Nutritional imbalances are common in atrial fibrillation patients. The three big imbalances are typically magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
Thus, some of the alternative treatments for atrial fibrillation revolve around taking nutritional supplements for one or more of these minerals, with magnesium supplements being the most popular.
Many physicians are dismissive about nutritional imbalances. However, if you are interested in this kind of treatment it is important for you to insist. For one thing, it’s a good idea to have tests done that measure the level of these minerals in your body before you just start taking supplements off the shelf.
Why is testing a good idea? It’s important to know what your magnesium, potassium, and calcium levels actually are. Too much of any of these elements is as detrimental as too little, and can trigger afib attacks as easily.
The most common testing option is a blood serum test. But this test can be misleading. This test only measures current mineral levels in blood serum, and not levels within your cells. Blood levels can be normal even if you do have a deficiency, simply because the body will take minerals from the cells to keep your blood serum levels normal.
It does this because these levels are meant to keep your heart pumping normally. If you don’t have the right levels in your blood serum your heart will stop, so your body will feed your blood serum the minerals it needs before it does anything else.
So if a blood serum test shows your mineral levels are normal you might want to ask for a more extensive test, like an EXAtest or a red cell magnesium test. Some doctors might resist giving you these tests, but they really are more accurate.
Once you’ve determined your actual levels, you and your doctor can discuss the proper supplement dosages and methods of delivery. You can also discuss using other helpful supplements. For example, Omega-3 Fish Oils, Vitamin C and Hawthorne Berry are all thought to be very helpful for atrial fibrillation patients.
Supplements may interfere with your other medications so if you are taking any, you’ll especially want to include your doctor in your supplement plan. Do not try to treat afib on your own by simply walking into a drug store and picking up a bottle of magnesium pills. You may trigger more episodes than you prevent!