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“When I saw my ex holding hands with a girl last week, I felt a sudden pain in my chest. It is just so unacceptable to know that the man I gave all my time and I loved with all my heart has already someone new. It really broke my heart. “

I hear a lot of times people with broken hearts become miserable and lonely. Some hardly find a way to move on and live with a broken heart for a period of time. But how does it really feel if you have a broken heart?

If you experienced a heartbreak, it takes a physical toll on your body. For example one may feel drained and sick. Crying and sobbing is common, but physical signs can also be obvious. When you’re suffering from a broken heart, it can be very difficult to quiet down your mind, shut it down and get some rest. These are the times you can hardly fall asleep, giving you tired, sleepless, puffy eyes. Anxiety and increased heart palpitations often go hand in hand with a broken heart as well. And in some extreme cases, a breakup could lead to heart attack-like symptoms.

Wow, heart attack-like symptoms?!

Broken Heart Syndrome is REAL.

Yes, it is known as “Broken heart syndrome”, also called stress-induced cardiomyopathy— a temporary heart condition that looks and feels like a heart attack and is often brought on by stressful situations, like the death of a loved one or a breakup. It can strike even if you’re healthy.  It is also known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy as it was first described in Japanese medical literature in the 1990s.

Broken heart syndrome may be misdiagnosed as a heart attack because the symptoms and test results are similar. In fact, tests show dramatic changes in rhythm and blood substances that are typical of a heart attack. But unlike a heart attack, there’s no evidence of blocked heart arteries in broken heart syndrome.

In broken heart syndrome, a part of your heart temporarily enlarges and doesn’t pump well, while the rest of your heart functions normally or with even more forceful contractions. Researchers are just starting to learn the causes, and how to diagnose and treat it.

The bad news: Broken heart syndrome can lead to severe, short-term heart muscle failure.

The good news: Broken heart syndrome is usually treatable. Most people who experience it make a full recovery within weeks, and they’re at low risk for it happening again (although in rare cases in can be fatal).

Women (especially women who are over 50. This could be a result of lower estrogen levels, but doctors aren’t sure.) are more likely than men to experience the sudden, intense chest pain — the reaction to a surge of stress hormones — that can be caused by an emotionally stressful event.

Broken heart syndrome is often preceded by an intense physical or emotional event. Some potential triggers of broken heart syndrome are:

  • News of an unexpected death of a loved one
  • Surgery
  • Serious illness
  • Money problems
  • Car accidents
  • Emotional memories
  • physical separation
  • betrayal or romantic rejection/break up
  • A frightening medical diagnosis
  • Having to perform publicly
  • Job loss
  • Divorce

It can even happen after a good shock, like winning the lottery or a surprise party.

It’s also possible that some drugs, rarely, may cause broken heart syndrome by causing a surge of stress hormones. Drugs that may contribute to broken heart syndrome include:

  • Epinephrine (EpiPen, EpiPen Jr.), which is used to treat severe allergic reactions or a severe asthma attack
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta), a medication given to treat nerve problems in people with diabetes, or as a treatment for depression
  • Venlafaxine (Effexor XR), which is a treatment for depression
  • Levothyroxine (Synthroid, Levoxyl), a drug given to people whose thyroid glands don’t work properly

Symptoms to Look For

Broken heart syndrome symptoms can mimic a heart attack. The most common signs and symptoms of broken heart syndrome are angina (chest pain) and shortness of breath. You can experience these things even if you have no history of heart disease.

Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) or cardiogenic shock also may occur with broken heart syndrome. Cardiogenic shock is a condition in which a suddenly weakened heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs, and it can be fatal if it isn’t treated right away. (When people die from heart attacks, cardiogenic shock is the most common cause of death.)

Any long-lasting or persistent chest pain could be a sign of a heart attack, so it’s important to take it seriously and see your doctor if you experience chest pain.

What to do if you Have This Symptoms

Unfortunately, it’s going to take more than a big tub of ice cream and popcorn to help you move on from your ex. So the next time you experience a sudden pain in your heart when you see your ex with another girl, try to breath deeply and compose yourself, for you may be having this broken heart syndrome.

 Some recommendations from experts says thinking back on the activities that helped you de-stress in the past and doing more of them may help.  Meditation, deep breathing, yoga or even taking a break from social media to catch up with a friend or read a book can also relieve.

Unhealthy coping techniques like drinking or eating more can put your heart at risk, so try turning to ways that relieve or help combat stress. Recognizing and managing stress in your life the most natural and healthiest way is also important in helping to prevent broken heart syndrome.  A soulful massage from your favorite spa can surely ease your emotions. Using special oil like Oleia Topical oil can help alleviate these stresses and can help put you back on track.


About The Author

Cathy spends part of her days wondering how to combine her 2 loves, writing and photography. The rest of her time she spends taking care of her two babies. Sheena, a Labrador retriever & Amanda, a Siberian husky. She’s been an OLEIA user since May.