Migraine Caused by Palpitations

Updated February 21, 2017

It is easy to imagine that heart palpitations can trigger a migraine. Your heart is racing, you feel lightheaded and dizzy, and then your head starts to hurt. The simple answer is that heart palpitations do not cause migraines. What is more likely is that your heart palpitations and migraines are different symptoms of the same affliction. Common health issues can manifest in both heart palpitations and migraines.

Heart Palpitations

Heart palpitations may seem scary, but they are common among adults and, according to the Mayo Clinic, are generally not dangerous. They can make you feel like your heart is skipping beats, beating too fast or pumping too hard. Pain, dizziness, shortness of breath and fainting along with your heart palpitations can denote a serious condition, and you should seek emergency medical attention.


Migraines happen when blood vessels in your head expand, pressing against nerves and causing pain, tinnitus and auras. Migraines can be triggered by foods, strong scents, hormones and even anxiety.

Magnesium Deficiency

Heart palpitations and migraines are common symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is found in dark, leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds and chocolate. It can also be purchased as a supplement. Be aware of what kind of magnesium you buy. For example, magnesium oxide is usually less expensive but is not easily absorbed by your body. According to licensed clinical nutritionist Krispin Sullivan, you should consume 2.5 to 4.5 mg a day per pound. Try experimenting with different brands to find the one that works the best for you.

Mitrial Valve Prolapse

According to Dr. Daniel Kulic, MD, mitrial valve prolapse (MVP) is the most common valve defect, affecting 5 to 10 percent of the world's population. Normally, the valve closes tightly, preventing blood flow from the left ventricle back into the left atrium. In people with MVP, the valve doesn't close properly, allowing blood to leak into the left atrium. In rare cases this condition can be serious, but most people with MVP never know they have it. Common symptoms are fatigue, anxiety, migraine and heart palpitations.


Typical symptoms of menopause are hot flashes, night sweats, loss of libido, vaginal dryness and irregular periods. But hormonal fluctuations can cause migraines. These same fluctuations can also be responsible for heart palpitations.

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About the Author

Melissa Monks began writing professionally in 2003 and spent four years writing for the Beutler Heating and Air company newsletter. She also spent two years as a content director for, publishing projects and blogs, and has worked as a research assistant for One On One, a company publishing educational material. Monks received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Utah.