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Broken Heart Syndrome Is Real

Physical symptoms of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy

  • Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is characterized by a sudden physical or psychological stressor that could release a surge of hormones that stuns specific heart muscles, preventing them from properly pumping blood. The left ventricle balloons out, and people experience chest pain, difficulty breathing, and even heart failure.
  • Doctors may mistake this condition for a heart attack or inflammation of the lungs. When people show these symptoms, doctors must eliminate other conditions first. Real confirmation of Takotsubo will likely come from an angiogram.
  • 90% of people survive an episode of stress-induced cardiomyopathy, but consequences may remain. While most patients' hearts may return to their normal shape in a few days, others can take three or more months to heal. Some people may require defibrillators.

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Broken Heart Syndrome Is Real

Broken Heart Syndrome Is Real

https://elemental.medium.com/broken-heart-syndrome-is-real-and-the-pandemic-is-making-it-worse-20934687b7e4

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Key Ideas

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy

According to a new study, broken hearts are on the rise. In March and April of 2020, 7.8% of patients presenting with symptoms of a heart attack had the condition - known as Takotsubo cardiomyopathy.

Takotsubo is known to affect people after the death of a child or spouse. People also experience stress-induced cardiomyopathy after surgery, public speaking, a death threat, and claustrophobia in an MRI machine. The research suggests the stress of the global crisis is pushing people's hearts over the edge.

Physical symptoms of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy

  • Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is characterized by a sudden physical or psychological stressor that could release a surge of hormones that stuns specific heart muscles, preventing them from properly pumping blood. The left ventricle balloons out, and people experience chest pain, difficulty breathing, and even heart failure.
  • Doctors may mistake this condition for a heart attack or inflammation of the lungs. When people show these symptoms, doctors must eliminate other conditions first. Real confirmation of Takotsubo will likely come from an angiogram.
  • 90% of people survive an episode of stress-induced cardiomyopathy, but consequences may remain. While most patients' hearts may return to their normal shape in a few days, others can take three or more months to heal. Some people may require defibrillators.

Takotsubo’s true scope

While Takotsubo patients' hearts appear to function normally again, the heart may have some segments that are not contracting well. That may explain why some people report chest pain, breathing difficulty, and other challenges long after their heart appear to have returned to normal.

Medications like beta-blockers and blood thinners can be necessary for recovery, but it is also important to see a psychologist. Meditation and regular exercise may also help.

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