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Question
Posted by: Ria | 2012/05/02

Rappid Heart Beat sound in head

Good day, I tried finding an answer on the web but nowhere could I find the symptoms I experienced when waking up at 3am yesterday morning.

I am a 40yr old female and I am heavily overweight (125kg instead of 56kg), however I am active and do walk and climb stairs at work. I don''t have anxiety, my BP is usually normal occasionally a little bit low, my cholesterol level is 3 and my blood sugar level is 4.7, I am on no medication and generally I am healthy.

I woke up at 3am with a sense that something was not quite right, I heard a very loud  extremely fast " heart Beat"  in my head, when I got up I thought it must have been anxiety, but it was not, as my heart beat was normal however the rapid throbbing sound in my head continued. I got up and went to get a Disprin (I was afraid that it could be an aneurysm) and I could not quite say that I had a head ache, it felt more like there was a dull headache at the top of my head, and then it was gone, I only felt the dull ache when I moved. I discovered that things dropped out of my hands easily. Normal I would be groggy when I wake up so early, but I was stone cold sober, and I could not fall asleep again. After laying down for about 45 min the rapid pulsating sound seemed to ease up and when I got up at 6am for work I felt better. When I got home tonight however I felt a terrible headache, I got very nauseous, and now and again I can hear that pulsing sound very slightly but it is not so fast now, it feels more like a pressure in my head (like it is in a vise grip), especially at the back of my head towards the top and pain above the eyes, sensitive to light and noises. I think I am having a migraine (used to experience it during my school days). However I am more worried about the " very fast heartbeat"  that I heard in my head and would like to know what could be the cause so that I can prevent it from occurring again? I sleep on one pillow to support my neck and try not to sleep on my back as it causes me to snore.

Can you help or give me advise please?

Regards

Ria

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Ria,

Thank you for such a comprehensive history. The rapid heartbeat is a most unusual symptom, but if you are having headaches, then it is most likely related. To get to the root of the problem though, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”, which should include a neurological examination to rule out any serious underlying condition. There are so many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For instance, a neurologist will examine the brain and nervous system, a physiotherapist will look at the muscles, a dentist will examine the teeth etc. For this reason, the “multidisciplinary assessment” combines and integrates the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

This assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension, and of the external carotid vasculature to determine whether there is an arterial element to the pain.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on http://www.headacheclinic.co.za/

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Headache expert | 2012/05/03

Dear Ria,

Thank you for such a comprehensive history. The rapid heartbeat is a most unusual symptom, but if you are having headaches, then it is most likely related. To get to the root of the problem though, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary assessment”, which should include a neurological examination to rule out any serious underlying condition. There are so many different structures in the head and neck, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For instance, a neurologist will examine the brain and nervous system, a physiotherapist will look at the muscles, a dentist will examine the teeth etc. For this reason, the “multidisciplinary assessment” combines and integrates the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables the different members of the team to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

This assessment must include a thorough examination of the head and neck muscles to determine the presence of abnormal tension, and of the external carotid vasculature to determine whether there is an arterial element to the pain.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on http://www.headacheclinic.co.za/

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.

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