To Dr. John-fish oil : arrythmias/fluttering

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    To Dr. John-fish oil : arrythmias/fluttering


    Hi Dr. John,

    I recall your telling me that fish oil is anti-arrhythmic. However would you know why in a low % of people fish oil can actually bring about arrhythmias ?

    I'm prone to anxiety and arrhythmias (sinus node arrhythmias to be accurate), and whenever I have fish oil gel caps (even one) with a higher EPA to DHA ratio, I get those arrhythmias. It cannot be any other supplements, as fish oil is the only one I've taken for a month. I never take high doses fish oil ever, so overdosing is not what's wrong here, but I swear to God fish oil does trigger some arrhythmias in me--I get scarred when I get those, really. Althoug my PCP has told me they're not harmful--I probably get scarred because I'm already prone to anxiety.

    I'd like to understand why fish oil does that in some.

    Many thanks in advance

    Marc

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    Have you tried one with a natural balance of EPA and DHA?

    Also is your diet otherwise healthy? magnesium and vitamin D play a role in heart arythmias I think.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsHectic
    Have you tried one with a natural balance of EPA and DHA?


    Nope, not yet, but I'll have to see whether it's the high EPA to DHA ratio that is causing it.

    Also is your diet otherwise healthy? magnesium and vitamin D play a role in heart arythmias I think.

    Magnesium is likely something I'm lacking in my diet--although I eat brown rice often--if i recall correctly it's a good source for Mg. As far as vitamin D, I get it from milk (low fat) and yogurt, but I'm not sure yogurt contains much, I say this from the top of my head.

    Those I heard from wo complained of heart arrhythmias while on fish oil used large doses, so it could explain why they get that side effect. But I do not use large doses. I seem to be hypersensitive to a lot of substances, OR it's anxiety based, however in the case of fish oil, it's not something I anticipated--in fact i thought it would help stop those arrhytmias, even though i don't have many of them. It's just that anything that has to do with the ticker I find to be scarry--that doesn't mean other organs are less important, as they sure are.

    Cheers
    Marc
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    Everyone naturly gets there vitamin D from sunlight, unless the milk is fortified I dont think it contains vitamin D atleast not enough anyway.
    The main source for magnesium is green vegetables prefebly dark green leafy vegetables.
    Although some study showed magnesium supplimentation not to help with heart arythmias.

    You should try fish oil with a natural balance, that might help, and to eat it with a main meal, omega-3 is all about balance with omega-6. But its not for everyone so if you still have problems with it then it probly isnt for you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsHectic
    Everyone naturly gets there vitamin D from sunlight, unless the milk is fortified I dont think it contains vitamin D atleast not enough anyway.
    The main source for magnesium is green vegetables prefebly dark green leafy vegetables.
    Although some study showed magnesium supplimentation not to help with heart arythmias.

    I read about that too, I think it depends on the type of arrhythmias though. What I read is that Mg isn't effective against all kind of heart arrhythmias.

    You should try fish oil with a natural balance, that might help, and to eat it with a main meal, omega-3 is all about balance with omega-6. But its not for everyone so if you still have problems with it then it probly isnt for you.
    I'll try the natural balance fish oil for sure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. John
    Fish oil stabilizes membrane voltages, and therefore reduces arrythmias.

    What do we know about fish oil actually inducing same?

    This is indeed a tough question to say the least.

    The one fish oil supp I've been taking has a 3:1 EPA/DHA ratio, whereas the other one bottle i got yesterday evening has 30% EPA and 20% DHA, which might reduce the incidence of those arrhythmias.

    One thing is for sure, on the first fish oil product I get those arrhythmias, and when I discontinue taking the fish oil, they stop happening. Since fish oil is very healthy for the cardiovascular system, and to counter inflammation etc...I figured I'd do more harm than good not taking it.

    At this point however, I don't know anymore. However I seem to have noticed that when I have those on an empty stomach I get more of those arrythmias than when I have them after a meal. Like the previous poster brought up, what is important is the balance of omega 3 and 6.

    It's annoying cause it seems I'm part of the small % group that get weird and almost unheard of reactions from some supplements.

    Thank you
    Marc
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    If you cant tollerate the natural balance fish oil, then I think you should have a good chance with Flaxseed oil or an omega 3-6-9 supp.

    I think I have had heart palpatations on like 9-10 grams of fish oil per day. Its not surprising for something to have the opposite effect when taken in excess doses, a lot of drugs will do one thing at a small dose then the opposite at a higher dose, such as alcohol pepping you up after 1 drink but then putting you on your ass after too many.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsHectic
    If you cant tollerate the natural balance fish oil, then I think you should have a good chance with Flaxseed oil or an omega 3-6-9 supp.
    Yep, that's what I was thinking too yesterday in the supplement aisle at the drug store, where I saw 3-6-9 supps. there. Arrhythmias aside, I feel very well on omega 3 though, but I get scarred when my ticker has an extra beat, which is felt a a flip flop in the chest.

