Doctors say a 'broken heart' can send you to the hospital
"Broken Heart Syndrome" is caused by any type of stressful trigger.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Most people wouldn’t think a break up or period of loneliness could land them in an ambulance, but it is possible because of “Broken Heart Syndrome.”
University of Louisville Cardiologist Dr. Lorrel Brown said Stress Cardiomyopathy, or “Broken Heart Syndrome,” is a heart disease caused by any type of stressful trigger.
“There's actually a lot of connection between emotions, physiological health and cardiac health,” Brown said. “And that can happen for people when then have an acute event like loss of a loved one, something stressful, a divorce perhaps, separation ... those things can for unknown reasons precipitate a decline in their heart function."
Those who suffer from “Broken Heart Syndrome” experience chest pain, shortness of breath and often think they are having a heart attack. While the heart doesn't literally break, it does physically change.
“When you look at an ultrasound picture, we're able to see this characteristic shape that the heart takes on, and it's an unusual shape that we don't see in any other heart condition,” Brown said.
She said one part of the heart squeezes while the other does not and there's still a lot of unknown.
“We really don't understand why a stressful life event for one person doesn't lead to broken heart syndrome, but for somebody else it does,” Brown said.
Brown added that people react better to stress when they are in love because oxytocin is released, making love good for your heart. But if you do suffer from "Broken Heart Syndrome," the good news here is that your heart won't be broken forever.
“You can have a broken heart, and it can be fixed," Brown said.
Other stressful events Brown has seen trigger "Broken Heart Syndrome" include surprise birthday parties and meeting adoptive parents.
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