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Stress And Sadness Can Really Break Your Heart And Cause Health Problems

Stress And Sadness Can Really Break Your Heart And Cause Health Problems

According to experts, a traumatic or devastating event can trigger the physical symptoms of "broken heart syndrome". Also called stress-induced cardiomyopathy or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, it is a disorder in which the heart muscle becomes extremely weak, causing symptoms that are incredibly similar to those of a heart attack.

What is broken heart syndrome?

Broken heart syndrome is a temporary heart condition often caused by stressful situations such as the death of a loved one. People with broken heart syndrome may have sudden chest pain or think they have a heart attack.

Broken heart syndrome often occurs in postmenopausal women, elderly men or after severe emotional stress. It is not the result of blockage of a cardiac artery, it is a sudden weakness of the heart muscle that can be induced by a surge of adrenaline or other stress hormones that can cause a shock in the heart. heart.

The case of Joanie Simpson

Joanie Simpson, a Texan aged 63, had a terrible life-changing experience after the death of her Yorkshire terrier. Suffering from terrible sadness and emotional stress, she ended up in the ER after waking up with chest and shoulder pains, fearing that they were symptoms of a heart attack. .

After examining her, Abjhijeet Dhoble, MD, a cardiologist at Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular in Houston, concluded that Joanie suffered from broken heart syndrome.

Although this is not the first published case linking broken heart syndrome to the stress of a pet's death, Abjhijeet Dhoble points to the fact that many pet owners consider mourning animals company as being as trying as that of humans.

More and more research is supporting this theory, which was echoed in a recent study, which found that pet owners with chronic diseases experience higher levels of stress and anxiety due to attachment and burden of disease. care.

"The artery was limpid. It was a virgin, he said. Another artery was too. Other tests indicated that this was a case of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, which is most common in postmenopausal women. Explains Abhishek Maiti, one of Joanie's medical doctors.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2005 confirmed that a flood of stress hormones may be able to stun the heart to produce spasms in healthy people.

"This explanation seemed very logical to me," said Joanie. She was able to return home two days later, and although she is still taking two heart meds, she is fine.

Symptoms of broken heart syndrome

Signs of a broken heart may appear just a few minutes after a stressful situation and look strangely similar to a heart attack:

· Sudden and severe chest pain
· Shortness of breath
· Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)

Cardiogenic shock (inability of the heart to pump enough blood to meet the needs of the body) The impact of stress hormones stuns the cells of the heart, causing them to malfunction.These effects usually disappear within a few days or at the latest. weeks and do not cause lasting heart damage.)

· Fainting
· Low blood pressure
· Cardiac arrest

How to prevent broken heart syndrome?

There is no known treatment for preventing broken heart syndrome, but learning about stress management, problem solving, and relaxation techniques can be helpful in improving psychological and physical health. Stress management can also be improved with physical exercise and natural anti-anxiety remedies, such as linden or verbena-based herbal teas or lavender scent.

It is also important to avoid bad choices in stress management, such as alcohol, overeating, illicit drug use or smoking. These are not permanent solutions and they could lead to serious additional health problems.