Broken heart syndrome, also known as stress cardiomyopathy or takotsubo cardiomyopathy, is a medical condition that is often the result of stressful situations. You must have heard about lovers dying one after the other because one couldn’t take the grief. A lot of people don’t know if something like broken-heart syndrome exists, which makes it an enigmatic ailment. Here we help you understand the reality of this syndrome and how it can be fatal.
People who suffer from ‘broken heart syndrome’ do not generally show grievous symptoms. For instance, their coronary arteries work just fine. They don’t show any other major blockages as well. The matter of the fact is that the patients who suffer from this syndrome suddenly start experiencing the weakening of the heart muscles. This short-lived disruption in the pumping of the heart leads to the change in heart’s shape. On the other hand, the remaining heart functions normally. That’s why this condition is also known as an apical ballooning syndrome.
Symptoms of broken heart syndrome you must check-out:
The symptoms of broken heart syndrome can be treated given the diagnosis is made early. These symptoms mostly resemble the symptoms of a heart attack. For instance, in both heart attack and broken heart syndrome, one experiences sudden onset of chest pain besides the severe episodes of shortness of breath.
Other symptoms include:
- Fatigue/ tiredness
- Abnormalities occurring in the left ventricle of the heart
- Ballooning of the left ventricle
What are the common causes of the broken heart syndrome?
The exact causes of broken heart syndrome are still unknown. However, healthcare specialists believe that it is generally caused by the abrupt release of stress hormones especially adrenaline. As a consequence, one’s heart gets damaged temporarily. Interestingly, women suffer from this syndrome more than men.
What triggers broken heart syndrome?
- Stressful emotional event
- Untimely death of a loved one
- A worrisome health diagnosis
- Domestic abuse
- Stage fright
- Loss of job
- Physical conditions like asthma
- Other traumatic experiences
The differences between broken heart syndrome and heart attack
When heart attack happens, the heart arteries get compromised due to the complete or partial blockage. On the other hand, in a broken heart syndrome, the arteries do not get completely blocked; it is the flow of blood that is reduced.
Risk factors associated with broken heart syndrome
* Sex: Women are more vulnerable as compared to men
* Age: People who are 50 years old or more are at a greater risk
* Neurological health: Those who have suffered from a neurological condition such as seizure are automatically at a greater risk of suffering from broken heart syndrome.
* Psychological health: If you have anxiety or depression or any other mental health issue, broken heart syndrome may come easy to you.
Diagnosis and treatment
You must be surprised to know that broken heart syndrome can be fatal at times. Therefore, it’s best to visit the doctor as soon as you start experiencing symptoms. The good part, however, is that in most of the cases, the patient recovers from it.
Some other complications associated with broken heart syndrome include:
* Pulmonary Edema
* Hypotension (low blood pressure)
* Disruptions in the heartbeat
* Heart failure
The diagnosis of broken heart syndrome is usually done via tests like ECG, X-Ray, cardiac MRI, echocardiogram and coronary angiogram.
Broken heart syndrome doesn’t have a standard treatment. However, symptoms can be relieved by following certain measures. It is mainly treated with diuretics which help in improving the heart muscle contractions. Generally, there is no surgical procedure involved in its treatment. The best way to treat this disorder is to keep the patient away from any physical/emotional/mental stress.