If you’ve ever suffered from a known episode of Afib, you know firsthand it can be scary.
And if you don’t “convert” back to a normal heart rhythm soon enough, you may find yourself having to make some tough choices about starting up on more drugs — and perhaps even undergoing a surgical procedure as well.
But could you be having an attack of Afib right now — without knowing it? Because it turns out that Afib is a lot more common than we thought.
These new findings have gladdened the hearts of the makers of a device that’s able to detect these irregularities in your heartbeat — but, obviously, the best course of action is doing everything you can to prevent Afib from happening in the first place.
And first and foremost, that may be eliminating a well-known Afib trigger that may be lurking in any number of your favorite foods — including some that seem totally innocent and even good for you.
Hidden triggers for a crazy beat
In the new study, researchers implanted a tiny cardiac monitoring device in 385 seniors who had various known heart conditions, but ones that didn’t include Afib. And they found that the longer these subjects had their heart rhythms tracked by the device, the more likely it was that it would detect sporadic episodes of Afib.
In fact, by the time 18 months had passed, Afib episodes had been detected in 1 out of 3 — and in 30 months, the number was up to 40 percent. Only 13 of the volunteers had this abnormal rhythm for over 24 hours, with most experiencing it for under six minutes.
The researchers’ conclusion was that heart doctors should strongly consider using these devices on all their patients to detect which ones might have Afib, but don’t know it.
Of course, that makes sense, considering the fact that these researchers are connected to Medtronic, the company that makes the device (two being actually employees!).
But just being aware of your Afib episodes isn’t enough — because even though a lot of seniors are suffering from a potentially dangerous heart problem every so often and don’t realize it, there are ways to ensure that your heartbeat stays regular.
And that’s why you may want to start rethinking what you’re having for breakfast, lunch and dinner — because a frequently hidden ingredient, monosodium glutamate (a.k.a. MSG), is a known Afib trigger.
Even the notoriously mainstream American Heart Association admits that!
Whenever you eat food that contains MSG, your blood levels of a chemical called glutamate can rise to the point where they activate “glutamate receptors” on your heart, some of which control your cardiac rhythm.
And for some, all it takes is a miniscule amount of MSG to cause their heart’s rhythm to go haywire.
But here’s where it gets tricky — because not all MSG added to food is called monosodium glutamate on the label. Big Food knows that many shoppers like us have now become wary of this additive and will bend over backward to avoid it.
So, the FDA allows food companies to call it by many different names, with the top aliases being:
- anything “hydrolyzed” (such as a “hydrolyzed protein”),
- soy protein (including soy protein concentrate and soy protein isolate),
- sodium caseinate,
- autolyzed yeast, and
- yeast extract
And some of the most likely places you’ll find this dangerous additive will be in canned soups, packaged gravies, bouillon cubes, and frozen dinners — all things that might appear to be perfectly safe and good to eat!
That’s why to protect yourself, you’ve got to read those ingredient labels carefully — and that’s especially true of low-sodium foods and even ones that say “NO MSG Added” on the packaging.
Your heart health — and even your life — might depend on it.
“Undiagnosed heart condition ‘Afib’ may be common, study suggests” Dennis Thompson, August 26, 2017, HealthDay, consumer.healthday.com