Broken heart syndrome is caused by the heart’s reaction to a surge of stress hormones, which causes an irregular heartbeat and can be accompanied by symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath. When someone experiences a broken heart, (not to be confused with a heart attack) the blood flow in the arteries is reduced. Also known as a takotsubo cardiomyopathy, or stress-induced cardiomyopathy, it can be brought on by various stressful situations.
Some triggers of broken heart syndrome include:
• A break-up, divorce or death of a loved one
• Experiencing or recovering from a natural disaster
• Job loss
Some medications can contribute to broken heart syndrome such as epinephrine- taken for allergic reactions, as well as certain prescriptions that treat anxiety, depression, or thyroid issues.
Broken heart syndrome can be treated once your physician medically rules out any other possible cardiac issues. Treatment will most likely focus on reducing the workload of your heart.
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