They say, “time can mend a broken heart,” but it’s not true. According to this new research, “time” is not the one that heals a broken heart.
The Broken Heart Syndrome or the Takotsubo Syndrome is a real condition that affects about 3,000 people every year in the U.K. An attack happens and the heart muscles weaken and balloon. This then prevents the heart to function well when pumping, Harper’s Bazaar noted.
In the research from the University of Aberdeen, the scientists studied 37 Takotsubo patients for two years. They used different exercise methods and monitored their MRI scans. Their data showed that the patients still suffered even long after the event had passed. They also found out that some of the patients eventually had “ongoing symptoms of heart failure.”
According to Harvard Health Watch, the condition appears mostly on women between the ages of 58 to 75. Though there are key biological differences in men and women, this showed how women’s emotional capacities are more deeply divergent than mens’.
Since some associate the Takotsubo Syndrome to a reaction to misery and loss, Harvard Health Watch warns people as the condition can be associated with a heart attack. If unrecognized, the patient can suffer more than just the syndrome and can experience long-term damage.
There is no “precise” cause of the Broken Heart Syndrome yet but experts think that stress hormones are one of the factors. The adrenaline rush “stuns” the heart and triggers related muscles in the body. Older women are more susceptible to Takotsubo Syndrome because of their reduced levels of estrogen, which usually happens after menopause.
In a different study, rats whose ovaries were removed have been tested in stress environments. Those whose ovaries were removed acquired a left-ventricle dysfunction.
For those who may suspect a Takotsubo Syndrome, patients are advised to go to a physician since the case is hardly recognizable from a heart attack. They may be required to undergo an electrocardiogram (ECG) to see if they have the symptoms of Takotsubo.
So far, there are no “evidence-based guidelines” on how to treat Takotsubo, but patients are advised to undergo standard heart failure medications like ACE inhibitors, diuretics, and beta blockers.
“Although there’s little evidence on long-term therapy, beta blockers (or combined alpha and beta blockers) may be continued indefinitely to help prevent recurrence by reducing the effects of adrenaline and other stress hormones. It’s also important to alleviate any physical or emotional stress that may have played a role in triggering the disorder.”