Broken Heart Syndrome
Johns Hopkins Medicine News & Information Services reported in 2005 of the findings of Dr. Ilan Shor Wittstein, Cardiologist at John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland and his research team:
Shocking news, such as learning of the unexpected death of a loved one, has been known to cause catastrophic events, such as a heart attack.
Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered that sudden emotional stress can also result in severe but reversible heart muscle weakness that mimics a classic heart attack. Patients with this condition, called stress cardiomyopathy but known colloquially as “broken heart” syndrome, are often misdiagnosed with a massive heart attack when, indeed, they have suffered from a days-long surge in adrenalin (epinephrine) and other stress hormones that temporarily “stun” the heart.
“Our study should help physicians distinguish between stress cardiomyopathy and heart attacks,” says study lead author and cardiologist Ilan Wittstein, M.D., an assistant professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its Heart Institute. “And it should also reassure patients that they have not had permanent heart damage.”
We have all heard of (or have experienced) a broken heart, but we at Counseling on Demand have just recently become aware of the medical science of it- thanks to Dr. Wittstein and his research team. Physicians now know that this can not only be distinguished from the “classic” heart attack, but can be dealt with in a positive way…with successful outcomes.
What a familiar term this is. We have all experienced it at some time in our lives- sometimes mild and fleeting, sometimes excruciating and long-lasting. Often it is from a broken heart (hopefully not as severe as Dr. Wittstein’s studies indicate).
This is where Counseling on Demand comes in. You need not go through stress (or grieving) alone. We do not pretend to be cardiologists as Dr. Wittstein; but, with our support, you can get through stressful times.
We can help. You needn’t leave your favorite/private place. Nor must you wait for an appointment. We are there 24/7. You can begin in 24 hours or less.
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