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Going to a Cleveland Clinic location? Treatments include heart medications, anti-anxiety drugs, stress management and cardiac rehabilitation. Broken heart syndrome is a temporary and reversible heart condition whose symptoms mimic those of a heart attack. Unlike a heart attack, broken heart syndrome happens when a sudden physical or emotional stress causes a rapid weakening of your heart muscle. Broken heart syndrome is also called stress cardiomyopathy or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy.
Takotsubo is the Japanese name for an octopus trapping pot with a wide bottom and narrow neck. The pot resembles the shape of the distressed left ventricle of the heart seen in broken heart syndrome. In most cases, broken heart syndrome is a short, temporary condition with a full recovery.
One possible explanation is that the female hormone estrogen protects the heart against any harmful effects of hormones released in response to stress. As the level of estrogen declines with age, women might be more susceptible to the effects of sudden stress. However, this figure is thought to be an underestimate of the true of cases because the condition is often not recognized.
The exact cause of broken heart syndrome is not fully understood. When you react to a physical or emotional stress, your body releases stress hormones in your blood like adrenalin, noradrenalin, epinephrine and norepinephrine.
You may feel symptoms within minutes up to hours after the stressful event. In broken heart syndrome, the release of stress hormones temporarily stuns your heart muscle, producing symptoms similar to a typical heart attack. After completing a physical exam and reviewing your medical history, your healthcare provider will order several tests including:.
Unlike a heart attack, in broken heart syndrome your heart muscle is not permanently damaged and your coronary arteries are not blocked. The tests your healthcare provider orders help reveal if your symptoms are broken heart syndrome or a heart attack. You have broken heart syndrome and not a heart attack if:. Treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms. Broken heart syndrome is usually treated with medicines until full recovery.
Medications include:. Depending on how much your heart muscle was weakened, your healthcare provider may also recommend cardiac rehabilitation. Managing your stress with yoga, meditation and other relaxation techniques can also be helpful. Ask your healthcare provider for information on these methods and possible programs and services available. There are no known treatments for preventing broken heart syndrome. However, Still my heart seeks the one that broke it stress management and problem-solving techniques can help improve physical and emotional stress.
Depending on the source of your stress, there may be a support group you can to talk about your stress and share coping skills with others who have had similar experiences. Seeking the help of a professional counselor might be considered too. In addition, managing physical or emotional stress can be helped by following general healthy habits too. These include:. Broken heart syndrome is a temporary condition for most people. Full recovery is usually made in few days to a few weeks after your stress-induced event.
There no evidence to suggest that broken heart syndrome is heredity passed down from parents to children. Most likely no. Keep in mind that broken heart syndrome symptoms are brought on by a sudden or extreme stressful event. If you have frequent chest pain or shortness of breath when facing day-to-day moderate stress for example, stress at worksee your healthcare provider. Ongoing symptoms are usually not a of broken heart syndrome.
Your healthcare provider can help you figure out how to best cope with stress, prescribe medication if anxiety is a problem or order tests if they suspect there may be an undiagnosed health problem. However, because its symptoms mimic a heart attack, never try to self-diagnose and convince yourself that you have broken heart syndrome. Always get checked at an emergency care center.
Only tests can determine if your heart symptoms are a heart attack, broken heart syndrome or some other health problem. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Broken Heart Syndrome Broken heart syndrome, also called stress cardiomyopathy or takotsubo cardiomyopathy, is a real condition. What kinds of emotional and physical stress can cause broken heart syndrome? Good news e. Bad news. Intense fear e. Extreme anger.
Examples of sudden physical stressors that can bring on broken heart syndrome include: Severe pain. An exhausting physical event. Health issues, including asthma attack, difficulty breathing dypneaseizure, strokehigh fever, low blood sugar hypoglycemialarge blood loss, surgery. Can I die from broken heart syndrome? Who is gets broken heart syndrome? How common is broken heart syndrome? Symptoms and Causes What causes broken heart syndrome?
Causes part of your heart to temporarily enlarge the lower part of your left ventricle. Le to even more forceful contractions in other areas of your heart.
These changes cause temporary heart muscle failure. What are the symptoms of broken heart syndrome? s and symptoms of broken heart syndrome include: Sudden, severe chest pain angina — a main symptom.
Shortness of breath — a main symptom. Weakening of the left ventricle of your heart — a main. Fluid in your lungs. Irregular heartbeats arrhythmias. Low blood pressure hypotension. What are the complications of broken heart syndrome? Complications are rare, but those that have been reported include: Rupture of the left ventricle free wall of the heart. Blockage of the blood flow from the left ventricle. Blood clot in the wall of the left ventricle.
Left ventricular outflow tract obstruction. Cardiogenic shock. Complete atrioventricular block. Diagnosis and Tests How is broken heart syndrome diagnosed? Chest X-ray shows the structure of your heart, lungs and blood vessels. Cardiac MRI magnetic resonance imaging produces both still and moving pictures of your heart. How does broken heart syndrome differ from a heart attack? You have broken heart syndrome and not a heart attack if: Your symptoms appeared suddenly following a stressful physical or emotional event.
Your blood work shows a rise in cardiac enzymes levels, the same enzymes that would be high in a heart attack. Management and Treatment How is broken heart syndrome treated? Medications include: ACE inhibitors to lower blood pressure long term. Beta blockers to slow the heart rate short term. Diuretics to decrease fluid buildup short term.
Anti-anxiety medicines to manage stress. These medications may be long term, if needed. Prevention Can broken heart syndrome be prevented? Engaging in relaxation techniques can also be helpful. Some examples include: Practicing yoga, meditation, journaling, or mindfulness. Taking a warm bath; lighting scented candles; and taking long, deep breaths and slowly exhaling. These include: Eating a healthy diet, such as the Dash diet or Mediterranean diet. Getting regular exercise at least five times a week for 30 minutes. Getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Spending time with others.
Keeping your medical appointments, for both follow up and preventive health screenings. Finding and treating any health problems early always le to the best outcome for a long and healthy life. Avoid — or better yet — stop unhealthy choices such as smoking, illicit drug use, and alcohol abuse.
Broken heart syndrome is occasionally fatal, but this is rare. Can my children inherit broken heart syndrome? Does day-to-day stress from ordinary life cause broken heart syndrome? Show More.Still my heart seeks the one that broke it
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Holy Sonnets: Batter my heart, three-person'd God