We’ve all heard the phrase “broken-hearted” in love songs, movies and stories, but is it real? Can someone be diagnosed with a “broken-heart”? The answer is yes. For some who have experienced the loss of a loved one, the feeling is real.
Broken heart syndrome is caused by the heart’s reaction to a surge of stress hormones, which causes an irregular heartbeat and can be accompanied by symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath. When someone experiences a broken heart, (not to be confused with a heart attack) the blood flow in the arteries is reduced. Also known as a takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or stress-induced cardiomyopathy, it can be brought on by various stressful situations.
Normally occurring suddenly after extreme of emotional stress, some triggers of broken heart syndrome include:
• A break-up, divorce or death of a loved one
• Experiencing or recovering from a natural disaster
• Job loss or a frightening medical diagnosis
Some medications can contribute to broken heart syndrome such as epinephrine- taken for allergic reactions, medications which treat anxiety or depression, or medications which treat thyroid issues. Your physician will rule out severe cardiac issues through recommended tests, blood work and EKG’s. The good news is a broken heart can be mended once your physician’s medically rules out any other possible cardiac issues. With a little rest and relaxation, one can recuperate within a matter of days to weeks.
Should you experience severe chest pain, shortness of breath, or other signs of a heart attack, do not hesitate to call 9-1-1. If you feel you may be experiencing broken heart syndrome, contact 718-206-6742 to arrange an appointment with Jamaica Hospital’s Cardiology department.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.