Broken heart syndrome is a temporary condition that affects the heart. In people with this condition, extreme emotional or physical stress (i.e. intense grief, anger, surprise, illness or surgery) can lead to heart muscle failure. Signs and symptoms of the condition mimic those of a heart attack and may include sudden chest pain, shortness of breath, and an irregular heartbeat. The cause of broken heart syndrome is not completely understood. Some researchers believe that it may occur when certain hormones released during times of stress temporarily affect the heart's ability to pump blood throughout the body. Treatment is available to manage the symptoms of the condition. Fortunately, most affected people have a full and quick recovery with no permanent damage to the heart muscle.
Source: GARD Last updated on 08-25-20
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