‘Cause love hurts: ‘Broken Heart Syndrome’ can cause severe chest pain after breakup or loss of a loved one

This Valentine's Day learn more about 'Broken Heart Syndrome'.

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Women are more likely than men to experience a sudden, intense chest pain that can be caused by an emotionally stressful event.
By Dr Nikesh D Jain

When we think of a broken heart, we probably don’t think of it causing real health problems but relate it more to psychological problems. But, the emotional pain of heartache can be a severe illness known as Broken Heart Syndrome.

Broken Heart Syndrome is a serious medical condition that affects the patient’s physical health and most importantly, the patient’s heart. Patients who are suffering from this illness usually experience chest pain, breathing issues due to shock and stress. It is similar to a heart attack. However, what differentiates it is that there is no blocked artery in the heart compared to the presence of it in a heart attack. But, for the layman, a Broken Heart Syndrome feels like a heart attack in all ways.


So, what’s the cause of this syndrome? It is nothing but emotional stress. Broken Heart Syndrome is caused due to extreme emotional stress like loss of a loved one or a breakup. According to researchers, it can be triggered by forms of stress as varied as a catastrophic medical diagnosis, an acute medical illness, the death of a relative or loved one, a serious car accident or a devastating financial loss.

The syndrome is not well understood, researchers feel the left ventricle may be stunned and is unable to function because of the surge of stress hormones after the patient experiences trauma. Women are more likely than men to experience a sudden, intense chest pain that can be caused by an emotionally stressful event. The other causes can be divorce, breakup or physical separation, betrayal or romantic rejection.
Shockingly, the number of youngsters who are suffering from Broken Heart Syndrome is high in rate.
Shockingly, the number of youngsters who are suffering from Broken Heart Syndrome is high in rate.

It could even happen after an extremely good shock. It can be misdiagnosed as a heart attack because the symptoms and test results are similar. The 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.
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The Symptoms of this illness is common to Heart attack:

  • Chest Pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Palpitations (the sensation of the heart-pounding )
  • Weakness
So, how can we prevent this? There is no such treatment for preventing Broken Heart Syndrome but learning stress management, solving problems and relaxation techniques can help improve both psychological and physical health. Stress management can also be improved with physical exercise and anxiety medications. It is important to avoid poor choices in managing stress such as drinking, illicit use or smoking, overeating.

There is no such treatment for preventing Broken Heart Syndrome but learning stress management, solving problems and relaxation techniques can help improve both psychological and physical health.
There is no such treatment for preventing Broken Heart Syndrome but learning stress management, solving problems and relaxation techniques can help improve both psychological and physical health.

These aren't permanent solutions and can lead to additional health issues. Also, patients can take help of medicines to manage their blood pressure to lighten some of the strain on their heart.

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There are several cases reported in India. Shockingly, the number of youngsters who are suffering from Broken Heart Syndrome is high in rate. Hence, we, as doctors, constantly advise parents to engage their children in stress management techniques.

The author is a Consultant Cardiologist at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre.

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Celeb Deaths Of 2019: India Lost Sushma-Jaitley, Kushal Punjabi, CCD Boss
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2019 has left a void in our hearts.

From Bollywood veterans and Hollywood celebrities to political stalwarts, we lost several personalities over the span of one year.

While big names like politicians Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld lost their lives after battling prolonged illnesses, others like businessman VG Siddhartha and actor Kushal Punjabi succumbed to their mental health struggles.

Here's a look at all the influential figures we bid adieu to this year, but they continue to stay in our hearts.

2019 has left a void in our hearts. From Bollywood veterans and Hollywood celebrities to political stalwarts, we lost several personalities over the span of one year. While big names like pol..
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2019 ended on a sad note after news of TV star Kushal Punjabi's suicide broke. The 37-year-old actor, best known for his appearance in films like 'Lakshya', 'Andaz' and 'Kaal', was found hanging at his Mumbai residence on December 27.



The actor who was last seen in popular TV series 'Ishq Mein Marjawan' left a one-and-a-half page suicide note, specifying that nobody should be held responsible for his death. In his letter, he wrote that 50 per cent of his property should be distributed equally among his parents and sister, while the remaining 50 per cent be given to his three-year-old son Kian.



Punjabi started his career as a dancer and model. He appeared in several music videos such as 'Pehla Nasha' (remix) and DJ Aqeel's 'Kehdoon Tumhen' recreation.

2019 ended on a sad note after news of TV star Kushal Punjabi's suicide broke. The 37-year-old actor, best known for his appearance in films like 'Lakshya', 'Andaz' and 'Kaal', was found hanging at h..
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The year saw a lot of veteran bid their final goodbyes, and one of them was veteran Marathi theatre and cinema stalwart Dr Shreeram Lagoo. The prolific character artiste, who was seen in numerous Bollywood movies, passed away after a cardiac arrest at his Pune residence on December 17 at 92.