    I seem to recall a post by Dr. John where he said that flax oil is useless whatever the amount ones take, because it's short chain fatty acids, as opposed to long chain fatty acids from fish.

    Marc
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    Yea you might be better off getting an omega 3-6-9 supp without ALA, and instead fish oil. The problem with ALA(wich is a precursor to DHA and EPA) is the body does not convert it very well. But if you were to get a supp with Fish oil, borage seed oil and olive oil then it should be more beneficial.
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    Thanks for the pointer, this will likely turn out to be helpful to me next time I pick an omega 3-6-9 supplement.

    Those forums are great places of all the web sites.

    Thanks
    Marc
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    As an aside, one very common side effect of any anti-arrythmic drug out there is....arrythmias.

    It's a very fine line, and it varies from person to person. One person can be fine with a dose of a drug, and that same dose may induce Torsade de Pointes in another.

    The heart is a tricky thing to work with...
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtruther
    As an aside, one very common side effect of any anti-arrythmic drug out there is....arrythmias.

    It's a very fine line, and it varies from person to person. One person can be fine with a dose of a drug, and that same dose may induce Torsade de Pointes in another.

    The heart is a tricky thing to work with...
    Torsades de pointes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Causes
    The primary cause for torsades de pointes is hypomagnesemia (low blood levels of magnesium). It is commonly seen in malnourished individuals like alcoholics, as chronic abuse of alcohol will lead to low levels of magnesium, calcium, thiamine, and other nutrients.
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    I now use a more balanced DHA/EPA fish oil supp. and I don't seem to get any more of those arrhythmias.

    By the way, I looked over my Holter monitor report and the arrhytmias they found out were supraventricular arrhythmias--they only found 2 of them over a 48-hour period. My PCP said they're definately not of any concern, and so thought the internist.
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    consistent very slight chest pains after taking fish oil ?


    I've noticed (although this was totally unexpected) that 20 minutes or so after taking fish oil (im talking two gels caps or even one a day here, not mega doses) I get ever so slight chest pains, which feel like a jolt pain, that is, it's only the duration of a hearbeat. Like 20 minutes ago I had a fish oil gel cap, and just had 4 of those. It only happens soon after taking the fish oil, then I'm ok. Although they're slight chest pains, and don't last, this got me VERY worried the times it happened. When i do not take any fish oil then all is fine.

    Dr. John, would you be so kind as to help me with this ? What could it possibly be from ? Should I be allarmed over this ?

    On a scale of 1-10, those chest pains are a 1.

    Thanks in advance
    Marc
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    Personally I wouldnt be alarmed although I would still try to prevent it, have you been taking it with a main meal?

    What other supps do you take? is your diet high or low in fats?

    Its likely some other supps could magnify the effects of fish oil, and if your diet is low in fat ie 20 or 30 grams of fat per day for example, then I would not be surprised this is happening.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsHectic
    Personally I wouldnt be alarmed although I would still try to prevent it, have you been taking it with a main meal?

    What other supps do you take? is your diet high or low in fats?

    Its likely some other supps could magnify the effects of fish oil, and if your diet is low in fat ie 20 or 30 grams of fat per day for example, then I would not be surprised this is happening.
    Yes, I've been taking fish oil gel caps with a meal.

    The only other supps. I'm taking right now is vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid.

    In all honesty I cannot provide you with an accurate figure on how much fat my day-to-day diet contains, as I haven't evaluated this part yet, but soon will, as I'm eating a much cleaner diet now.

    Like I said, I'm not a big guy, I'm 5'7'', 163 lbs at age 34.

    I however cannot tell you for sure whether those were actual heart pains or stomach pains, as one guy on the MESO's men health forum has told me that his gastroenterologist said that sometimes acid reflux can cause heart pain like symptoms.

    I noticed that I got those pains (although those were a 1 on a 1-10 scale) while sitting at the computer desk in a slouched/ arched back position, as I'm not at home right now, thus sitting in that position my internal organs are somewhat compressed. I've also noticed that at the very moment of those slight pains which only last one second each, and are not consecutive in a matter of seconds, that I either experienced a fish oil burp or felt/heard gurgling sounds down in my intestine.

    Thanks for the prompt reply, and Happy New year to you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsHectic
    Its likely some other supps could magnify the effects of fish oil, and if your diet is low in fat ie 20 or 30 grams of fat per day for example, then I would not be surprised this is happening.
    May I ask why you wouldn't be surprised ?

    P.S. I'd forgotten to include this query in my minutes ago reply....sorry it's late here, and I'm getting sleepier by the minute.

