About 4 million Americans suffer from some sort of cardiac arrhythmia, with the most frequent being ectopic beats and atrial fibrillation (AF). AF is the most troublesome.

Causes of Arrhythmias

A number of factors may exist that increase the likelihood of an arrhythmia. These include:

  • Underlying coronary artery disease
  • Thyroid gland disorder
  • Poor diet of high sugars, refined carbohydrates, and high saturated fats
  • Increased toxic burden (heavy metals) and increased oxidative stress
  • Underlying anemia
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse and underlying high blood pressure

Other factors to consider are excessive alcohol intake, significant tobacco usage, high cortisol levels from stress, underlying nutritional deficiencies, and rarely mycoplasma infection. In patients that drink alcohol with AF present, we advise ingestion of specific anti-alcohol antioxidants that lower the levels of acetyl aldehyde, or the toxic breakdown product of alcohol. This is extremely important when more than two glasses of wine per night are consumed. This also is utilized to reduce the "morning after" effects as well as the disturbance of alcohol on the individual"s sleep pattern. Occasionally, anti-arrhythmic drugs such as channel-blockers may be pro-arrhythmic.

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  • Feeling of a skipped heartbeat
  • Feeling of a fluttering heartbeat
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Light-headedness
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting/near fainting spells

This is not a complete list, and if you are experiencing these symptoms it is not guaranteed you have arrhythmias.

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Our approach to AF and ectopic beats is a holistic one. The doctor will first sit down to get a complete medical background which may include detailed blood tests. Based on what the specialist finds, a management plan is compiled that is tailored to each patient's needs. This may include:

  • Exclude underlying offending agents
  • Appropriate diet
  • Correct any hormonal deficiencies or excesses
  • Substitution with essential fatty acids, garlic, an array of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, CoQ10*

    *extremely important on occasion, intramuscular injection is warranted

  • Reduce alcohol consumption, tobacco usage, and decrease the intake of saturated fats
  • Certain cardiac beneficial vitamins, minerals and amino acids such as taurine, selenium, thiamine, vitamin C, and ashwagandha are added

In cases where unknown coronary artery disease is present, intravenous chelation with sodium EDTA has proved effective in a number of cases. This has been used not as previously thought to remove calcium, but to reduce the presence of soft plaque, which increases the degree of occlusion in arteries already narrowed by calcium or hard plaque.

To complete our regimen we ensure adequate potassium levels of vitamin E and bromelain. Maintaining adequate levels of potassium is critical in patients on cardiac medications such as calcium channel blockers and ACE inhibitors. We prefer natural blood thinners such as nattokinase over conventional blood thinners such as coumadin, or aspirin. As of late, some success has been obtained in managing AF with an herb known as rillical, which contains ashwagandha.

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Learn more about how the Houston Wellness Clinic manages Arrhythmias.

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