The Stress of 2021 is Getting to Many – Broken Heart Syndrome is on the Rise

Posted by: Tampa Cardio

On: November 5, 2021

broken heart syndrome tampa chest pain tampa cardio

Stressed out? You need to read this…

It was once believed to be an old wives’ tale, that someone could be so sad, so stressed, or so distraught that it could break their heart on a physical level. The truth isn’t so far from fable. Stress can impact your body in powerfully negative ways. When you are faced with the death of someone you love, who is close to you, and you have given your heart to, it can indeed break both figuratively and literally.

Heart ache is named as such because it is felt that way in many people. They may break up or lose someone in other ways and a feeling inside their chest becomes one of pain and tight ness. Its sadness and grief amped up greatly.

The medical term for Broken Heart Syndrome is Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TCM) or Takotsubo syndrome (TTS). With the pandemic stress, anxiety, and depression among people has risen greatly with 42% of Americans reporting that they were experiencing some form of mental distress.

The rise of diagnosed broken heart syndrome cases is also on the rise. The data studied came from participants 18 and up from 2009-2017. The data base was comprised of both male and female 135,000 people. Women accounted for 88% of the documented cases in the study.

What does broken heart syndrome feel like and how does it present?

Chest pain, difficulty breathing, and feelings similar to a heart attack following the death of a loved one or very bad life changing news. While it can mimic a heart attack it isn’t the same. Test results will reflect alterations in rhythm and elevated troponin levels. It will not show any blocked arteries. During an event the left ventricle will enlarge temporarily and not pump enough blood. The rest of the heart will work more forcefully in order to try and make up for it.

Though most will make a full recovery in weeks it can lead to short term heart failure.

There is no standard treatment.

Doctors and clinicians must rely on blood pressure readings and edema levels to  treat. Death rate for BHS is only 20% but still needs to be watched closely. Emotional recovery is important. Take time to grieve and take time to care for yourself. Find daily things that bring you joy to help regain balance. On a physical level taking it easy is important while still maintaining movement such as walking to pump blood through the heart every single day.

Events known to trigger broken heart syndrome events may include:

  • Car accident
  • Serious illness
  • Surgery
  • Domestic violence
  • Intense fear
  • Sudden surprise
  • Death of a loved one (pets included)
  • Asthma attack


Stress management suggestions:

  • Meditation
  • Stop watching the news
  • Spend time in nature
  • Gardening
  • Take magnesium
  • Visit the ocean or the woods
  • Breathe deeply and mindfully
  • Get enough sleep


When it comes to your heart it is always better to be proactive than to wait and see.  If your heart feels strange visit Tampa Cardiovascular Associates just to make sure everything is ok. | 813-975-2800




Posted by: Tampa Cardio

On: 05/11/2021

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