    Thanks
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    I wouldnt be surprised because if you had a low fat diet you most probly wouldnt be getting much omega-6 therefore omega-3 supplimentation would push the balance wich could cause heart palpitations.

    Seeing as though you are having these pains with a burp or stomach sounds then I would put my money on it being heart burn, what I would try is to take an antacid with it. I am not sure what you have where you are but, mylanta is bad because it contains alluminium, gaviscon would be abit overboard. Good ones here are rennie(calcium and magnesium) and eno(baking soda and citric acid).
    If you dont want to be taking it with an antacid then you can try find enteric coated fish oil.

    Happy new year to you too man.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsHectic
    I wouldnt be surprised because if you had a low fat diet you most probly wouldnt be getting much omega-6 therefore omega-3 supplimentation would push the balance wich could cause heart palpitations.

    Seeing as though you are having these pains with a burp or stomach sounds then I would put my money on it being heart burn, what I would try is to take an antacid with it. I am not sure what you have where you are but, mylanta is bad because it contains alluminium, gaviscon would be abit overboard. Good ones here are rennie(calcium and magnesium) and eno(baking soda and citric acid).
    If you dont want to be taking it with an antacid then you can try find enteric coated fish oil.

    Happy new year to you too man.
    The palpitation thing with the new fish oil I'm taking is fine--only there's that stomach pain Or heart pain, I'm not totally sure which one it is yet.

    Unless heartburn can manifest as a sporadic short pain, then it may be just that, but I've always thought heartburn was just that, a burning sensation in the breast bone area.

    Thanks it's Hectic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip Douglas
    The palpitation thing with the new fish oil I'm taking is fine--only there's that stomach pain Or heart pain, I'm not totally sure which one it is yet.

    Unless heartburn can manifest as a sporadic short pain, then it may be just that, but I've always thought heartburn was just that, a burning sensation in the breast bone area.

    Thanks it's Hectic.
    Chip get this brand of Fish Oil not heartburn or chest pains.
    Costco Kirkland Signature™ Enteric Coated Fish Oil Concentrate 200 Softgels - $2.00 Off
    Phil
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    Updating the arrhythmia situation--potassium


    Here's an update on the supraventricular arrhythiam I had. I say I had, cause I don't seem to get them anymore, or their number has decreased by a lot, although I didn't get that many to begin with.

    I had my potassium checked as part of other tests, and my PCP called me back to let me know it was at the lowest (3.3). He sent me for a re-test, which then came back normal. However this tells me my Potassium hovers on the low side, and low K is associated with PVC if I recall correctly--Premature Ventricular Contractions. My PCP told me mine were (they found 2 in a 48-hour period) supraventricular arrhythmias, and they were not worried at all.

    I think it's ; It's Hectic who told me that my potassium/magnesium might be a cause for those arrhythmias.

    Anyway, since I been eating more Potassium rich foods, I haven't gotten much of those arrhytmias, at least the kind I consciously felt.
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    Chip this is great news so we do help each other.
    Phil
    Quote Originally Posted by Chip Douglas
    Here's an update on the supraventricular arrhythiam I had. I say I had, cause I don't seem to get them anymore, or their number has decreased by a lot, although I didn't get that many to begin with.

    I had my potassium checked as part of other tests, and my PCP called me back to let me know it was at the lowest (3.3). He sent me for a re-test, which then came back normal. However this tells me my Potassium hovers on the low side, and low K is associated with PVC if I recall correctly--Premature Ventricular Contractions. My PCP told me mine were (they found 2 in a 48-hour period) supraventricular arrhythmias, and they were not worried at all.

    I think it's ; It's Hectic who told me that my potassium/magnesium might be a cause for those arrhythmias.

    Anyway, since I been eating more Potassium rich foods, I haven't gotten much of those arrhytmias, at least the kind I consciously felt.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmgamer18
    Chip this is great news so we do help each other.
    Phil
    Yeah, this forum is such a nice place. I'm all for helping one-another too--hopefully, I'll someday be more of a helper than a help seeker.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip Douglas
    Yeah, this forum is such a nice place. I'm all for helping one-another too--hopefully, I'll someday be more of a helper than a help seeker.
    We all need to start some place.
    Phil
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmgamer18
    We all need to start some place.
    Phil

    I agree Phil.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip Douglas
    I think it's ; It's Hectic who told me that my potassium/magnesium might be a cause for those arrhythmias.
    Good to see you got that problem solved, it wasnt me, I only suggested magnesium, although:

    Magnesium and potassium also have a close relationship. Magnesium is necessary for the function of the sodium/potassium pump. If a magnesium deficiency occurs, then pumping sodium out of the cell and pumping potassium into the cell may be impaired (5). Prescription diuretics tend to deplete magnesium and potassium. In this situation, magnesium intake can normalize both magnesium and potassium levels in the muscle (5).
  

  
 

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