He was a trained ENT surgeon by profession, but followed his passion for acting and theatre. He played an important role in the growth of theatre movement in Maharashtra in the post-Independence era alongside Vijay Tendulkar, Vijaya Mehta and Arvind Deshpande.



He is well-known for his roles in Marathi plays such as 'Natsamrat' and 'Himalayachi Saoli', and V Shantaram's 'Pinjra' made him popular.



In Bollywood, Lagoo essayed memorable roles in films like 'Ek Din Achanak', 'Gharonda', 'Muqaddar Ka Sikandar' and 'Laawaris'. He played Gopal Krishna Gokhale in Richard Attenborough's 'Gandhi'.

The year saw a lot of veteran bid their final goodbyes, and one of them was veteran Marathi theatre and cinema stalwart Dr Shreeram Lagoo. The prolific character artiste, who was seen in numerous Bol..
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Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge that was a social media rage in 2014? A former college basketball player, Pete Frates, inspired the Ice Bucket Challenge campaign who was battling the neurodegenerative disease ALS. His personal struggles helped raise awareness about the rare disease and raised millions of dollars (over $200 million, worldwide) for medical research. The world lost him on December 9 at 34, seven years after his diagnosis. He was surrounded by friends and family when he breathed his last.

Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge that was a social media rage in 2014? A former college basketball player, Pete Frates, inspired the Ice Bucket Challenge campaign who was battling the neurodegenerat..
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Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes, who put British cuisine on the map, passed away from a head injury after collapsing in his Dubai home at the age of 59 on November 26. His family confirmed that after a nice meal with family he suddenly collapsed and died due to subdural haematoma, bleeding between the skull and brain.



The chef, who earned his first Michelin star at 26, was known to introduce the culture of gastropub to the world. He was also seen in popular international shows like 'MasterChef' and 'Hell's Kitchen'.

Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes, who put British cuisine on the map, passed away from a head injury after collapsing in his Dubai home at the age of 59 on November 26. His family confirmed that after a ni..
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Veteran actor Shaukat Kaifi Azmi's demise was a loss for Indian theatre and cinema. Shabana Azmi's mother, who was last seen in Shaadi Ali's 'Saathiya', passed away on November 22 in her early '90s due to age-related ailments in Mumbai.



The stage thespian, along with her husband and celebrated Urdu poet and film lyricist Kaifi Azmi, was a leading light of the Indian People's Theatre Association and the Progressive Writers Association, which were the cultural platforms of the Communist Party of India.



She was also seen in movies like 'Bazaar', 'Umrao Jaan' and Mira Nair's Oscar-nominated film 'Salaam Bombay!'.

Veteran actor Shaukat Kaifi Azmi's demise was a loss for Indian theatre and cinema. Shabana Azmi's mother, who was last seen in Shaadi Ali's 'Saathiya', passed away on November 22 in her early '90s d..
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The veteran Telugu actor, Geetanjali, passed away after suffering a heart attack at the age of 72 on October 31 in Hyderabad.



She was a part of the Lakshmikant-Pyarelal production, 'Parasmani'. Several news reports suggest that she was re-christened 'Geetanjali' by the filmmaker as the Hindi movie already had 'Mani' in its title.



She also worked in various Telugu, Malayalam and Tamil films, and was known for her roles in films like 'Illalu', 'Abbayigaru Ammayigaru', 'Kaalam Marindi' and 'Sambarala Rambabu'.

The veteran Telugu actor, Geetanjali, passed away after suffering a heart attack at the age of 72 on October 31 in Hyderabad.She was a part of the Lakshmikant-Pyarelal production, 'Parasmani'. Severa..
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The entire film fraternity bid farewell to Bollywood's 'Kalia' on September 30. Veteran character-actor Viju Khote, who was best known for his role as Kalia in the Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra-starrer 'Sholay', and as Robert in 'Andaz Apna Apna' featuring Aamir Khan and Salman Khan, passed away at the age of 77 in Mumbai.



He was also a part of popular movies like 'Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak', 'Ventilator', and the famous 1993 TV sitcom 'Zabaan Sambhalke' that had veteran actor Pankaj Kapur, and Khote's sister, Shubha, in the cast.

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Another shock came up for the food industry when it lost celebrity chef and restaurateur Carl Ruiz at 44 on September 21. The cause of death of the owner of New York City restaurant, La Cubana, was not known.



His recipes were a part of his Cuban roots and Latin upbringing, and mostly inspired by his mother and grandmother. In an Instagram tribute, his NY restaurant wrote, "Beyond his immense culinary talent, Carl's larger-than-life personality never failed to entertain, enlighten, and uplift every person he encountered along his #Ruizing adventures. His fierce intellect and infectious humour knew no bounds. He was a mighty force of down home Cuban cuisine, and lived life to the fullest, just as he cooked-with "dancing always" as the most important ingredient."

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Shyam Ramsay, one of the seven Ramsay Brothers who were known for cult horror films such as 'Puraani Haveli' and 'Tahkhaana', breathed his last on September 18 in Mumbai at 67.



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(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of www.economictimes.com.)
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