Have you ever felt the sting of betrayal, the pain of a failed relationship or the desolation of losing a loved one? All these painful experiences can cause significant heartbreak. But the immense emotional stress these incidents cause can also physically damage our hearts. Real-life broken hearts can lead to cardiac consequences. Research has established ties between depression, mental health and heart disease. This affliction, known as the broken heart syndrome, occurs when a surge of stress hormones flood your body, causing those afflicted to experience a sudden, intense chest pain. In severe cases it can lead to short-term heart muscle failure. The good news is that broken heart syndrome is treatable. Most people who experience it make a full recovery within weeks, and they’re at low risk for it happening again (although in rare cases it can be fatal).
Signs and symptoms of broken heart syndrome
Common symptoms include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
Sometimes, those who suffer from the syndrome experience:
- Irregular heartbeats
- Cardiogenic shock – Cardiogenic shock is a condition in which a suddenly weakened heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. It can be fatal if it isn’t treated immediately.
What is the difference between heart attacks and broken heart syndrome?
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) test results don’t look the same as the ECG results for a person having a heart attack.
- Blood tests show no signs of heart damage.
- Tests show no signs of blockages in the coronary arteries.
- Tests show ballooning and unusual movement of the lower left heart chamber (left ventricle).
- Recovery is usually quick. Within days or weeks (compared with the recovery time of a month or more for a heart attack).
Don’t let your broken heart hurt you physically. Managing stress is key. For some simple tips on how to manage stress, check out our article: Easy Tips to Better Manage Stress.
If you or a loved one have recently experienced a heart breaking event, felt overwhelmed by stress and would like professional medical advice or go for a medical check up, call our friendly medical concierge at +65 6679 7867 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be on hand to assist you.