The broken heart syndrome is not just a poetic term. It’s a type of cardiomyopathy that’s mainly caused by chronic stress.
What Is A Broken Heart Syndrome?
Deep disappointment, the sudden death of a close person, stress, job loss, and strong arguments are just a few of the things that can put us on the verge of having an attack similar to heart attack. At least, it’s how we feel. In reality, we experience a broken heart syndrome.
This is a heart condition in which all the data are not yet known. Negative emotions such as chronic stress, sadness, or suffering can affect and slightly deform the left ventricle of the heart, and consequently, cause a narrowing of the coronary artery. As a result to this, we may experience shortness of breath and chest pain. Hence, this is a heart condition that we need to consider and be aware of.
According to health experts, close to 90 percent of the patients are women who have had episodes of high, chronic stress. What we need to remember is that these situations can change the metabolic level in our bodies. It comes to an increased release of catecholamines, which when at a very high level, have a toxic effect on the heart.
Anxiety, stress, and situations of emotional shock mean that, at a given moment, we may also experience a rush of adrenaline.
What we usually feel is shortness of breath and a feeling of drowning. This known as congestive heart failure and we can see it perfectly on an electrocardiogram. It’s quite similar to an acute myocardial infarction, but the consequences are not that serious.
Here we summarize the most common causes of broken heart syndrome:
- Chronic stress
- Unexpected loss of a loved one
- Domestic abuse
- Strong arguments
- Losing money, or even winning
- A surprise party
- Diagnosis of a serious medical condition
- Public performance
- Job loss
- Physical stressors, like major surgery, car accident, or an asthma attack
Common Symptoms of Broken Heart Syndrome
The symptoms usually appear unexpectedly, especially after having an emotional attack. At the beginning, you’re more likely to feel is a very strong pain in the chest area, and a kind of burning that prevents us from breathing properly.
Left arm pain and cold sweats are also very characteristic and are symptoms quite similar to a normal myocardial infarction.
However, the aforementioned symptoms are characteristic when our heart reacts to the elevation of adrenaline and catecholamines after hearing bad news or strong arguments. What we should also consider are the situations where negative feelings accumulate day by day, and little by little, damaging the health of our hearts. Here, the most common symptoms that indicate heart damage are unexplainable fatigue, lethargy, lack of air, numb extremities, swelling, and body aches. All these are signs that the heart pumps more strongly than it should.
How To Prevent Broken Heart Syndrome
For sure, we must have a better approach when it comes to managing anxiety and stress in our everyday lives. We must learn to express our problems, feelings, and thoughts, as this will help us relieve the burden we carry. We must learn to be more sensitive and intuitive. By doing all this, when faced with a problem, we will have the capacity to overcome it without consequences to our health. And, to accomplish this, it requires willingness, optimism, openness, and motivation.
Broken heart syndrome