We all know the recent news that American icon Debbie Reynolds passed just a day after her daughter, actress Carrie Fisher died.  Many people said she died of a broken heart.  

If that is true, it turns out that there is actually a medical name for that called Broken Heart Syndrome or Stress Cardiomyopathy. We have all heard of a spouse passing soon after the loss of his or her partner. According to many researchers the odds of a person dying after losing a loved one increase for at least six months after their partner’s death. 

This potentially life-threatening condition can occur following a variety of emotional stressors such as grief, fear, extreme anger, and surprise. Similar to a heart attack, patients with stress cardiomyopathy can have low blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and even shock. But unlike a heart attack, it is believed that stress cardiomyopathy uses adrenaline and other hormones to temporarily stun heart cells. Here are some symptoms of Broke Heart Syndrome and check out more facts below.

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Palpitations (the sensation of the heart pounding)



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    Test for Broken Heart Syndrome

    Testing may include coronary angiography or and echocardiography to see moving pictures of your heart or to view the insides of your coronary arteries.

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    Treatment for BHS is very similar to those of a heart attack.  Initial treatment is aimed at improving blood flow to the heart. Your doctor may prescribe ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, and even anti anxiety medicines.

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    Not Just in Humans

    Broken Heart Syndrome can also occur in animals. Swans have one mate for life! If their mate passes away there is a chance that they will die also,  due to Broken Heart Syndrome.