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5 Best Ways to Mend a Broken Heart

Cristale Adams is an online author and publisher. Her articles vary in topics and focus on real life. She always enjoys learning new things.

Broken Heart Syndrome

Yes, it is a real condition that affects people! And is almost exclusively found in women. Broken heart syndrome is also called stress-induced cardiomyopathy (the keywords are 'stressed induced') or takotsubo cardiomyopathy. This condition is a weakening of the muscular tissue within the heart. The heart then becomes enlarged or broken from what it once originally was. This can happen suddenly but is definitely almost always some form of stress-induced. Most patient cases with this specific condition fully recover with no long-term heart damage or complications although it can happen multiple times. Recovery from this is approximately one month, depending on the severity. This is the time it takes for the heart to become much less inflamed and return to its normal size.

Broken heart syndrome is a chemical reaction that can resemble a heart attack and is often misdiagnosed as one. Although there are no physical blockages or obstructions that reduce the blood flow to the heart, stress hormones release adrenaline which can alter the heart muscle cells or coronary blood vessels, or both. The alterations will then cause the heart tissue to weaken and inflammation to occur. Since a particular part of the heart is temporarily enlarged during this time, the heart will not pump blood in or out very efficiently. The heart's rhythm and feeling change to what is very similar to a heart attack. It can be fatal if not treated right away.

A Look Inside

The heart on the left is normal; The heart on the right is broken

The heart on the left is normal; The heart on the right is broken

Symptoms of Broken Heart Syndrome

Some symptoms may be sudden and or severe, depending on the type of stress and the longevity. This may also feel like a very intense panic attack or an anxiety attack. Some symptoms of broken heart syndrome can include but are not limited to:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure
  • Fainting.

Causes of Broken Heart Syndrome

The causes of broken heart syndrome can range from one particular tragic event to multiple tragic events combined. There is a high chance that a person will experience a broken heart multiple times during a lifetime. Some of the most common causes of a broken heart can include:

  • The sudden loss of a loved one
  • Domestic abuse
  • An intense argument or debate
  • A surprise party or other sudden surprise.
  • Public speaking

A Broken Heart Hurts

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The Best Ways to Mend a Broken Heart

There is no standard treatment for a broken heart. Mending a broken heart really depends on the severity and longevity of the stress factor(s). The lower amount of stress a person carries, the healthier the heart will be and the chances of having a broken heart will be greatly reduced.

There are times when physicians will prescribe heart failure medications like beta-blockers to regulate a person's heart rate. ACE inhibitors are also prescribed to lower a person's blood pressure.

It is highly important to alleviate any physical or emotional stress that may have played a role in triggering the disorder. There are certain things to avoid so that there are no triggers to begin having a broken heart. This is where self-love, taking care, and some rest come into the treatment.

1. Anti-Depressant Medication

While many people, including myself, are against taking medications this is the best way to mend a broken heart as well as help a person to feel "clear-headed". Many antidepressant medications are also used to treat anxiety. These medications will increase serotonin which affects a person's mood, sexual desire, appetite, sleep, and memory. Some commonly prescribed anti-depressant medications include:

  • Cymbalta aka Duloxetine
  • Escitalopram aka Lexapro
  • Paroxetine aka Paxil
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2. Laugh More

This second-best way to mend a broken is laughing as often as possible. New and recent studies suggest that laughter reduces the release of stress hormones like cortisol into the body and increases the production of just the feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine. Laughter also produces physical changes in your body that improve stress symptoms almost instantaneously. Relax and watch a comedy show or movie. Go to a comedy club or even play board games with friends. Laughter is healthy for a person on many different aspects.

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3. Relax with Red Wine

Wine is actually good for the heart! Studies and research have shown that wine can be beneficial for the heart in general and more with a broken heart. Sometimes this is the only thing that feels good after an abusive relationship with a broken heart. The alcohol and antioxidants in wine help to prevent coronary artery disease, which is a condition that leads to actual heart attacks. Wines such as merlot or any dry red wine contain many antioxidants that can also have anti-aging properties. One tall glass of red wine every night before bed can be calming and also encourages a good night's sleep. One more reason, recent studies by Washington State University and Harvard Medical School concluded that having two glasses of red wine before going to sleep aids in weight loss.

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4. Meditate Often

The formal definition of meditation, which is a verb, is to sit or lie down and come to a deep rest while still remaining conscious. The best way to begin any type of meditation, since there are several different types, is to sit or lay down and remain quiet with eyes closed and to focus only on your breath. Remain in that state for at least 5 or 10 minutes, building up to 20 minutes every day, then increase to an hour every day. The many health benefits from meditation include:

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Decreases stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Improves sleep

A 20 Minute Guided Meditation for Stress

5. Exercise or Take Classes Regularly.

This is always the easiest and healthiest thing a person could do with a broken heart. Not only is it beneficial for the heart and health, but it can also move the focus off of what is wrong. Exercising or even taking yoga classes or spin classes, even Zumba classes, can release all kinds of feel-good chemicals. This will also increase the heart rate which is great for the cardiovascular system.

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This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2013 Cristale Adams

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