Can a ‘Broken Heart’ Kill You?

By Reid Schram, Epoch Times
February 11, 2015 Updated: July 18, 2015

With Valentines day so close, many people are going to feel sad, lonely, and “broken hearted.” But can a broken heart really kill you?

Surprisingly, yes it can.

“Like a heart attack, broken heart syndrome can be very alarming to patients. But unlike a heart attack, broken heart syndrome usually is reversible, with no long-lasting effects on the heart muscle. Most affected individuals regain cardiac function within a short period of time,” said Loyola University Health System cardiologist Sara Sirna, M.D. in a press release.

Can someone really die of broken heart syndrome? (J. Heuser/wikimedia commons)
Can someone really die of broken heart syndrome? (J. Heuser/wikimedia commons)

The medical term is, transient apical ballooning syndrome, also called Takosubo’s cardiomyopathy. Takosubo is the Japanese word which means “octopus pot,” which is simliar to the shape the heart distends into. It is not known what exactly causes this distention of the lower region of the heart, though it is believed to be due to the cocktail of adrenalin and other stress hormones that can flood the bloodstream during times of immense distress.

The causes of this syndrome are usually extreme emotional distress, such as a nasty divorce, the death of a loved one, and even the loss of one’s financial stability.

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*Image of a heart via Shutterstock.

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