More than half of the people around us still wonder, Is Broken Heart Syndrome Real? Well, it is not only an actual condition but a very severe illness. Also known as stress-induced cardiomyopathy, broken heart syndrome is not just symptoms of potential heart disease or the warning signs of a heart attack. Instead, it is a severe illness and a real medical condition.
People who suffer from this disease do not necessarily have any history of prior heart diseases in their lifetime. We can also define Broken Heart Syndrome as a form of heart failure. It can sometimes be fatal as well, but if the person recovers, it does not cause any permanent heart injury.
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Broken Heart Syndrome | What Does It Feel Like?
Have you ever been through a tragic situation or a mental phase where it feels like your heart just stopped working for a moment? When this emotional stress lingers on for an unusually long period, the person is diagnosed with Broken Heart Syndrome. In this condition, the patient’s heart becomes highly fragile. As a result, it is unable to pump blood to other parts of the body, thus resulting in medical consequences.
A particular traumatic experience is not required to trigger this sickness. Even a long trail of uneventful events prompting social, mental, or even monetary stress can lead to Broken Heart Syndrome. To date, there are lesser-known patients of this disease. That is because most of them don’t even know what’s broken heart syndrome, so the symptoms are most often not even reported. This leads to delayed recovery or, in some cases, drastic complications that can shorten their lifetime by increasing the risks of death in the later years. However, medical help is indispensable for a speedy recovery.
Doctors have reported that, in this syndrome, the left ventricle, which is the largest and strongest chamber of your heart, expands and is unable to do its duty correctly. This improper functioning of the left ventricle leads to Broken Heart Syndrome, about which we will talk comprehensively in this article.
Who Discovered Broken Heart Syndrome?
Broken Heart Syndrome was originally recognised as Takotsubo Syndrome in Japan. It was initially discovered by the Japanese scientist Sato in 1991 when some similar symptoms were reported in Hiroshima. When some of its patients showed no signs of any arterial disease, cardiologists identified it as a separate condition. Later, it was also found out that women are more receptive to this illness than men.
Only after a few years, countries like England and Netherlands detected similar patients. It was first named as Takotsubo Syndrome since the Japanese physicists observed that the left ventricle of most of the patients took the shape of an octopus trap, called the Takotsubo pot.
Broken Heart Syndrome Symptoms
A lot of terrible incidents or occurrences can stimulate the warning signs of Broken Heart Syndrome. Other than the expansion of the left ventricle, which is the primary indication of this disease, the remaining symptoms are usually similar to a heart attack. For example- chest pain, breathlessness, palpitations, low blood pressure, etc. When treated the right way, these symptoms can go away only within a month, and the person can recover quickly.
Extreme conditions can also cause the person to blackout or result in the swelling of feet and legs.
Broken Heart Syndrome Causes
Following are some of the causes which can lead to the Broken Heart Syndrome-
As the name suggests, stress-induced cardiomyopathy, stress is the leading cause of this condition. When any uneventful event leads to pressure or overthinking, the stress levels of a person often escalates. Such emotional states can also have an effect on your health, which causes this syndrome.
There are several problems in every household that a person has to deal with on a daily basis. However, in a few cases, these problems start taking the shape of frequent arguments, domestic abuse, disputes in relationships or a fear of domination. Such events can take a toll on a person’s mental health and can cause severe damage to the heart.
Death of a Loved One
The realisation of someone we love being permanently gone can trigger intense emotions in anyone. Usually, Broken Heart Syndrome occurs when a person dies abruptly and unexpectedly, as, in such circumstances, the heart doesn’t get enough time to prepare itself for the loss.
Painful Physical illnesses
When some physical illness or even accidents causes the person to suffer from extreme and harsh pain, it often elevates the blood pressure to high levels as the body is unable to endure it. This, however, can be harmful to heart health.
While most people assume that the Broken Heart Syndrome can only be caused by bad news, the truth is, even a piece of surprisingly good news like winning the lottery can prompt this condition. These startling news can increase the heartbeat and cause a heart condition.
These are only a few causes of this disease. However, it is necessary to ensure that if you feel any symptoms due to the occurrence of any such event, it is vital to consult your cardiologist and seek immediate medical help.
Can Broken Heart Syndrome Kill You?
Broken Heart Syndrome is very unlikely to cause death, unlike conditions with similar symptoms like heart attacks or cardiac arrests. If timely and efficient treatment is offered to the patient, there are 95% chances of a speedy recovery.
Furthermore, doctors advise that to ensure no long-term complications, after the recovery, the patients must exercise daily. They should do activities that relieve stress, for example, yoga and meditations. The consumption of alcohol and drugs can also trigger this condition. Therefore, their intake should be avoided.
Broken Heart Syndrome Treatment
To treat any medical condition, including the Broken Heart Syndrome, the first and foremost step is to recognise the indications. If it deems necessary, seek immediate medical consultancy to start the prescribed heart medications. It is OK to ignore chronic symptoms, but signs that do not go away should not be taken lightly.
Since this illness is easily curable, it is unwise to wait till the situations escalate. That will not only result in delayed treatment but also give birth to long-term complications. To stop the situation from going out of hand, immediate steps should be taken if any sign is indicated.
There can be a possibility where even strokes and seizures can be a sign of the Broken Heart Syndrome. Therefore, no indication should be disregarded.
Doctors prescribe an ultrasound test to see if there are any blockages or blood clots in your heart. The disease is identified as Broken Heart Syndrome if it shows the left ventricle to be in an unusual shape, and the treatment is started right away.
Is Broken Heart Syndrome Real? | Cessation
There have been tremendous medical advancements in the past few decades. It is now an evident fact that heartbreak can be so intense that it can be capable of causing a severe medical illness, including heart problems.
I hope that this article makes it clear to you what is broken heart syndrome and is it real or not. Apart from that, I’ve covered its signs, causes, and treatments to give you a comprehensive overview of this little-known illness.