I’ve had heart palpitations for over a year, particularly after meals, but on their own as well, without obvious reason. Mine were most likely initially brought on by the intake of iodine (1.5 mg). I am among few that are very sensitive to it. I’ve had tests with my cardiologist and was told that there were no issues with my heart. However since my tachycardia was debilitating I did some research on the internet on the possible causes. I created a supplement list for myself to treat this condition. It is definitely working for me. I am feeling much better now. I want to share it with you.
According to my findings it can be caused but of course not limited to the following:
- Electrolyte imbalance (brought on by meds, supplements, medical conditions etc). Tests might not always show the lack of electrolytes or their imbalance. Solution: supplement with magnesium (200-400 mg/day. I use Magnesium Citramate.) Possibly increase salt intake (unrefined gray sea salt or Himalayan salt) especially if you also have low blood pressure. I took ½ tsp Himalayan salt with water every day. Possibly take potassium if tests show you are low. However, if you have adrenal issues (explained below) be careful with too much potassium as it is a sodium antagonist and may exacerbate sodium deficiency (yes, you might be deficient in sodium!). Some foods are very high in potassium like apricots, bananas, dates etc)
- Anemia (either classic as iron deficiency, or B12 deficiency). However overload of iron can also cause heart palpitations so don’t supplement without a comprehensive iron panel test. Overload can be caused by hereditary condition called Chemochromatosis, as well as iron overdose. If you find you are anemic (iron deficient) take Iron Bisglycinate (well absorbed, doesn’t cause too much stomach issues) or if you have B12 deficiency take Methylcobalamin preferably in a sublingual form.
- Cortisol deficiency due to prolonged period of stress or inflammation. Both stress and inflammation might not be obvious. Stress can be on a chronic continuous background level. Inflammation might also be hidden and caused by food sensitivities (dairy, soy, eggs, wheat, nuts, nightshades), parasites, viruses, gut bacterial overgrowth etc. There is Adrenal panel saliva test that you can take. Adrenal glands are responsible for producing Cortisol along with other important hormones. Cortisol deficiency causes low blood pressure, fatigue, heart palps, inability to handle stress, brain fog, depression, anxiety, low thyroid function among other symptoms. In my case I had low Cortisol and very low blood pressure (90/60), fatigue, anxiety.
To rebuild your adrenals take:
a) Vitamic C (2-5 g) I like sodium ascorbate but you can certainly take more expensive and effective Liposomal form of vitamin C;
b) Vitamin E as D-Alpha Tocopherol (natural form) (400-800IU);
c) Vitamin B complex (paying attention to B3 (125 mg), B5(1500 mg), B6(50 mg), B7-Biotin (200 mg), B12 (500 mg). I wouldn’t recommend B complex in one pill as a lot of people report feeling fatigued after taking B complex. This might be due to Folic acid (B9) or B6. Buy folic acid separately in a form of Folate (as L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate or 5-MTHF ) (400 mcg). B6 should be in a form of Pyridoxal 5′-Phosphate or P5P (methylated form).
d) Also take Vitamin D3 (2500IU). It is recommended to take Vit D3 together with vitamin K2 (to avoid soft tissue calcification). There are a lot of brands that use that combination in one preparation.
e) Magnesium (200-400 mg);
f) CoQ10 in a form of Ubiquinol (Kaneka QH- the reduced, active antioxidant form of Coenzyme Q10). It is an amazing stuff. It strengthens your mitochondria, strengthens your heart. (You can also try D-Ribose);
g) Zinc Carnosine 30mg or Zink Orotate (Apart from multiple very important functions in the body zink can restore Copper-zinc ratio which is unbalanced in some people leading to copper overload and thyroid/adrenal issues);
h) Phosphatidyl serine;
i) Amino-acid L-Tyrosine (stress relief, cognitive enhancement, thyroid function improvement);
j) 5HTP (100-300 mg/day- stress relief, cognitive enhancement);
k) Fermented Cod liver oil (1tsp/day)- reduces inflammation, improves cognitive function.
l) If you have low blood pressure accompanying your low cortisol (late stages of adrenal fatigue) take ½-1 tsp of himalayan or unrefined sea salt every morning.
m) You can also try botanicals. There are a whole lot of them including: Ashwaganda, Licorice root (can increase blood pressure), Shizandra, Rhodiola, Bacopa monniera, Tulsi (Holy basil), Eleutherococcus (Siberian ginseng) etc. Some of them however can increase heart palpitations since they can also stimulate your nervous system. I found that Ashwaganda and Bacopa are the safest. Don’t buy blends of several botanicals because if you get heart palps from them you’ll never guess which component caused them.
n) Some people take Glandulars (Adrenal cell extract from bovine sources) and hormones- Pregnenelone and DHEA. I would be very careful with them because all of them can exacerbate heart palps even in very low doses.
o) Clean up your diet. Try to phase out wheat and other gluten containing grains like barley and rye. Try eliminating dairy for 3-4 weeks and see how you feel. Eliminating dairy was an eye opener for me. If you have serious gut issues you would have to go on an elimination diet (eliminate wheat, soy, nuts, nightshades, dairy, eggs for a month and then reintroduce them one by one for 3 consecutive days and see how you feel).
