Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Broken Heart Syndrome


Studies have shown that sudden emotional stress can trigger a severe, but reversible heart muscle weakness that mimics a heart attack. This condition known as
Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy
is sometimes called The Broken Heart Syndrome.

First described in Japan 15 years ago, Broken Heart Syndrome occurs because emotional trauma floods the body with stress hormones, over-stimulating the nervous system and stunning the heart muscle.

Unlike a heart attack, Broken Heart Syndrome is reversible if diagnosed early. Patients are hospitalized and can recover within days - with no permanent damage to their hearts. Once medical issues are stabilized, seeking a trained mental health specialist will help cure the emotional trauma.

Derrick, D. (2009). The"Broken Heart Syndrome": Understanding Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy Critical Care Nurse, 29 (1), 49-57 DOI: 10.4037/ccn2009451

14 comments:

Rose said...

My grandfather died on a Wednesday and my grandmother died Friday. They said she died of a broken heart. I'm glad you explained it here. Now I understand it.

Dr Bikash said...

There was an episode in House that showed the broken heart syndrome.
It was episode 11 of season 3 entitled "Words and Deeds".
So as a medical student then I learned about the disease from the serial first.

Just Be Real said...

I have heard about this before. Even seen it on television talked about. Thank you for sharing. Blessings.

Anonymous said...

didn't alexa ray joel just have that?

::jeremy::

Amelie said...

I work with people who suffer from broken hearts post divorce or long-term relationship and there are TONS of physical symptoms they suffer after a heartbreak. I know they are naming this particular heart attack like phenomenon broken heart syndrome, but we shouldn't forget the anxiety, panic attacks, and other physical manifestations of a broken heart that can be just as real. Thanks, Amelie Chance, www.healmybrokenheart.com

Ian Lidster said...

Isn't it odd that something we view as just an element of poetry or sad song is an actual clinical condition. I know when I suffered my big one it took a very long time to get over it and my general health went to hell.

Awake In Rochester said...

Wow! Those sneeky stress hormones! I asked my doctor to test my cortisone levels, but he didnt know how. I read about it in a book.

Donna said...

I'm thinking Alexander McQueen the fashion designer, just died from this. He was in despair after the death of his mother.

Dr. Deb said...

It never surprises me how the mind and body work together.

Alexa Ray Joel was despondent over a recent breakup. She took a handful of pills that luckily didn't have an adverse effect on her health. Her heart was not directly effected. Alexander McQueen was also despondent, and reportedly hung himself just before his mother's funeral. Trauma is overwhelming for many of us. Joel is being treated for her depression. Sadly, McQueen's condition didn't get the intervention to save him.

Marj aka Thriver said...

I have had my heart ache and broken in the emotional sense many times. But, I had never heard of this. Interesting stuff!

Girlie | Brochures Printing Online said...

This explains why there are people who died shortly after their loved one's passing. They died from a broken heart. Glad you shared this with us.

Kahless said...

Wow,I didnt know that.

Sharon S said...

My grandmother died of a broken heart a couple of years ago. My grandfather lived to be 100, but died shortly after his birthday. My grandmother was despondent and did not want to live without him. She died 6 months later.
While this is sad, they were married a long time and loved each other dearly. I'm sure they are together again having a grand ole time.

Ms.L said...

I have personally felt this,when I've gone through some severe trauma. Now obviously,I'm not dead but when I've been in mental pain I have felt likeI was going to die from the pain in my chest. So amazing that science is talking about this!

I've got a new blog, http://laelee.wordpress.com/