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When The Heart Hurts: 4 Physical Damages Of Heartbreak

Dr. Tariq Malik

1 min read

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You cannot die of a broken heart. This statement is continuously being proven wrong by numerous medical researchers who state that you can, in fact, die of a broken heart-or at least damage your physical health by it. Experiencing heartbreak can greatly affect general body functions, potentially exposing it to conditions which range from mild to chronic.

Here’s a look at some of the effects heartbreak-or Broken Heart Syndrome-on the body:

1- Your Brain Registers It as Physical Pain:

When you experience heartbreak, it activates the area of your brain which is linked with cocaine addiction and physical pain, causing your body to experience painful symptoms similar to drug withdrawal experienced by cocaine addicts. Moreover, production of ‘happy hormones’ like dopamine and oxytocin plummets and cortisol production increases, resulting in feelings of anxiety, insomnia, headaches and acute depression. Your brain might also slow down as a side-effect of anxiety and insomnia, causing a ‘mental fog’ which inhibits you from focusing on or performing simple tasks.

2- False Heart Attacks:

Heartbreak causes emotional stress and leads to accelerated adrenaline production. This causes sensations similar to a heart attack, which heightens stress and increased feeling of loss, hence mimicking a heart attack without any physical damage to the heart. High adrenaline concentration also results in high blood pressure, artery damage and possible aneurysm in some cases.

3- Restricted Breathing:

Due to high levels of stress hormones, negative thoughts are put constantly on repeat. Combine that with the intense emotional trauma, and it results in panic attacks-even if you do not have a clinical panic disorder-hyperventilation and restricted breathing. If prolonged, this restricted breathing can put stress on all bodily muscles and might even lead to illusions of a heart attack, which may cause more panic and breathing restriction.  While panic attacks are not harmful on their own, they can cause heart damage and possible cardiovascular diseases if combined with another illness.

4- A Compromised Digestive System:

The gut takes a hard blow in times of emotional turmoil. This results in either binge-eating or self-starvation, depending on how you cope with stress. Nausea, indigestion, severe pains and abdominal cramps are also a by-product of the effects of heartache on the digestive system. For those with a tendency to stress-eat, possibilities of hypertension, high cholesterol and coronary artery disease are some of the expected complications.

If you experience long-lasting symptoms of heartbreak, do not hesitate to book an appointment with a Top Specialist in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi through oladoc.com. Or call on our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your needs.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Tariq Malik - Author Prof. Dr. Tariq Mahmood Malik is a cardiologist of international stature and fame. He returned to Pakistan at the peak of his career in 1993 and is now in the full-time practice of Cardiology and Internal Medicine. You can seek an appointment with him through oladoc.
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