If you've suffered from heartbreak recently, the pain you're experiencing isn't just psychological, but it has a physiological explanation as well.
Falling in love typically involves a rush of hormones in the body wherein a person feels giddy and euphoric, triggered by the 'cuddle' hormone oxytocin and the 'feel-good' hormone dopamine, as per Live Science.
However, when a person is going through a breakup or suffering heartbreak, negative emotions overpower them, triggered by stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline.
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A condition called takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also known as broken heart syndrome, is seen when a person feels a little chest pain due to intense emotional and physical stress. In rare cases, broken heart syndrome can become a medical condition if the pain persists.
What is takotsubo cardiomyopathy or broken heart syndrome?
Takotsubo cardiomyopathy or broken heart syndrome is a heart condition brought on by stressful situations or extreme conditions. It is a temporary condition in which there are changes in the way the heart pumps blood. Sometimes, it pumps harder, which leads to slight chest pain.
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According to Harvard Medical School (HMS), this condition happens when the left ventricle, the heart's main pumping chamber, weakens due to circumstances like the loss of a loved one, a serious accident or emotional stress after a natural disaster such as an earthquake.
Although the symptoms of broken heart syndrome imitate those of an early-stage heart attack, it can be diagnosed through a left heart catheterization or coronary angiogram.
The main symptoms are chest pain and shortness of breath.
There is no standard treatment for broken heart syndrome but it depends on the severity of the symptoms. Since it is a short-term condition, it would just require diuretics or aspirin, as per HMS.