Cardiomyopathy and MAV?

Hello. I am a 32 year old mother of 3. I was diagnosed with Postpartum Cardiomyopathy when my last baby was born 18 months ago. I haven’t been the same since. I am technically considered “recovered” now and off of all heart medication. I am thinking now that a lot of the symptoms I blamed on the heart failure are now something else, possibly MAV.

My “symptoms” started after childbirth and are as follows:

*headache, generally at base of head/neck
*Occassional vertigo
*facial pain
*Ear popping/fullness and sometimes pain
*Feeling like my head is full or heavy on my neck
*Occassional hand tingling/numbness
*Occassional anxiety… mostly because I don’t feel good and want someone to figure it out!!!

So here I am, 18 months later. I have lost countless hours and money going from doctor to doctor. I don’t buy that it’s all anxiety, which they say because I know I just don’t feel normal. I finally got my family doctor to prescribe Nortriptyline 10 mg about 2 months ago but talked myself into cardiac side effects and didn’t take it. I have since been to a Neurologist who prescribed the exact same med without a real diagnosis. I have had MRI’s, CT’s, balance and ear tests, so much blood work… you name it!! I have taken the meds for 8 days now and may be noticing a slight difference, for the better. Have I come to the right place, does this sound plausible?? I have read Heal your Headache and that is what lead me to believe this may be Migraine related. THanks for listening!!

Hi bbrees,

I have a friend (known her for over 20 years) who has both severe migraine (not MAV) and it was discovered a few years ago that she has cardiomyopathy. When did you come off the heart medication? I know for a fact, the heart medication made my friends migraine a lot worse. My friend gets some dizziness from her heart problem but not real vertigo. Your symptoms sound very much like MAV. My migraines are always at the back of the head also.


I am thinking that some of the symptoms of heart failure could include headache and dizziness, so there may be some overlap. Cardiomyopathy occurs in pregnancy because of the large amount of blood volume (increases in preg) your body needs to circulate. If you are 18 months postpartum, I would think that your fluid overload is no longer an issue. Symptoms of cong heart failure include, weight gain, edema of lower extremities, shortness of breath, fatigue. (All of these go hand in hand with the hearts inability to pump blood away from the heart, causing backup in areas like the lungs/extremities) .
If the docs prescribed you the nort than they must have been considering this as a possible diagnosis (migraine). If you have seen improvement in your symptoms, than I say continue what you are taking.
Good luck with things!