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Broken Heart Syndrome: what is it and how does it work?

the term "broken heart syndrome" alone makes us all seem a bit sceptical of if it is a real thing but I can assure you it is real and many people have experienced broken heart syndrome and its effects.


starting with the definition and its proper name. broken heart syndrome more formally known as Takotsubo cardiomyopathy or Takotsubo syndrome is known as a type of syndrome where there is a temporary weakening of the muscular portion of the heart. people might mistake it for a heart attack as they show similar symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath. please do contact a doctor if you seem to have any symptoms of broken heart syndrome or a heart attack!


The exact cause of broken heart syndrome is unclear. It is thought that the surge of stress hormones such as adrenaline might temporarily damage the hearts of some people. broken heart syndrome can be caused by any of the following:

  • sudden illness such as asthma

  • major surgery

  • sudden broken bone

  • death of a loved one or other loss.

  • a strong argument

how does broken heart syndrome differ from a heart attack you may ask? well, a heart attack is caused by a complete or near complete blockage of a heart artery. in broken heart syndrome, the heart arteries are not blocked but blood flow in the arteries of the heart may be reduced.


but on the brighter side! rarely will broken heart syndrome cause death and most patients quickly recover with no long-lasting effects. if you do experience this, there are ways to prevent it such as:

  • getting more exercise or getting into a sport

  • practising mindfulness

  • connecting with others in support groups (if you are not comfortable with this, I recommend seeing a therapist).

if you have high-stress levels or feel as though you have no one to talk to, please contact a therapist. it truly does give you clarity and a sense of relief.


sources: google and mayoclinic.com

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