Broken Heart Syndrome in women, causes and symptoms

Broken Heart Syndrome in women, causes and symptoms

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How many times have we not heard the expression "your heart is broken"? How many times have we not thought that it is a beautiful, romantic and poetic expression but that has no relation to reality? Well, science indicates otherwise. The Broken Heart Syndrome It is a cardiomyopathy that exists, and affects, above all, women.


  • 1 What exactly is broken heart syndrome?
  • 2 In what situations does broken heart syndrome appear?
  • 3 What are the causes of broken heart syndrome?
  • 4 What symptoms does it produce?
  • 5 How can broken heart syndrome be prevented?

What exactly is broken heart syndrome?

Broken heart syndrome is a type of non-ischemic cardiomyopathy in which, temporarily, the myocardium weakens. This can happen for different reasons, but the most common is to receive bad news.

What happens at that time is that the person who receives the bad news secretes adrenaline and norepinephrine (among other activation hormones), which cause the heart to contract excessively, generating the same symptoms that can be seen in a heart attack.

Therefore, we find that the broken heart syndrome is formed through emotional and physiological elements, such as anxiety or stress; cognitive elements, such as recurring and obsessive thoughts; and behavioral elements, such as, for example, the action aimed at reuniting with the person causing the syndrome.

So, no, we are not simply talking about a feeling of pain to write romantic songs on rainy days. Broken heart syndrome is something real, with real effects on the body, and which especially affects women (which we can see in more depth in the following sections).

In what situations does broken heart syndrome appear?

Broken heart syndrome can appear in multiple circumstances, but, in general, it usually occurs in the following:

First, it is common to appear when a unilateral breakdown of a relationship occurs.

Secondly, It usually occurs when an infidelity is discovered or it shows a facet of the other person that we did not know (and, generally, that we do not like).

In third place, it also occurs before unrequited love, especially when it becomes clear that it is not (for example, seeing that person with his partner).

As you can see, the causes are what we might think at first, but the real damage is much more serious than we could assume at first. It is not a metaphorical problem, but with real implications in the organism.

What are the causes of broken heart syndrome?

In general, among the causes of broken heart syndrome, we can find the following:

  • 90% of the victims are women, so it is assumed that this is a syndrome that especially affects them.
  • High levels of stress derived from any of the situations mentioned above (or other situations, actually).
  • Release of large amounts of catecholamines, which, in too high amounts, can be toxic to the heart.
  • Shock situations They can also lead to an adrenaline rush.

What symptoms does it produce?

The broken heart syndrome, beyond the "romantic" aspects that we can have in mind, has some very clear and physiological symptoms, which are the following:

  • Severe chest pain and feeling of oppression.
  • Cold sweats and pain in the left arm, similar to the one felt in the case of a heart attack.
  • Tiredness, jaw and back pain, swelling in the legs, and other problems related to poor circulation.
  • In rare cases, it may end up leading to a heart attack (2% of heart attacks that occur in women every year are derived from broken heart syndrome).

How can broken heart syndrome be prevented?

Although there is no definitive way to end this syndrome, the truth is that there are some keys that can help you avoid your problems. Here are some of them:

  • Do not smoke. Tobacco generates many circulation problems, and that obviously potentiates any problem related to the heart.
  • do exercise to maintain blood circulation in optimal conditions.
  • Eat healthy with a diet rich in fiber and vegetables (for the same reason).
  • Eat red fruits. And, according to a study carried out at Harvard University, women who consume strawberries and strawberries frequently reduce the risk of having a heart attack by up to 30%.
  • In the case that you are in menopause and you start a hormone replacement therapy, be careful, because a relationship has been found between compensating for the lack of estrogen with hormones and the development of thrombi.

As you can see, the Broken Heart syndrome exists and affects, above all, women. That is why the next time they tell you that "he has a broken heart", perhaps you should not take it so lightly ... He may have cardiomyopathy!