Broken Heart Syndrome?

What is a Broken Heart Syndrome?

Here is a little something from my research:

From Mayo clinic:


Broken heart syndrome is a temporary heart condition that’s often brought on by stressful situations, such as the death of a loved one. The condition can also be triggered by a serious physical illness or surgery. People with broken heart syndrome may have sudden chest pain or think they’re having a heart attack.

In broken heart syndrome, there’s a temporary disruption of your heart’s normal pumping function in one area of the heart. The remainder of the heart functions normally or with even more forceful contractions. Broken heart syndrome may be caused by the heart’s reaction to a surge of stress hormones.

The condition may also be called takotsubo cardiomyopathy, apical ballooning syndrome or stress cardiomyopathy by doctors. The symptoms of broken heart syndrome are treatable, and the condition usually reverses itself in days or weeks.


The exact cause of broken heart syndrome is unclear. It’s thought that a surge of stress hormones, such as adrenaline, might temporarily damage the hearts of some people.

How these hormones might hurt the heart or whether something else is responsible isn’t completely clear. A temporary constriction of the large or small arteries of the heart has been suspected to play a role.

Broken heart syndrome is often preceded by an intense physical or emotional event. Some potential triggers of broken heart syndrome are:

  • News of an unexpected death of a loved one
  • A frightening medical diagnosis
  • Domestic abuse
  • Losing — or even winning — a lot of money
  • Strong arguments
  • A surprise party
  • Having to perform publicly
  • Job loss
  • Divorce
  • Physical stressors, such as an asthma attack, a car accident or major surgery

It’s also possible that some drugs, rarely, may cause broken heart syndrome by causing a surge of stress hormones. Drugs that may contribute to broken heart syndrome include:

  • Epinephrine (EpiPen, EpiPen Jr.), which is used to treat severe allergic reactions or a severe asthma attack
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta), a medication given to treat nerve problems in people with diabetes, or as a treatment for depression
  • Venlafaxine (Effexor XR), which is a treatment for depression
  • Levothyroxine (Synthroid, Levoxyl), a drug given to people whose thyroid glands don’t work properly

How is broken heart syndrome different from a heart attack?

Heart attacks are generally caused by a complete or near complete blockage of a heart artery. This blockage is due to a blood clot forming at the site of narrowing from fatty buildup (atherosclerosis) in the wall of the artery. In broken heart syndrome, the heart arteries are not blocked, although blood flow in the arteries of the heart may be reduced.

Risk factors

There are a number of known risk factors for broken heart syndrome, including:

  • Sex. The condition affects women far more often than men.
  • Age. It appears that most people who have broken heart syndrome are older than 50.
  • A history of a neurological condition. People who have neurological disorders, such as a head injury or a seizure disorder (epilepsy) have a greater risk of broken heart syndrome.
  • A previous or current psychiatric disorder. If you’ve had disorders, such as anxiety or depression, you probably have a higher risk of broken heart syndrome.


Woman diagnosed with ‘broken heart syndrome’ mistook wasabi for avocado

An Israeli woman ate what she thought was avocado dip at a wedding. It was actually wasabi paste, a notoriously spicy Japanese horseradish. (Source: Pexels)

By Jordan Smith | Updated: Tue 6:29 PM, Sep 24, 2019

(Gray News) – Although rare, it’s not unheard of for the human heart to experience takotsubo cardiomyopathy, better known as broken heart syndrome, after extreme emotional stress.

The death of a spouse, loss of a pet or even experiencing a bad car wreck can trigger the temporary disruption of the heart’s regular pumping function.

According to a study published by BMJ Case Reports 2019, we can now add food consumption to that list. An elderly Israeli woman ate a large amount of what she thought was avocado dip at a wedding.

In reality, it was wasabi paste. Those who partake in Japanese cuisine understand that wasabi is notoriously spicy.

Just minutes after eating it, the woman felt a sudden pressure in her chest, which later moved down her arms. Even so, she toughed it out and stayed at the wedding.

The next morning, however, she knew something was seriously wrong. When she woke up, she felt weak and uncomfortable.

It was time to find a physician.

Doctors diagnosed her with broken heart syndrome after performing an electrocardiogram. IFL Science reports the symptoms can feel similar to that of a heart attack.

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