Broken Hearts Syndrome May Trigger Heart Problems

Broken Hearts Syndrome May Trigger Heart Problems

Throughout the ages, art, architecture, music and literature have often been inspired by the broken-hearted. If you've ever felt like you've had your heart ripped out during a breakup, leaving you heartbroken there's a chance you could have been dealing from a literal ailment, called Broken Heart Syndrome. In William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, it appears that Lady Montague died of a broken heart due to her son Romeo's banishment.

". But, fortunately, death is very rare", says Dr. Jonathan Fialkow, a cardiologist and assistant professor at the Florida International University College of Medicine.

"When you see this disease, takotsubo cardiomyopathy or the broken heart syndrome, there's an exorbitant amount of stress and all of those stress hormones you feel in your head get released into your body and it nearly causes your heart to be stunned, these hormones in this stunned moment look like a heart attack", Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a cardiologist, told Fox News. Takotsubo is the Japanese word for a pot-like octopus trap that resembles the shape of the stricken heart. Because more than 90 percent of those afflicted are post-menopausal women, Fialkow says there is speculation that it may be due to a lack of estrogen protection.

"We see it when there's been a real heartache", says Dr. Eugenio Rothe, an FIU professor of psychiatry. "It could be the loss of a business, the loss of a dream, a job, a relationship, the loss of a loved one". There are also cases of parents bereaved at the death of a child, who follow soon after them.

So is Broken Heart Syndrome not lethal?

"You can have a broken heart, and it can be fixed", Brown said.

Similarly, actress Debbie Reynolds died a day after her daughter Carrie Fisher passed away in December 2016. However, the shock can also result from sudden, unexpected, but highly welcomed news like winning the lottery.

The main difference between a heart attack and broken heart syndrome is the fact that while the former is caused by one or more blockage in the arteries of the heart, the latter is simply caused by temporary reduction in blood flow in the passageways of the heart.