hole in heart/migraine

Hi ,Ive been running for about five years,done a few 10ks,half maras and recently the FLM,Ive been having chest pains/palpitations for a few weeks and had two ECGs and a theyve been okay,They seem to think the pains have been a viral infection in the lining of my chest/heart.

Yesterday, I had a cardiac echo and they have found a hole in my heart which is totally unrelated to the symptoms I was having,However I have suffered from migraine attacks all of my life,getting roughly two a week and the doctors seem to think their is a link between the two and Ive been sent an appoinment to see a consultant, which will be great to maybe get rid of these attacks.

Has anyone ever heard of this ?

next week I am having a heart monitor fitted for 48hrs just to see if anything else turns up

Also being told youve got a hole in the heart doesnt exactly fill me with confidence for running or am I being paranoid.


  • Logic would say that if you been running OK, and in fact the symptoms were not connected to the hole in your heart, then the hole isn't really a problem*.

    However, if you're still getting pain in your chest and palpitations, I'd say don't run.

    *Please note that I am completely unqualified in any way whatsoever to give any advice of a medical nature.  Or of any nature.

  • SlugstaSlugsta ✭✭✭

    Is thishelpful?

  • Thanks Wilkie, dont worry Im taking it easy until the tests are finished.

    Slugsta thats really helpfull,I wish the hospital had given me some information like that,Thankyou

  • SlugstaSlugsta ✭✭✭
    you're welcome. Hope you get some answers soon.
  • I am also unqualified but I also used to suffer from occasional migraines and my ears prick up when I hear about them in the news. A few years ago I remember a story that suggested something along the lines of a hole in the heart allowed blood that had not been filtered properly to recirculate with impurities/chemicals that contributed to migraines. It made sense at the time but now I am unconvinced so I am going to try and find a reference.

     In general I think a hole in the heart is not deadly but is still a weakness, again this is not proffesional advice. If confirmed however I recall that the condition can be sccessfully cured by surgery (both in the general case and that associsted with migraines).

     Please seek further information yourself while I also go and find reference to what I have said.


  • Hi I read a news article about a woman who had suffered persistent migraines and the cause was found to be a hole in her heart.

    I too suffer from palpitations, well premature ventricular complexes to give them their full name.  I had an echo that showed a faulty valve.  As with you, the cardio said it was not related to the irregular heart beat,

    It is worrying and I can understand your anxiety.  When you get the results back from your monitor, things should be made much clearer for you.  There were thousands of irregular beats on mine and the cardio didn't bat an eyelid!!

    Take care x

  • Hi everyone ,Have got an appoinment with the cardiac consultant about the migraines on the 17th of June so I'll let you all know how I get on,
  • Hi, I had the monitor taken off today,thankfully,got to wait for the results which is  really frustrating
  • Hi everyone,finally saw the consultant yesterday and guess what ,the hole in my heart that he said was there is not and has never been there,so bang goes getting rid of my migraines,I couldnt believe what he was saying because he was so positive last time. He now says when i ran the marathon I damaged the lining of heart ,then when I picked up a chest infection ,that made the problem worse.hence the chest pains which have subsided over time.The palpitations I am getting are a side effect of the drugs I take for the migraines so i have to put up with them until i can see a neuroligist.He also said not to run anymore marathons but I think i might take that advice with a pinch of salt since he was wrong with everything else.I didnt intend to run another one until next year anyway.However I do plan on running a couple of halfs later in the year but Ill just have to be careful with the training.
  • Oh dear. I'm sorry to hear you have been given the run around by medics. You're right to keep training and it must be some kind of relief that you don't need surgery. I know I've over-trained in the past, I'm sure a lot of amateur runners do and we have all experienced the lows that result from the damage and learn to listen more carefully to our bodies.

    Has your medication stopped the migraines? These headaches are completely disabling when they occur and I know drugs are a solution for many people. I've never been able to pinpoint or explain the cause in myself but I do have a vague theory that they are caused by certain types of psychological stress. In particular by not dealing properly with stress and the resulting headache acts like a release valve if that makes sense.

    Just make sure your enjoying your training, race days themselves are such a buzz and great to be involved in. I've entered the Glasgow half in September, if it goes well enough then maybe the Salomon trail race in October then join a gym for the winter and gradually get really fit for a marathon late in 2009.

  • Hi logic , I take amitriptyline every night and it has a has made a big difference I still get the migraine attacks but I dont ge the pain or the vomiting which helps me out at work alot. The only thing is the side effects seem to be palpitations which take a bit getting used too.I cant really sa what starts mine either ,somedays i wake up with one,other times Im really enjoying myself and bam I get a headache, I just have to put up with them

    Im planning on doing a half down in cornwall called thr India Queens in august if my training goes to plan then Ive got the Great north run and a few bike rides in between.Dont worry Ill never stop training just be a little more careful in the future.Hpoe your training goes well and good luck on your runs.

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