Broken Heart Syndrome Takotsubo Syndrome sleep apnoea disease stress damage

Suffering A Broken Heart? It Could Be Causing Actual Lasting Damage To The Heart Muscle

According to research, a divorce, the death of a loved one, betrayal, or romantic rejection, can damage the heart muscle. The sudden rush of hormones caused by these emotionally stressful events can, in extreme cases, cause victims to die from Takotsubo Syndrome.

It is believed that in Britain alone more than 3,000 people per year suffer from Broken Heart Syndrome, also known as Takotsubo Syndrome.

The Daily Mail reported that, up until now, it was believed that the heart could fully recover; however, research published in the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography suggests otherwise. It is now believed that the heart muscle actually suffers damage, which could explain why sufferers of Takotsubo Syndrome often have a life expectancy similar to those who have suffered a heart attack.

Fifty-two Takotsubo Syndrome patients were followed by a team from Aberdeen University for over four months, and using ultrasound and cardiac MRI scans they checked to see how patients hearts were functioning. The results were surprising: they revealed that Broken Heart Syndrome permanently affected the heart’s pumping motion by delaying the “wringing” motion made by the heart as it beats. Also, the heart’s squeezing motion was reduced. It was also discovered that parts of the muscle suffered scarring which affected the elasticity of the heart and stopped it contracting properly.

The research was led by Doctor Dana Dawson of Aberdeen University, who explained that it used to be thought that people who suffered from Broken Heart Syndrome could make a full recovery without medical intervention. However, as it turns out, that’s not entirely the case.

“Here we’ve shown that this disease has much longer lasting damaging effects on the hearts of those who suffer from it.”

Statistics reveal that between three and 17 percent of patients die within five years of diagnosis: 90 percent of sufferers are women, and in around 70 percent of cases a stressful trigger for the condition is identified.

Professor Metin Avkiran from the British Heart Foundation said, in some patients who develop Takotsubo Syndrome, this study has shown that various aspects of heart function remain abnormal for up to four months afterward.

“Worryingly, these patients’ hearts appear to show a form of scarring, indicating that full recovery may take much longer, or indeed may not occur, with current care. This highlights the need to urgently find new and more effective treatments for this devastating condition.”

Sir James Munby is the country’s most senior Family Court judge. In his opinion, Broken Heart Syndrome is why elderly couples should not be split up in care homes.

“We do know that people die of a broken heart. How long do people last if they are uprooted? A very short time.”

The Express reported that stress could cause long-term damage to the heart, and that heart failure caused by stress could well cause more damage to the heart muscle than previously thought. Severe emotional stress, such as an emotional upheaval or bereavement, can trigger Broken Heart Syndrome.

Despite strongly-held beliefs to the contrary, it seems that time many not mend a broken heart.

The Detroit News reported that lack of sleep, intense emotion, poor dental hygiene, and menopause, can also affect heart health.

It is already known that heart health can be affected by inactivity, smoking, and consuming too much salt, but there are other culprits to be aware of. When left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure which, in turn, adversely affects the heart by placing unnecessary strain on it. Lack of sleep due to stress or anxiety can not only reduce energy levels during the day but also put undue stress on the heart.

Intense emotions over a long period, such as anger, stress, grief, and anxiety, have long been associated with high blood pressure and heart attacks. Moreover, of course, intense emotions damage your mental health.

When someone suffers from Broken Heart Syndrome due to grief or loss, their condition mimics the symptoms of a heart attack. The condition typically affects middle-aged women and those who are under great emotional stress.

Many women have reported suffering the symptoms of a heart attack, and hospital tests suggest a major attack, but when an angiogram is carried out to treat the heart attack no evidence of blockages can be found. It is now believed that stress from intense grief causes a tremendous release of adrenaline, mimicking a heart attack.

Coronary heart disease is associated with chronic inflammation, and poor dental hygiene typically results in inflamed gums. This inflammation can be extremely dangerous for your overall health because it can extend beyond your mouth and affect your heart.

Pre-menopausal women have lower rates of heart disease than men because female hormones offer a degree of cardiovascular protection; however, once women have gone through menopause they produce less estrogen and other hormones, thus increasing their risk of heart disease.

Good heart health comes from maintaining a healthy body, including eating healthy, getting sufficient exercise, adequate sleep, avoiding toxic substances like cigarettes, and ensuring that stress is managed.

[Featured Image by Artissara/Shutterstock]

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