You’ve undoubtedly heard someone say they had a broken heart before. But is there more to that statement than an expression of emotional pain? Research has shown that extreme stress such as the loss of a loved one can actually cause physical changes to your heart that impairs its functioning.
Within healthcare circles, this is known as takotsubo syndrome, or broken heart syndrome. Most common in women above the age of 50, Takatsubo syndrome changes the functioning of the heart and results in many symptoms resembling a heart attack.
It’s called Takotsubo syndrome because the physical change in the heart, seen from an x-ray looks like a Japanese octopus trap; takotsubo meaning octopus pot.
There are many ways that the body synchronizes itself with our emotional states. Takotsubo syndrome is an example of this. Fortunately Takotsubo syndrome is easy to treat and can be detected fairly easily. I actually first heard of Takatsubo syndrome when talking with a cardiologist who said she saw it all the time in her work and could usually tell right away from a quick glance at an x-ray or ultrasound. To read more about Takotsubo syndrome, check out this article on Harvard Medical School’s website: http://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/takotsubo-cardiomyopathy-broken-heart-syndrome
If you or someone you love is going through a great deal of stress, grief, and/or loss. It might be time to consider counseling. Give me a call and we can talk about how therapy might help you.