Life has a way of dealing out plenty of stress. It doesn’t matter what kind of stress but how people cope with it can make all the difference between life and death.
It’s important to know that hearts can get shattered, not like a glass plate but it can be metaphorically similar in the extreme and devastating hurt from the pain that causes intense psychological and emotional turmoil. It does seem that the pain caused is so burdensome and overwhelming that one feels like it’s possible to die from a broken heart. While many people do get over their grief, some people can actually die from a broken heart without them even realizing it.
It’s called Broken Heart Syndrome. Also known as Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy, normally brought on by extreme stress, it’s an infliction that afflicts more middle aged women than any other age group. Symptoms of the Broken Heart Syndrome are comparable to those of a heart attack.
Some of the first symptoms that are experienced are chest pain, breath shortness and severe fatigue. Medical help is typically sought out. When monitored at the hospital, an abnormal EKG is noted with severe breathlessness and fluid build up in the lungs. This can lead to congestive heart failure.
A special x-ray test called a cardiac catheterization can show sufferers that what they are feeling symptomatically is not a heart attack but the muscle around their heart as indeed weakened from the strain they are under.
Duke University researchers were able to confirm that extreme levels of stress hormones especially adrenaline like substances were circulating in the blood. A “normal” heart attack would not have these kinds of levels. It was believed that too much stress reduced the heart’s ability to pump out blood.
For most people, the illness gradually goes away but it should never be taken with a grain of salt. Physicians see the Broken Heart Syndrome has an emotional health crisis.
There was a time that feelings were never regarded as the reason we felt physically ill. However, times are showing this is indeed a fallacy. Negative emotions can indeed have harmful effect in the body, causing an illness.
So can a broken heart kill you? Yes, it can. But the good thing is that it only in rare cases is it fatal.
BHS is different from a heart attack in that the heart arteries are not blocked, although blood flow in the arteries of the heart may be reduced
There are 4 ways a person can know if they are at risk from dying with a broken heart.
(1) Recognize and acknowledge how vital your emotional health is. Do not hold in those strong feelings of pain.
(2) Seek out medical advice and help. If they believe the condition warrants it, they may place you in care of a psychologist or psychiatrist.
(3) Set aside some personal time for yourself… at least 15 minutes per day. Use this time to overcome the stresses of the day.
(4) Acknowledge that only you can improve yourself and how you feel. Try doing some meditation or yoga to reverse those negative feelings.
Broken heart syndrome is usually preceded by a strong physical or emotional event such as:
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
- Loss of a pet
- Having to perform publicly
- Job loss
- Divorce/Break up
- Physical stressors, such as an asthma attack, a car accident or major surgery
Certain drugs can also contribute to Broken Heart Syndrome:
- 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
Don’t become a statistic. Remember that you can die from a broken heart. Don’t let it happen to you.
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