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  •  Broken Heart syndrome 

    Remember that feeling of going through a tragic breakup and you thought to yourself ‘I am going to die of heart break.’ Well believe it or not there is an explanation for that feeling. 

    When you experience a stressful event, your body produces hormones and proteins such as adrenaline and noradrenaline that are meant to help cope with the stress. 

    The heart muscle can be overwhelmed by a massive amount of adrenaline that suddenly produced in response to stress. Excess adrenaline can cause narrowing of the small arteries that supply the hear with blood, causing a temporary decrease in blood for to the heart. 

    Alternatively, the adrenaline may bind to the heart cells directly, causing large amounts of calcium to enter the cells. This large intake of calcium can prevent heart cells from beating properly. It appears that adrenaline’s effects on the heart during broken heart syndrome are temporary and completely reversible-the heart typically recovers fully within days or weeks. 

    So what are some of these symptoms you could be experiencing?

    Chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating and dizziness. 

    Two kinds of stress that can cause broken heart syndrome are emotional and physical. Most people with this condition experience a stressful event up to 30% of people have no identifiable trigger at the time of their initial symptoms. 

    Emotional: Grief, Fear, Extreme Anger and Surprise 

    Physical: High Fever, Stroke, Seizure, Difficulty Breathing, Significant Bleeding, Low Blood Sugar 

    It is important to follow up with a cardiologist who is familiar with this syndrome and who can tell you when your heart muscle has fully recovered. Avoiding stressful situations if possible is always recommended, and interventions to reduce stress such as biofeedback, meditation, yoga, physical rehabilitation, and exercise can be very helpful to some patients with this syndrome. If you feel like you are suffering from this, click on ‘schedule an appointment’ today and have a free 15 minute consultation with a counselor from the Trauma Therapy Company. 

    Monica Bartley MS, SWT


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