Study Finds Your Heart Literally Breaks After A Breakup

March 7, 2016

Love is SO not patient and kind…

Bring out the tissues and cue the Ben and Jerry’s – you’ve got yet another reason to be miserable when your heart is dashed to pieces.

According to studies conducted by the American Heart Association, broken-heart syndrome (BHS), or takotsubo cardiomyopathy, is a legitimate condition that can actually be detrimental to your health.

In October 2015, the American Heart Association announced a number of symptoms associated with BHS that we’re all probably familiar with. These include shortness of breath and abrupt, acute chest pain following an emotional event, such as a breakup or the death of someone close to you. Reportedly, the only real difference between a heart attack and BHS is the latter doesn’t involve the blockage of an artery.

Contrary to popular belief, the cause of these symptoms is not emotional, but biological. The American Heart Association has also revealed part of your heart becomes temporarily enlarged and doesn’t pump blood effectively when you’re suffering from BHS – but the rest of your heart functions normally, possibly with even more forceful contractions.

To add insult to injury, BHS can occur in both heartbroken and happy people, according to a study released by the European Heart Journal (EHJ) this month. EHJ examined 485 patients dealing with BHS and found of those studied, 20 people experienced BHS symptoms after a happy trigger, rather than a sad event.

The EHJ research also revealed 95 per cent of BHS sufferers, both the happy and miserable, were women. This is unsurprising, given the intense effects intimacy and sex have on female brain chemistry (did you know intercourse can trick you into thinking you’re in love?).

Corrigan Women’s Heart Health Program co-director, Dr Malissa Wood, of the at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center, believes female hormones could be the culprit.

“The reasoning really is unclear. It’s probably tied somehow to estrogen levels,” Wood states.

Although Wood asserts most people recover just fine from BHS, it can be fatal in rare cases. As such, if you’ve suffered a traumatic event and are experiencing distressing symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor.

“Anything like this that comes on abruptly and is something you haven’t felt before needs to get checked out,” Wood says.

At least now we know we’re not just being drama queens when we’re lying in the fetal position, clutching our chests and listening to breakup songs after having our hearts metaphorically stomped on by a guy.

Comment: Have you ever felt these symptoms?


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