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Can stress and sadness really break your heart? Well, the answer is yes. Stress cardiomyopathy or takotsubo cardiomyopathy is actually a condition that may be caused by sudden heartbreak due to abrupt or unexpected emotional stress. Though, there may be some physical aspects to it as well. Owing to the similarity in the symptoms, people often mistake broken heart syndrome for heart attack, however, the condition is not as serious and is temporary and reversible. Treatment for broken heart syndrome is offered at all the leading heart centres in Mumbai. Heart attack, on the other hand, is caused by a blocked or narrowed artery, and the damage done by it is permanent and Irreversible.

Wondering what triggers broken heart syndrome?

As per the best heart surgeon in Pune, broken heart syndrome is caused by physiological or psychological stress, the latter being more common.

Emotional stressors that can trigger broken heart syndrome include:

  • Losing someone close to death. It may include a family member or even a pet
  • Breaking up with someone you love, or divorce
  • Financial problems
  • Intense fear and anxiety
  • Extreme anger

Physiological stresses that can trigger broken heart syndrome include:

  • Chronic or unbearable pain
  • Over exhaustion caused by physical activity
  • Health-related problems like an asthma attack, breathing difficulties, stroke, high fever, hypoglycemia or excessive blood loss.

Who is more likely to get broken heart syndrome?

Many studies have shown that broken heart syndrome is more likely to affect women, in roughly 88 per cent of the cases, especially those who have hit menopause. One of the possible explanations of why this happens is that, when a woman reaches menopause, her estrogen levels start to decrease significantly. This hormone, which is usually associated with female reproductive health, also plays a vital role in protecting our heart against various harmful hormones produced by our body, and this includes stress hormones as well. As the estrogen levels start to go down, it increases the risks of Broken Heart Syndrome.

What are the symptoms that you need to look out for?

The symptoms of Broken Heart syndrome are similar to those of a heart attack, however, these are temporary and may last for a few minutes or a couple of hours. The release of stress hormones causes a temporary strain on your heart muscles, giving rise to the following symptoms:

Severe chest pain or angina, that is usually experienced abruptly

  • Breathlessness
  • Weakening of the left ventricle
  • Pulmonary oedema
  • Arrhythmia
  • Hypotension

Can we bring down the risks of Broken Heart Syndrome?

Yes, it is possible to bring down the risks of Broken Heart syndrome by learning simple stress management and problem-solving techniques that help to deal with physical and emotional stress. As stress is one of the major triggering factors, it is important to keep the problem under control. You should try to develop a positive outlook and keep all worries away.

  • You can try meditation, yoga and mindfulness. These are the oldest and the most effective ways of relieving stress
  • Try taking a warm bath whenever you feel stressed. A scented bath would also prove to be helpful
  • You scented candles in your room and take deep breaths whenever you are anxious
  • Resort to healthy dietary modification or try diets such as dash diet or the Mediterranean diet
  • Do not compromise with your sleep and try to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night
  • Take part in physical activities and try to stay active
  • Avoid unhealthy habits like smoking, excessive drinking and substance abuse.

To know more about broken heart syndrome, you can consult the experts from the best hospital in Pune.