Experts dispel myths about why heartbeat hurts so much

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also known as broken heart syndrome, is a rare medical condition that causes the sensation of a broken heart.

Falling in love can be an intense experience that means leaving people giddy and joyous. However, being dumped by a companion or experiencing the sudden death of a loved one can cause a flood of negative emotions that can be physically painful. According to experts, the pain associated with an emotional break-up is very real and has an explanation.

As per Live Science, there’s a physiological explanation for why heartbreak can be so painful, and symptoms aren’t just in the mind, according to Dr. Deborah Lee, a medical writer for the Dr. Fox Online Pharmacy in England.

“When you fall in love, your hormones naturally surge.

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These include the oxytocin ‘cuddle’ hormone and the dopamine ‘feel-good’ hormone “She stated. “However, when you fall out of love, your levels of oxytocin and dopamine drop, while your levels of one of the stress hormones, cortisol, rise,” Dr. Lee explained.

These elevated cortisol levels, according to the medical expert, can add value to conditions such as high blood pressure, weight gain, acne, and increased anxiety. According to her, social rejection, such as breaking up with a partner, activates brain regions that are associated with physical pain.  

Furthermore, as per Live Science, the sensation of a broken heart can be a health condition in rare cases. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also recognized as ‘broken heart syndrome,’ is a short-term heart condition caused by severe emotional or physical stress. It causes temporary changes in how the heart pumps blood and sometimes causes the heart to pump harder, resulting in chest pain.

The signs of broken heart syndrome are similar to those of a heart attack, which makes it hard for patients and doctors to distinguish between the two. Only one way to diagnose broken heart syndrome in most cases is with a left heart catheterization, also known as a coronary angiogram, in which a tiny catheter is inserted through the groin, arm, or neck and guided to the heart. Physicians can assess the effectiveness of a contrast dye after injecting it into the heart’s chamber.

Broken heart syndrome is typically affected by heavy stressors and occurs only once. Most people recover from the pain within a few days or weeks, but in a few cases, it has resulted in death.

While emotional turmoil can be devastating, experts explain that romantic togetherness – and the pain people are experiencing when these relationships end – may be a characteristic that humans developed to assist them in surviving.   

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