arteries, heart failure, and an irregular heartbeat. For many older people, standing suddenly can cause a sharp drop in blood pressure.
Its important to get medical help immediately if youre dizzy and faint or lose consciousness.
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Alcohol Caffeine Are Common Triggers Of Irregular Heart Rhythm
By Manas Mishra
4 Min Read
– The most common triggers of atrial fibrillation – an irregular heart rhythm thats a leading cause of stroke – are avoidable behaviors like drinking alcohol or coffee, a recent study suggests.
People dont always realize when theyre experiencing atrial fibrillation, or AFib, but some feel unpleasant chest palpitations or a racing, irregular heartbeat.
Some patients have AFib 24 hours a day. In others, the irregular heartbeat is paroxysmal, that is, it comes and goes. For the current study, reported in the journal Heart Rhythm, researchers surveyed 1,295 patients with symptomatic paroxysmal AFib and found the most common behaviors that triggered episodes of the arrhythmia were alcohol consumption, caffeine consumption and exercise.
The survey asked about 11 possible triggers: alcohol, caffeine, lack of sleep, exercise, not exercising, consuming cold beverages, consuming cold foods, high sodium diet, consuming large meals, dehydration, and lying on ones left side.
About three-fourths of the patients said at least one of those behaviors triggered AFib some or all of the time.
Alcohol consumption was cited by 35 percent, followed by coffee drinking , exercise and lack of sleep .
The researchers say its possible the behaviors dont actually trigger the episodes but instead make the symptoms worse.
The study wasnt designed to tell whether cutting back on these triggers would reduce the frequency of AFib episodes.
What Are The Symptoms Experienced When A Person Feels Dizzy
- Lightheadedness is the feeling of weakness and faintness as if you are about to pass out. The symptoms tend to be short-lived, depending on the cause. There may be associated nausea, sweating, and blurred vision.
- If the cause is dehydration or bleeding, the symptoms may worsen by standing quickly and may resolve somewhat by lying down
- Heart rhythm disturbances may occur without warning and may be associated with palpitations. This may come and go or it may persist. The heartbeat may be felt as too fast , too slow, and/or irregular.
- Vertigo is the sensation of spinning and may present without warning and be associated with nausea and vomiting. People with inner ear problems may be debilitated and unable to move without generating symptoms.
- People with a cerebellar cause of vertigo such as a stroke or tumor may have associated coordination problems or difficulty walking, and other signs of stroke.
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Caffeinated Foods / Beverages
The research around caffeine is a little less definitive since a study released at the start of 2016 found no relationship between caffeine consumption and palpitations. However, those results dont change the fact that caffeine revs up your sympathetic nervous system and spikes your levels of stress hormones , raising your blood pressure and increasing your heart rate. Caffeine also acts as a diuretic, which can wash away your potassium and magnesium stores, creating an electrolyte imbalance that disrupts the heart rhythm.
In my experience, placing extra stress on the heartas caffeine doescan aggravate existing arrhythmias or cause new ones. One of the reasons beta blockers are prescribed to heart attack patients is that they help control heart rate and prevent sudden changes in heart rate and rhythm by blunting the effect of the stress hormone adrenaline.
For those of you with healthy hearts, your daily dose of coffee, tea, or chocolate probably wont cause any harm. Beware, though, of caffeine-containing energy drinks, which are particularly popular with young people. These drinks, which combine caffeine with large amounts of sugar, have been linked with heart palpitations, arrhythmia, heart attack, and sudden cardiac death in adolescents and young adults.
Other Side Effects Of Caffeine
People who have cardiovascular conditions, irritable bowel syndrome or an ulcer or who are prone to osteoporosis should use caffeine with caution, if at all. One big side effect of caffeine is insomnia, so stay away from caffeinated substances later in the day.
Caffeine is rarely harmful, but you can overdose on it. Because tolerance to caffeine varies so much, an overdose is identified by the symptoms it produces, rather than by the specific amount consumed. Besides dizziness, the symptoms of an overdose could include difficulty breathing, convulsions, diarrhea, fever, an irregular heartbeat, twitchiness and vomiting. If you think youve overdosed on caffeine, dont attempt to treat it yourself. You should call 911 or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
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See How Caffeine Makes You Feel
Although the research doesnt currently support a link between caffeine and arrhythmias, if you find caffeine seems to worsen the condition, consider cutting down.
