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Bananas and palpitations

I have noticed that after every time I eat a banana, my heart has fairly strong palpitations for 1-2 minutes. It is the oddest thing. Does anyone have any information about this? I have never had a food allergy, but for some reason these episodes happen like clockwork immediately after I eat a banana.

I currently take atenolol 50mg once per day to deal with another minor arrythmia, but this seems much different.

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Avatar universal
This crazy! It happens to me too :-o What other food triggers it for you guys? It happens when I eat Almonds too.
Helpful - 1
6041940 tn?1378870813
I have been suffering from PSVT (AVQNT) for over 30 years. My heart rate can go as high as 300 beats per minute during these episodes that last from between one to 30 minutes. For me personally, BANANAS DO IN FACT TRIGGER PSVTs / PVCs within SECONDS. I am not hyperkalemic either, but I DO have a short QT interval (Short QT syndrome). My QT interval is normally around 300 to 350. A short QT interval (measured by an EKG) can predispose you to having PVCs and ventricular tachycardia, including other scary stuff. Anecdotally, I believe that although my potassium is usually normal, the QT interval is so short that just a little extra potassium can shorten the QT interval just enough to cause a PVC or PSVT in my case.
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
I get PVCs after eating bananas, too.  It's so weird.  For me it's absolutely not the potassium that causes it because I have a separate disorder that causes chronic hypokalemia and I take massive amounts of potassium supplements (far more in each dose than is in a banana) without resulting PVCs.

It's very odd.  I've noticed it again and again and again when I eat bananas and I have no idea what would cause it.  Doesn't happen with other fruits.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
If you are not sure what to tell the person who posted this question then why are you even responding?  Nothing more annoying than a person who just likes to hear themselves talk.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
If you are not sure what to tell the person who posted this question then why are you even responding?  Nothing more annoying than a person who just likes to hear themselves talk.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
If you don't know what to tell the person who posted the question then why are you responding to them?  Nothing more annoying then someone who just likes to hear themselves talk.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Bingo...   Sugar ....  any kind of sweets  triggers me    more water i say  .
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Wow, so hostile over this is not healthy, this could cause palpitations. who knows what is actually going on but your not there to experience it so you should chill before you have a stroke
Helpful - 0
1655526 tn?1330655629
How do you find out if you have low MAO? Is that part of a regular blood screening that is done for a regular physical or is it something you have to request?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
The  answer was revealed in a post in 2010.

Tyramine, a phenolic, in bananas, not potassium, causes release of epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine which can cause arrythmias.

In addition, there is tyrosine in bananas, an amino acid that forms epinephrine and norepinephrine. So you have a double whammy. This is why some people have reactions to eating bananas.

If you cannot metabolize or deaminate the tyramine and inactivate it, you have a triple whammy with a hypertensive crisis with arrythmia. This can be life threatening in people with low enzyme levels that metabolize tyramine.

The enzyme that breaks tyramine down is MAO or monoamine oxidase. Some people have a genetic deficiency of this enzyme. Others are low because they take drugs that suppress this enzyme.

There are many foods that contain high levels of tyramine: Bananas, aged cheeses, red wine, pickled foods, aged meats, smoked meats. nuts, and many mores. Suggest you google tyramine and see.

As a physician I have seen migraines, arrythmias and hypertensive crisis from eating too much tyramine containing foods in people who have low MAO levels. If you are in the majority and have normal MAO, then these foods may never bother you unless you pig out and eat too much and then you may have a headache or PVC.

I hope this clears up the problem with bananas. It is not a food allergy. It is a physiologic effect of the phenolic and amino acids found normally in the bananas and possibly a lower than normal MAO. The treatment is don't eat them or any other foods with tyramine.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
The  answer was revealed in a post in 2010.

Tyramine, a phenolic, in bananas, not potassium, causes release of epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine which can cause arrythmias.

In addition, there is tyrosine in bananas, an amino acid that forms epinephrine and norepinephrine. So you have a double whammy. This is why some people have reactions to eating bananas.

If you cannot metabolize or deaminate the tyramine and inactivate it, you have a triple whammy with a hypertensive crisis with arrythmia. This can be life threatening in people with low enzyme levels that metabolize tyramine.

The enzyme that breaks tyramine down is MAO or monoamine oxidase. Some people have a genetic deficiency of this enzyme. Others are low because they take drugs that suppress this enzyme.

There are many foods that contain high levels of tyramine: Bananas, aged cheeses, red wine, pickled foods, aged meats, smoked meats. nuts, and many mores. Suggest you google tyramine and see.

As a physician I have seen migraines, arrythmias and hypertensive crisis from eating too much tyramine containing foods in people who have low MAO levels. If you are in the majority and have normal MAO, then these foods may never bother you unless you pig out and eat too much and then you may have a headache or PVC.

I hope this clears up the problem with bananas. It is not a food allergy. It is a physiologic effect of the phenolic and amino acids found normally in the bananas and possibly a lower than normal MAO. The treatment is don't eat them or any other foods with tyramine.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I noticed I got palpitations minutes after eating a banana too.and it's not imagination or obsessing, but it's after a meal and that is the clue for me
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I honestly think it's all in your head. Come on think about it. Bananas causing palpitations?

