Broken Heart Syndrome Is A Real Thing
November 5, 2018 1:52 PM   Subscribe

It has been found that the heart actually suffers a malfunction and can only move a fraction of blood after a heartache. Once mentioned as a non-medical term, a broken heart is now medically proven to have life-threatening effects.
posted by Yellow (18 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Yet to be determined.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:01 PM on November 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

Gross spammy site
posted by goinWhereTheClimateSuitsMyClothes at 2:13 PM on November 5, 2018 [6 favorites]

I lost the article in the ads somewhere...
posted by BYiro at 2:35 PM on November 5, 2018 [4 favorites]

My own anecdotal evidence in support of this is when my wife lost her beloved mother, and then soon after started to show symptoms of what initially looked like a heart attack. It was terrifying and I remember looking into this concept around that time.
posted by ikahime at 2:38 PM on November 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

Can a heart grow three sizes in one day, though?
posted by XMLicious at 2:43 PM on November 5, 2018 [8 favorites]

How much fast food can you eat in a day?
posted by Splunge at 2:46 PM on November 5, 2018 [4 favorites]

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy
posted by grumpybear69 at 2:53 PM on November 5, 2018 [6 favorites]

When the only semi-long-term relationship I’ve ever been in (about three years) ended, I went through the grieving — including the lost sleep and stress — I had naturally expected.

What I didn’t expect was, three days after the breakup, having acute chest pains of such an intensity and increasing magnitude that I was convinced I was dying of a major heart attack, ER visit required and everything.

Shit’s real, yo.
posted by darkstar at 3:10 PM on November 5, 2018 [22 favorites]

Talk about adding injury to insult.
posted by The Minotaur at 3:28 PM on November 5, 2018 [3 favorites]

Your feelz are as realz as you make them.
posted by Fupped Duck at 3:52 PM on November 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

This has been well known in cardiology for years. It’s also more common in women, particularly postmenopausal women. It’s also known as apical ballooning. But I like the OG term, Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. It was named this because the shape of the dilated heart resembles a kind of Japanese octopus trap.

The new information in the study cited is that for those who progress to cardiogenic shock there is an elevated risk of mortality even many years down the track. I wonder how this will change clinical practice- will these patients be followed up for longer periods of time?
posted by supercrayon at 4:10 PM on November 5, 2018 [9 favorites]

I see this all the time at the rehabilitation & wellness facility I work at. One spouse dies, and the other goes shortly after. They stop eating, they are depressed and withdraw from others, and heal declines RAPIDLY.
posted by Guide Your Health at 4:40 PM on November 5, 2018 [3 favorites]

Earlier this month, I felt a constant, stonelike pain under my left breast. I had been in so much sorrow, for public reasons and private ones, that I realized that my heart must be giving out, that the past two years of incipient collapse and a life of nearly unrelenting loneliness had finally undone the poor little muscle.

Turned out I had reflux. But still.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:41 PM on November 5, 2018 [26 favorites]

I went through a very painful breakup late February 2004. I had a massive heart attack and died July 6 2004. (long story)

But my heart attack wasn't behind that breakup. Mine was a gift from my mothers genetics -- my mother had almost the exact same heart attack right at a year to the day later, but she didn't die, happened she was in a hospital with a broken leg or we'd have lost her; as it was they popped a stent into her cardiac artery FAST. Had I gotten to the hospital sooner I'd not have died either, it would have been pretty straight up surgery.

It's really pretty amazing how good these docs are, it's almost to the point that it's day surgery now. If you look at a picture of both of our hearts you'd be hard pressed to tell my mothers heart from mine if you covered up the names on the x-ray -- both of us had cardiac artery blockage in the exact same place, both of us almost blocked completely. One of my older brothers, same damn thing, a little bit farther down the road. Got to where all of my sibs went and had pictures taken; they are all in the clear. There was a lot of heart history among my mothers siblings.

I *felt* like I was dying in that breakup with Elena, but that's not what happened.
posted by dancestoblue at 9:04 PM on November 5, 2018 [4 favorites]

My house had a plumbing catastrophe that required a refinance to extract some equity to pay for the very expensive repairs. Words you never want to hear a tradesman say: "I feel sorry for YOU." Upon hearing the bad news, oh yes indeed, I suffered intense chest pains.

Just sayin', it isn't only a broken heart that'll do it. Any kind of sudden, horrible news can do it.
posted by Lunaloon at 5:43 AM on November 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

Waiting for Republicans to introduce a bill requiring abused women to stay in the relationship because to leave would post a genuine health risk to the man. Women who leave would be charged with anything from aggravated assault to murder.
posted by xedrik at 12:10 PM on November 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

Relatedly, I have a heart condition (Long QT) where a sudden shock can cause syncope or even sudden death. I'm supposed to avoid car alarms, alarm clocks, and haunted houses. There are a lot of variants on this condition and one also involves deafness. The condition first was written about in the nineteenth-century after a little girl who attended a school for the deaf was yelled at by her teacher and just fell down dead. When her parents were informed, they told the school that her brother (who was also deaf) had died under similar circumstances.

I had a lot of odd health issues as a kid and when my parents had me checked out, the medical community's response was "she's making it up for attention." Flash forward twenty years, and genetic results determined that oh wait, I actually had a 50/50 chance of living without treatment.

Anyway, it was weird to find out about this condition (and that I had it) after teaching Chopin's "Story of an Hour" for years. The joy that kills indeed.
posted by mmmbacon at 7:25 AM on November 7, 2018 [5 favorites]

Sadly, I suspect this is why many older people pass away almost immediately after their long-term partner does. They literally cannot handle living without their loved one.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 9:11 AM on November 7, 2018

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