Is it Possible to Die of a Broken Heart?

You have heard the saying, “Dying of a broken heart,” which is often used to describe the depths of despair that one is feeling due to the loss of a child, spouse, beloved pet or a loved one. However, this same level of sadness can trigger physiological symptoms that can lead to a condition known as “broken heart syndrome.” Broken Heart Syndrome is medically referred to as Takotsubo Syndrome or Stress-Induced Cardiomyopathy.

Symptoms of Takotsubo (Broken Heart Syndrome) can mimic a typical heart attack such as chest pain, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, nausea and vomiting, weakness and fatigue and irregular heartbeat. These symptoms seem to initiate when the body releases a flood of stress hormones, causing the heart to become weak.

It can affect anyone at any age who is experiencing severe emotional distress or trauma. It takes medical tests to rule out any blockages or other underlying medical conditions. In most people, the symptoms may subside or come and go as they move through the phases of grief, but in some cases, this syndrome could lead to long-lasting damage to the heart. Evolving research shows that this syndrome can affect the heart’s pumping motion.

The twisting or wringing motion made by the heart during the heartbeat of extremely stressed individuals can cause small scars on the heart, which reduces its elasticity and affects the heart muscle contraction. There is no way to know if you are at risk for this syndrome, and there is no medical way to prevent it from happening. If it does happen, it will come on suddenly. We suggest that any time you feel symptoms of a heart attack that you seek medical attention immediately.

With the understanding that extreme stress brought on by a tragic event could cause “Broken Heart Syndrome,” watch for signs that your body is responding through physical symptoms and consider providing some extra support to help manage the stress that you are undergoing. 

Start by taking a B Complex that contains all your essential types of Vitamin B.  B vitamins help to stabilize your central nervous system and the underlying stress response. 

Another supplement that produces a more immediate response to reduce anxiety is L-Theanine. L- Theanine has an immediate calming and relaxing effect. L-Theanine also increases serotonin (the transmitter responsible for feelings of happiness) and dopamine levels (responsible for cognitive function, creation, motivation).  

 5-HTP –(5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a supplement for the central nervous system and also helps by increasing the production of the serotonin. Although not medically proven as of yet- 5HTP shows promise in helping the mind cope with the physical attributes of stress could help reduce the likelihood of “Broken Heart Syndrome.”

If you have suffered from “Broken Heart Syndrome,” while you are healing your emotional heart, help to strengthen your damaged heart muscle as well.

5HTP supplements could interact with medicines prescribed for depression and anxiety. Reach out for help before your symptoms of despair manifest themselves physically.

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