Here's my opinion on that.

Palpitations seem to happen with people under certain stress or certain situations, especially if it's due to an anxiety/phobia disorder. So what could have happened is, one day in the distant past, you got a palpitation after you ate a banana. Your brain associated banana with palpitations and from there forward, it would happen at the same time (while eating a banana).

I noticed that I started to get palpitations after I walked a flight of stairs and it took a long time of going to docs and knowing I was okay to realize that it was just exercise induced palpitations. But it was more mental than physiological.

You don't need to stop eating bananas. You need to get over your fear of eating bananas. Fear, anxiety, etc. is what causes some people to never leave their house or in your case...may cause you to never eat another banana.

There is absolutely ZERO way possible that the bananas nutrients are metabolizing in your bloodstream in just a few minutes. The only way that is physically possible is if you liquified the banana and gave yourself a banana shake enema. Your colon would absorb the nutrients directly into the blood stream.

Stop obsessing over banana palpitations. It's ridiculous. Yes, I also suffer from palpitations and weird stuff that happens. It's all stress related, hypochondria related or generally obsessing over the palpitations. You seriously have to change the way you think or you're going to have to deal with a life long problem with stuff like eating bananas, or being in confined spaces or whatever the hell it is that might trigger your attacks.

There's NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU except your brain and obsessing over stuff like this. I know because I've been there.
Helpful - 0
996946 tn?1503249112
To tell you the truth, there's nothing left that I can eat....between diabetes and watching blood sugar levels, and taking the blood thinner warfarin because of the a-fib, and a statin ( no grapefruit).  For every yay, there's a nay.  I was wondering if anyone out there feels like the palps build up over a few days and then they break into an episode of a-fib or some other equally aggraving arrhythmia?   After my a-fib is over I feel free for several days, really goood, till the whole cycle starts all over again.  Does anyone else sense that?
Helpful - 0
1 Comments
Yes, I do.  Although I can sometimes go quite a while with out rapid heartbeat session.  I'm Type II diabectic als. But I don't think the sugar makes the count go up as much as carbs.  I just think some people get a bad reaction from anything that has substantial sugar in it.  
Avatar universal
Standard Process Products are available at Holistic Pharmacies as well - like People's Pharmacy in Austin.  I am a nutritionist who also suffers from potassium induced palpitations, and yes, they happen within minutes of eating a banana, drinking coconut water, or OJ.  It's uneducated to say that anything you ingest can't affect you instantly.  People who get near peanuts go int shock within minutes.  People who inject heroin feel the effects within seconds.  So yes, if a banana is the cause of your palpitations, you would know it right away.  Anyone with a sensitivity or allergy knows that it doesn't take days to feel a reaction.  It basically throws off your electrolyte balance and that can be VERY dangerous to the heart - not from eating one banana, but from long term dehydration.  It is agreed that this all takes place in the kidneys, however, that doesn't mean that the blood balance of potassium wouldn't then immediately affect the heart - it would.  Avoid potassium rich foods if they are bothering you and work with your doctor or practitioner to determine the cause of this issue.  
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
They are made by Standard Process.  I get them from my naturopathic doctor, but they are available online from Amazon.  Keep in mind that I am taking these in concert with several other supplements as part of a regimen developed by my doctor.  So before you start taking anything, it would probably be a good idea to talk to a doctor.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi again, where do you get the organically bound minerals from?

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I was taking Atenolol for about 8 years for my arrhythmia.  The Atenolol completely drained my energy, so I decided to give the naturopathic route a try.  My doctor put me on a couple different supplements, but the palptations started up as soon as I completely quit the Atenolol.  He thought that a low potassium level might be the problem and it seems that he was right.  I've started taking organically bound minerals which contain potassium and magnesium among other things and haven't had a single episode since.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Could be any of that would be my guess. Certainly now I understand the interaction with the vagus nerve things are a lot clearer. Someone suggested taking magnesium, another person swears by taurine and says he got rid of them completely with this.

Looking for some relief, I am today trying a homeopathic remedy - fingers crossed.
Helpful - 0
1182699 tn?1297574784
Could it be more like a reflux problem?  My reflux, which is triggered by certain foods, does cause my PAC's to act up very often.
Helpful - 0
1144520 tn?1277115601
Could be that bananas create stomach gas and this pushes against the vagus nerve, causing you palpitations/tachy/pvc's

Also,
I think bananas digest very slowly.
Today i had increased palps because of fatty food in my stomach.
Fatty food = delayed digestion.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Some people I know on another forum say their palps have been helped by a banana
Helpful - 0
194555 tn?1264286923
Very odd post, but i am sure you are not crazy at all,  There are alot of foods out there that can cause palpitations.  For me it is MSG I can not eat chinese food anymore :( Because within minutes my heart is flip flopping for hours afterwards! Now can i eat to much salt.  I am ok with choc for now! But that could all change.  grrr

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
It may be the sugar that's doing it, not the potassium. Do other sweet foods have the same effect?
Helpful - 0
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