Palpitations (Aggravated by diet?)

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/28/2006 5:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Short summary
Inception of major problem: January 2005
Symptoms: Tachycardia around meal time.  2-3 different kinds of skipped beats.  No shortness of breath.  No dizziness.  Normal blood pressure.  Normal metabolic panels.
Cardiologist work done so far
EKG came back normal.  Cardio said no need to do a stress test as due to my weight lifting and cardiovascular exercise I would pass it with flying colors.  I was prescribed Toprol XL.  It calmed the heart, lowered bp (I have normal blood pressure and a bit of white coat syndrome), but of course did not make the palpitations go away.
I am euthyroid as well based on blood work.  Basic metabolic panel including liver enzymes etc all came back normal.
My Observations
As early as 2001 I noticed a heart function abnormality associated purely with whey protein.  I would feel as though I was going hypoglycemic and about to go to sleep after consuming it (think insulin flucuation from a big meal kind of feeling).  Then my heart would give me one or more jolts.  Felt like a thud and skipped beat.  I felt like I could fly out of bed.  I was then wide awake rather than sleepy. At other times during the day my body would twitch a little.  I felt like it originated form the heart somehow.  I called them protein jitters haha.
I don't experience that problem if I don't consume whey protein.  So I stopped at some point and I no longer noticed any symptoms.
In January 2005, I greatly increased my caloric intake.  I noticed upwards of 10,000 skipped beats per day or more at one point.  The only thing that caused those particular beats was gluten, specifically the typical proteins found in wheat products, barley, oatmeal etc. (rice and corn seemed to not cause a problem). 
Once again, those palpitations went away entirely once I eliminated the gluten.
What was left was standard palpitations.  Stress caused some mild 'pressure like palpitations'.  The best way I can describe those is just like a light squeeze in the chest area.  Changing position from horizontal to vertical still can cause changes in heartbeat for me.  I also still get the tachycardio from that as well.  I can get tachycardia around meal times.I then noticed that when I used lower carbohydrates, the symptoms were much worse.  So it seems when insulin gets low, I have more trouble with palpitations.  Sounds normal to me for palpitations!  Further, it seems protein in general, especially when consumed by itself, exascerbates the condition.  My latest solution involved consuming a very low protein diet very high in carbohydrates.  To my surprise and happiness about 80% or more of the noticable symptoms went away entirely.  It was like my heart was calm once again!  But of course I wasn't consuming adequate protein by a long shot and had a diet weighted very highly in cho.
What should my next steps be?
Do you recommend I shell out the cash for a holter monitor when I am experiencing symptoms?  What other sorts of medical tests do you think are warranted?  In essense, what do you think the underlying cause might be?  Caffeine or other mild stimulants have never caused me a problem.  As a matter of good common sense though I do not use stimulants like caffeine (maybe once in a blue moon).   The only supplement I take now is a multivitamin and I think we have ruled that is not the contributing factor.  To me it is 100% obvious that my heart doesn't seem to handle certain proteins well at all.  I can't explain it.  It doesn't seem that altering electrolyte intake has any effect on things.
What is the best course of action.  I'd like to understand why and how this happens.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 12/28/2006 11:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Cardinalduke, I just wanted to pop in to welcome you to Healing Well forum, we are happy to have you.  I dont have much knowledge in diet changes and heart related problems so I do hope that someone will come along to post a response to you soon.  In the meantime please do feel free to browse around the rest of our other forums if your interested and post anytime you like...we are always here. Take care :-)

Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 141
   Posted 12/29/2006 7:59 PM (GMT -6)   


I also notice that my palpitations may be food related.  When my blood sugar is low, they appear - and after for quite a while until my body seems to stabalize (if that makes sense).

I notice if I don't eat carbohydrates - they are drastic.  Take care.


New Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/2/2007 1:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Hypoglycemia is one thing that is known to trigger palpitations in some people. I think that is actually pretty common.

When I eliminated gluten and whey from my diet, the worst of my palpitations seemed to disappear. But I couldn't figure out exactly why I was left with what appeared to be palpitations that felt like a mild squeeze in my chest.

I recently went on a mild diet that didn't use many carbs. I too would have to describe the difference as somewhat drastic!
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