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A Broken Heart Can Hurt More Than You Think

  • Jiya Shen
  • 29 Jan 2017
  • 1

Whether it's losing a loved one, or putting a family pet to rest, a broken heart hurts. But there may be more truth to the phrase than was intended. That's because serious medical repercussions can occur after any highly stressful situation. Dr.

Whether it’s losing a loved one, or putting a family pet to rest, a broken heart hurts. But there may be more truth to the phrase than was intended. That's because serious medical repercussions can occur after any highly stressful situation. Dr. Ambrose answers questions about what it means to have a “broken heart.”

Q. What is broken heart syndrome?

A. Broken heart syndrome, officially called stress cardiomyopathy or takotsubo syndrome, is a rare disease in which the heart function becomes abnormally low. It can happen during extremely stressful moments, extreme emotional reactions to particular events in a person's life or significant illness. This syndrome seems to occur more often in postmenopausal women and can occur even in those without any history of heart disease. Symptoms can be severe and are caused by short-term heart muscle failure.

Q. What are the signs and symptoms?

A. This varies but includes severe chest pain, new onset of unusual and unexplained breathlessness, marked swelling of the feet and sudden unexplained weight gain following extremely stressful events. Arrhythmias can also occur.



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Comments (1)
  • Hank Moody 08 Oct 2017
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