Try and eliminate coffee (can exacerbate low cortisol issues), plus it stimulates nervous system. Try switching to de-caf and see how you feel.
For digestion improvement- take Probiotics ( I use Bio-Kult but it is rather pricey); L-Glutamine (for gut lining healing); Bone broth (for gut lining healing and minerals); Beef liver (for nutrients) especially vit A and iron; Fermented Cod liver oil (to heal inflammation in the gut, also good source of vitamins A, D and K); Zinc Carnosine 30mg) (Orotate)- gut, thyroid, immunity; Digestive enzymes including Protease DPP-IV (1000); Stomach acid- Betaine HCL or Betaine or TMG
4. Thyroid disease like Hashimoto or Graves. In both cases the result could be that too many thyroid hormones are released into blood at one time which can cause heart palps. There are tests for autoimmune thyroid disease that you can take. In a lot of cases Hashimoto can be caused or exacerbated by wheat intolerance or other food allergies/sensitivities, cortisol deficiency, infections/inflammation, lack in nutrients like Selenium, Zink, Iodine, Magnesium, Iron, Vit A. High copper can also inhibit thyroid function. The solution is all of the above adrenal support supplements paying special attention to gluten and dairy elimination, supplements like Selenium, Zink, Iodine (starting VERY LOW (mcg not mg) and always with SELENIUM), Coconut oil (improves thyroid function), thyroid glandulars if needed (sources of thyroid hormones); Low dose Naltraxone (immune modulator- need prescription); Moducare (modulates immune system); Anatabloc (Anatabine reduces inflammation, modulates immune system, reduces thyroid antibodies) etc.
5. Problems with the Vagus Nerve.
Some people report feeling bloated together with heart palpitations. A lot of people report having acid reflux. If you have acid reflux you are bound to have gas/bloating symptoms as well since acid reflux is one of the symptoms of slow emptying of the stomach due to different problems including food sensitivities, low stomach acid, SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) etc. The Vagus Nerve is long and travels throughout the body, from the brain to the heart to the stomach. An irritated Vagus nerve can cause a feeling of an irregular heartbeat and feeling lightheaded. One of the things that can cause Vagus nerve irritation is the excess gas in your stomach. As your stomach expands this sensitive nerve will come under pressure, sending haywire signals to your brain and heart.
Immediate help: deep breathing to relax; change body position to relieve pressure, drink some water, take digestive aid like ginger pills, DGL PLUS, digestive enzymes, Betaine HCL (before food and if you have no acid reflux).
Ultimate solution: change your diet. Go on elimination diet and see which foods cause problems (see above). In my case eating eggplants (nightshade family) for 2 consecutive days results in months of indigestion. And dairy consumption in the morning results in constant acid reflux all day no matter what I eat.
How to eliminate acid reflux. In most cases it is caused by bacterial overgrowth which results in too much gas produced by bacteria in your small intestine which in turn creates upward pressure with food and acid bubbling upwards into your esophagus. Solution: temporarily eliminate all fermentable (by bacteria in your gut) forms of carbohydrates (all fruits, all veggies apart from carrots, most grains apart from Jasmin rice (absorbed almost entirely leaving nothing for bacteria to eat), ALL dairy apart from butter (if tolerated)). You might find you can tolerate some forms of potatoes. Don’t overdose on fat as it slows down digestion. You can eat all forms of meat. When acid reflux is totally gone (might take from a couple of days to a couple of weeks) reintroduce veggies and fruits, first in a cooked form with cellulose broken down. Start on stomach acid pills (Betaine HCL with Pepsin). Start with 1, increase by one each day. When you experience burning in your stomach and/or sore/burning throat from acid vapors- reduce the dose to the previous well tolerated number of pills. (1-3). Most people with acid reflux have low stomach acid and stomach acid is essential for proper digestion.
And of course all of the above digestive supplements like Probiotics, Zinc, L-Glutamine etc.
Hope that helps.
Be healthy, be safe.