“Does Anyone Have Migraine Headaches & Mitral Valve Prolapse?” Asks Brenda

Brenda just emailed me an interesting question about mitral valve prolapse and headaches. She writes, “Adam – I was diagnosed with prolapsed mitral valve over ten years ago. However, I have been completely asymptomatic since then. Recently, I have had really bad headaches… They might even be migraine headaches. Do you know if that is a symptom of mitral valve prolapse?”

This question raises two interesting points specific to heart valve disease.

  • First, patients can be completely asymptomatic – meaning they do not have any of the documented symptoms of heart valve disease. I fell into this category of patients. Out of all the documented symptoms of leaking heart valves, I only really had one small symptom that forced me to see my cardiologist. To learn more about the symptoms, click here.
  • Second, symptoms manifest differently for each patient case. There is no “one-size-fits-all” symptom-set that triggers the diagnosis of disorders including aortic stenosis or mitral regurgitation defects, etc.

Back to Brenda’s question… I just reviewed the symptoms of mitral valve prolapse. According to the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic, headaches are not common for mitral valve prolapse. However, after reviewing the symptoms listed at Medicine Net, migraine headaches are on their list of symptoms for MVP.

Given that variance in commonly identified symptoms, I would encourage you to see your cardiologist and get checked out. If, by chance, your mitral valve prolapse is triggering your headaches, it would be better to know sooner than later. I hope this helps.

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.

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  • jerry

    I’m just one data point, but I have a bicuspid aortic valve, aortic stenosis, and migraines.

    I don’t know if they are related or not.

    I’ve been relatively symptom free from the bicuspid valve until about January this year. I’ve been getting migraines only for about five years. I would say the trigger for that was high blood pressure.

    The migraines have been becoming more frequent and my valve has been getting worse. Coincidence? Maybe.

    Remind me, and I will report back in 6 months with the “after report”.

    I wouldn’t wish migraines on anyone. Luckily, these days, I can recognize an incipient migraine when I detect an aura in my visual field. If I take a amidrine, drink something caffeinated and eat something, the aura will go away in about 20 minutes and I’ll be left with a dull headache for a few hours. If I don’t get, man, it’s bad news for a few days.

    If you have migraines, definitely see a doctor. If it’s high blood pressure, they could save you from a stroke or worse.

  • Anne

    Jerry,

    I have bicuspid aortic valve, moderate aortic stenosis and migraines too, though my migraines are usually visual aura and feeling a bit dizzy, not usually bad headache. I wish I knew if they were related to the aortic valve problem.

    You said you’d report back after 6 months some time ago – any report ?

    Anne

  • Mark Waller

    I was born with a bicuspid valve and when I was about 15 I started having migraines. I have about 4 migraines a month. I had heart surgery this Aug to replace my aortic valve. It has been 3 months now and I have not had one migraine. I was not sure if it was because of the surgery or the blood pressure medicine I was on. I been off all meds for a month now. So time will tell.

    Mark
    41 years old.

  • Bobbie Pruett

    I have been diagnosed with MITRAL VALVE PROLAPSE after having bad chest pains. I have had CHRONIC DAILY TENSION HEADACHES and MIGRAINES that put me in bed for 2-4 days at a time. Now, I’m wondering if the heart valve problem could be causing some of these headaches. I have also been diagnosed with Chronic Myofacial Pain Disease, which can also cause headaches.

    Any advise would be great!
    Thanks!
    Bobbie, age 43

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