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Broken Heart Syndrome (Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy) – Symptoms and Causes

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Broken Heart Syndrome (Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy) – Symptoms and Causes

Heart Broken!

Remember that person in your life you liked the most who broke your heart. This feeling of a broken heart is purely in mind and full of emotions.

Would you believe, if I told you that there is an actual illness called ‚ÄúBroken Heart Syndrome‚ÄĚ!

Yes, ‚ÄúTakotsubo Cardiomyopathy‚ÄĚ also called as ‚ÄúBroken Heart Syndrome‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúStress cardiomyopathy‚ÄĚ is a condition caused due to extreme emotional stress.

It is a condition where the left ventricle of the heart; the main pumping chamber becomes enlarged for a short time and eventually gets back into its normal shape and size after a while.  At this point of time, temporary disruption takes place in the normal blood pumping function in that area of the heart.

This condition of the heart in this particular time is called broken heart syndrome. It is a non-ischemic cardiomyopathy type in which the muscular portion of the heart suddenly becomes weak for some time.

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First Takotsubo cardiomyopathy discovered in Japan in the year of 1990. The word ‚Äėtakotsubo‚Äô is a Japanese one which means ‚Äėoctopus pot‚Äô because the left ventricle of the heart converts into a similar shape developing a narrow neck and a round bottom.

Symptoms of Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy 

When it comes to the symptoms of takotsubo cardiomyopathy, it is not different from the symptoms of a heart attack. And of course, unlike heart attacks, a broken heart syndrome is a prolonged condition and is often not fatal if diagnosed at an early stage.

The main symptoms of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy are: 

  • Chest Pain
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Fatigue and nausea, which are symptoms of weak and the irregular function of the heart.
  • The most alarming sensation in the case of a broken heart syndrome is frequent palpitations, which make a person weak.

Causes & Risk Factors Of Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy 

The exact cause of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is unclear. It thought to be that stress hormone like adrenaline plays a role to cause this condition. However, there is no clear evidence.

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In most of the cases, it is a result of extreme emotional or physical distress. Some potential triggers of takotsubo cardiomyopathy or broken heart syndrome are:

  • Hearing bad news suddenly
  • Domestic abuse
  • Financial worries
  • Physical assault
  • Asthma attack
  • Being involved in a disaster
  • Intense fear
  • Acute medical illness
  • Head trauma
  • Fierce arguments
  • Being involved in accidents
  • Exhausting physical effort
  • A sudden drop in blood pressure
  • Prior surgeries

Diagnosing Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy

The diagnosis of the takotsubo cardiomyopathy or broken heart disease is critical. It requires several tests and medical checkups to diagnose and come to a conclusion to determine that Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is a result in the shift of the size and location of the left ventricle. The various ways of the diagnosis of broken heart disease, include:

  • It is advised to go for an ECG test to access information about the heart and the heartbeat rhythm. Sometimes, the test reports provided by the ECG machines cannot differentiate the actual reason for the pain and discomfort. As the symptoms of both takotsubo cardiomyopathy and heart attack are similar.
  • Most cardiologists ask patients to go for an angiogram, which determines the actual cause of the blockages in the arteries and the change in the size of the left ventricle.

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It is essential for people who are above the age of thirty-five to take good care of their heart and also to manage their stress levels effectively. Managing the levels of stress is an essential factor in preventing an episode of broken heart disease. Statistics show that about 20-25% of the victims, who have already suffered from broken heart disease or takotsubo cardiomyopathy one time are more likely to experience it another time as well.  Hence, it becomes essential to take precautions at an early stage to deter the possibility of another attack, which might prove to be life-threatening.  Here, at Sunshine Hospitals, our cardiology department is equipped to diagnose and treat all forms of heart ailments. Do book an appointment to know about the heart and the risks which might result in the improper functioning of the heart due to broken heart disease.

About The Doctor: 

Dr. Sanjeev Kumar – MBBS, MD(General Medicine), DM(Cardiology)

Dr. Sanjeev Kumar, Senior Interventional Cardiologist at Sunshine Hospitals, Gachibowli, having 8 years of experience in interventional cardiology services. He is one of the dedicated Cardiologist in Hyderabad and specialist in coronary & paediatric interventions. He is a gold medalist in both Madras Medical College & MN Medical College, Allahabad. He performed more than 1500 cardiac procedures across the Sunshine group of hospitals.

He is a profound speaker as he delivered his valuable speech in various national & international conferences. Dr. Sanjeev Kumar is the only cardiologist doing venous interventions for CKD patients in Hyderabad. Over the last 2 years, he successfully performed more than 300 primary PCI stenting. He is successful as he maintains an excellent rapport with patients and attendants.

About Sunshine Hospitals:

A Multi Super Speciality Institution, 500 bedded Sunshine Hospitals (Paradise Circle, Secunderabad) is promoted by globally reputed Joint Replacement Surgeon Dr AV Gurava Reddy (Orthopedic Doctor) and like-minded associates who share the objective of making world-standard healthcare available, affordable and accessible to the common man. Sunshine has now become one of the best hospitals for many treatments including Orthopedic, Gastroenterology, Cardiology, Trauma and Neurology.

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