Broken Heart Syndrome also known as stress Cardiomyopathy , is a temporary heart condition that’s often caused by the heart’s reaction to a surge of stress hormones such as the death of a loved one and may mimic Heart attack. Some people with broken heart syndrome, often think they have a heart attack, because of the sudden chest pain they may experience.
Broken heart syndrome are treatable, and the condition usually reverses itself in about a week or two weeks. It mostly affect women above the age of 50 or older. In rare cases, it can be fatal.
Symptoms of Broken Heart Syndrome.
- Shortness of Breath.
- Sudden Chest pain.
Difference Between Broken Heart Syndrome & Heart Attack.
Heart attack is caused by a near or complete blockage of a heart artery, due to a blood clot forming at the site of narrowing from fatty buildup in the wall of the artery.
While in Broken heart syndrome, blood flow in the arteries of the heart may be reduced, but the heart arteries are not blocked.
Broken heart syndrome is often triggered by a shocking or intense physical or emotional events such as
- Physical stressors, such as a car accident, surgery or an Asthma attack.
- Unexpected news of the death of a loved one.
- Physical or domestic abuse.
- A frightening medical diagnosis.
- Losing lots of money.
- Job loss.
- Natural disasters
- Stage Fright.
- Use of some drugs such as, Venlafaxine (which is a treatment for Depression),
- Duloxetine (a medication given to treat nerve problems in people with Diabetes, or Depression), Epinephrine (which is used to treat severe allergic reactions or a severe Asthma Attack).
Complications of Broken Heart Syndrome.
- Disruption in your heartbeat.
- Backup of Fluid into your lungs (Pulmonary edema)
- Low blood pressure .
Once it’s clear that broken heart syndrome is the cause of your symptoms, your doctor will likely prescribe heart medications for you to take such as beta blockers or diuretics and Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. These medications will help reduce the workload on your heart while you recover and may also help prevent further attacks.
Treatment is similar to treatment for a Heart attack until the diagnosis is clear. Most people stay in the hospital while they recover.
Recognizing and managing stress in your life also is very important.