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7 AFIB Triggers
Oct 11, 2022

7 common Afib triggers that may surprise you

1. Sleep issues
Poor quality sleep, often caused by a condition known as sleep apnea, can result episodes of atrial fibrillation. Even small interruptions in an individual’s sleep quality and duration can increase the risk of atrial fibrillation by as much as 18%, and those who experience insomnia are up to 40% more likely to develop Afib.
2. Alcohol
Consuming alcohol, especially binge drinking, can weaken the heart muscle, making it more difficult to pump blood to the rest of the body. This, in turn, makes the heart more susceptible to episodes of Afib. Alcohol consumption can also result in dehydration, another common trigger for Afib.
3. Caffeine
As a powerful stimulant, caffeine has been identified as an Afib trigger for some individuals. However, several clinical studies indicate caffeine has no, or minimal, impact on those with Afib.
5. Dehydration
Whether from consuming excess caffeine or alcohol or a lack of water, dehydration is a very common trigger for atrial fibrillation. Caffeine and alcohol are powerful diuretics, which means if a person doesn’t drink enough supplemental water, they can become dehydrated, which can lead to episodes of atrial fibrillation.
6. Stress
Any type of stress can cause episodes of atrial fibrillation. Periods of stress can result in the release of stress-related hormones that can trigger Afib. Furthermore, individuals under stress may tend to have sleep issues, consume more caffeine or drink more alcohol – habits that together can lead to an Afib event.
7. Large meals
For some individuals, consuming a large meal can cause gastrointestinal problems. These, in turn, can stimulate the vagus nerve, which connects the gut, brain and heart. A spike in the vagus nerve from eating a large meal can spark an Afib event. Research shows that when gastrointestinal issues resolve, Afib episodes typically subside.