There are patients who may be sensitive to caffeine and note the onset of palpitations or worsening palpitations with low or any caffeine intake, Van Herle says. I usually advise my patients with palpitations that are worsened with caffeine to cut down if they can and reassure others with arrhythmias, that are not affected by caffeine, that they can continue to use it in moderate amounts.
But there might be one exception to the caffeine rule for heart health. In general I do advise my patients to stay away from high energy drinks that contain very high caffeine content, Van Herle adds.
Irregular heartbeat, which can feel like a fluttering or racing heart, is a cause for concern because it may mean your heart isnt working properly. It can be a sign of heart disease, including coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathy . But, according to the American Heart Association, most arrhythmias are actually harmless. Only a doctor can tell for sure, so report an arrhythmia to your health care professional if you experience it.
What Food Triggers Afib And Why Does That Occur
Patients over the years have described a clear association between certain foods and triggering of Atrial Fibrillation . The most unusual case I have encountered is the case of the man who reliably triggered AF when eating takeaway Thai, but not Japanese, Italian, or any other type of food. Othermore common triggers include Alcohol, any large meals causing bloating, fizzy drinks, spicy foods, and large carbohydrate meals.
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What About Following A Special Diet
What you eat also certainly plays a role in managing yourracing heartbeat.
Ms. Zumpano encourages her patients to follow a Mediterranean-style diet, which puts the focus on plant-based foods. This means building meals and snacks that are rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, nuts and olive oil.
Specific nutritious foods that are a great addition to yourdiet include:
- Fish rich in omega-3s such as salmon, sardines, herring, tuna and mackerel
- Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries and other fresh fruits
- Oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice and other whole grains
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts
On the flip side, foods you should limit include:
- Red meat
- Processed foods
- Baked goods and other sugary foods and drinks
You should minimize the junk, for lack of a better word, Ms. Zumpano says. Processed foods, fast foods, fried foods and convenience foods are all high in salt and can all be classified as junk.
A high-sodium diet can also be a trigger not to mention that it can lead to high blood pressure, which also increases your risk of stroke.
Youve Lost Motivation To Work Out
Consuming too much sugar can make you gain weight in many ways, but the weirdest way is that it can reduce actual physical activity. In one University of Illinois study, mice that were fed a diet that mimicked the standard American dietâi.e., one that was about 18 percent added sugarsâgained more body fat even though they werent fed more calories. One of the reasons was that the mice traveled about 20 percent less in their little cages than mice that werent fed the sugary diet.
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When Should I Call The Doctor For Dizziness
Dizziness is a common complaint and often has resolved by the time the patient arrives to see a health care professional. Usually there is no rush to seek care. However, while the complaint of dizziness is not often an emergency, seek care immediately if it is accompanied by any of the following:
- Chest pain, shortness of breath, or palpitations. These symptoms should not be ignored, as they suggest the heart may be the source of the dizziness.
- Dehydration. Often there may be an associated illness including fever, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- People with diabetes may have dizziness due to low blood sugar or high blood sugar , and may need emergent care to stabilize their insulin and medication requirements.
- Bleeding from any source.
- Altered mental status or thinking. This may include symptoms such as confusion, change in vision, change in speech, facial droop, weakness of one side of the body, or headache. These may be signs of stroke, bleeding in the brain, or tumor.
- FAST warning signs of a stroke:
- Face facial droop
- Arm arm or leg weakness
- Speech difficulty speaking or understanding speech
- Time time is of the essence. Call 911.
Are You Suffering From A Caffeine Overdose
Caffeinated drinks including tea, coffee and energy drinks are all complex beverages containing hundreds of biologically active compounds, and the health effects of chronic caffeine intake can be wide-ranging depending on the individual.
Because caffeine can stay in your system for four to six hours , its easy to overdo it at times and feel panicky, sick and anxious all hallmark signs of caffeine overdose.
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