Have You Suffered from Broken Heart Syndrome?


Heartache physically causes the heart to ache as many have experienced. It is painful but can also be serious. Acute emotional stress, such as the death of a loved one, job loss, marital discourse and any shocking event can trigger what is called Broken Heart Syndrome or Takotsubo.

What Exactly is Takotsubo?

Takotsubo is a sudden and acute form of heart failure. Another term for it is stress-induced cardiomyopathy. There is a connection between the heart muscle and emotional signals in the brain which need to be further researched. But we do know that when we are stunned by a stressful event such as the death of a loved one, our heart is also “stunned”, or weakened, and the left chamber changes shape, impacting the ability of the heart to pump blood. One theory is that the heart cannot handle the surge of adrenaline produced by the traumatic experience. This condition has been only recently more recognized and about 6-7% of all heart attacks can be attributed to this syndrome. This event was given its name by the Japanese as it was identified in Japan in the 1990’s. Takotsubo means “fishing pot for trapping octopus” and when this condition occurs, the left ventricle of the heart resembles this trap’s unique shape. If there are no changes in diet and  lifestyle, about 10-15% of people who have had Takotsubo will experience it again.

What are the Symptoms?

The symptoms are similar to that of a heart attack:

  1. Sudden sharp chest pain
  2. Breathlessness
  3. Collapsing

The Physiology of Takotsubo:

Cardiologists are unsure of the exact cause, but these are some of the likely scenarios that are happening within the cardiovascular system.. 

  1. The stressful situation releases a large amount of stress hormones (epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine and cortisol). This hormone surge leads to a sudden spasm in the blood vessel, known as a vasospasm.
  2. The stressful situation leads to a rise in sticky blood factors or hypercoagulability leading to this response.
  3. The stressful situation leads to massive sympathetic tone increase, thus shutting down blood flow to the involved area of the heart.

Avoiding Takotsubo:

Air pollution, constant exposure to EMFs and molds, stress from life such as job strain, emotional trauma and relationship stress are not going anywhere. It is up to us to take steps in our lives to avoid everything from heart disease to stress to Takotsubo. What are these steps?

  • Find ways to decrease stress: meditation, deep breathing, walks, yoga.
  • Take undue stress off the body and follow the Paleo diet.
  • See a chiropractor regularly.
  • Get out into nature and the sunshine!
  • Get high quality sleep and balance your circadian rhythm.

Consider supplementing with our Nitric Oxide Booster which consists of  Vessel Support and Heart Beet, both of which are vasodilators that  increase production of nitric oxide and help keep blood vessels open.

You can recover from Takotsubo and most people do, but to be sure, grab a copy of my book The Paleo Cardiologist and live a healthier life! Pharmaceuticals are not the answer, a health and wellness lifestyle is!


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