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Can migraines cause increased heart rate?
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Can migraines cause increased heart rate?


  Hi,
  I greatly appreciate your time in answering my question.  I wanted to know if migraines can cause an increased heart rate?   Perhaps this is a very obvious, known fact which I have overlooked in my research, but I honestly haven't been able to locate an answer.  
  I've been having headaches since last May and was diagnosed with migraines.  I had an MRI w/out contrast in early September which came back okay.  My headaches have always been unilateral, causing pressure sensations behind my eyes, and making me sensitive to noise and light.  They never throbbed, though, and I could usually find relief by taking 4 advil or Naproxen or sometimes Amerge.   Around Thanksgiving, though, I experienced a headache which was completely new for me.  I was sleeping, and I awoke abruptly because my heart was racing, and my ears were absolutely pounding making me feel like I had a ton of pressure in my head- as if I were several depths under the ocean, but it didn't feel like a migraine, just like my heart was beating too quickly.  It happened once or twice more at college, and now I find myself at 2 am in the same situation.  I had been sleeping for about five hours, and I awoke with alternating sensations of chills and extreme heat without changing the position of my covers.   I can't lie down because my ears just pound. I have pain right smack in the middle of my forehead,  and it makes me feel trembly and sick to my stomach, but I'm surprisingly not affected by the computer monitor or noise or any other light.  I finally sat up and took my pulse which was 110!  That seems more like a target heart rate to me than a resting one.  I feel like I'm stuck with an extreme post-exertional headache, but I can't cool off my body, even though I'm sitting here shivering, or lower my heart rate.  It has been running kind of high for awhile, though.  It is always over 80, but I'm only 18. I have been exercising like crazy, I'm not overweight, and I'm a really big health nut.  My blood pressure isn't really high but runs any where from 90/50 to 122/82.  
  I apologize for the length of my message.   I can't find relief in any pain medicine, and I would love to lower my heart rate so that I can sleep. Even if it is simply a migraine, I'm kind of leary about taking the Amerge because that always makes my throat feel constricted and my heart rate increase. At the very least, even if I am being overly paranoid, I would be extremely grateful for any natural or even medicinal remedy that you could offer.  I'm really at a loss, and I feel so terrible that I hope to never find myself in this situation again. It is certainly not ideal for college life.  Thank you so much for your help.
  ~Ashley
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Migraine can cause an increased heart rate but only as part of the acute
attack, I would be reluctant to simply label this as being due to migraine
until other causes of rapid heart rates have been excluded.
For instance your thyroid need to be checked, an overactive thyroid will
cause a rapid heart rate while at rest.
You also need to have an EKG to check if your are having a rapid heart
rate generated by a rhythm disturbance of the heart,this is relatively
common in younger people and should be explored.
You may even require prolonged EKG monitoring this is a Holter monitor
which you wear for at least 24 hours to study your heart rate throughout
the day.
The answer therefore, is that while this could be related to migraine,
a number of other possibilities need to be excluded prior to jumping
to that conclusion.




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