Broken Heart Syndrome: Valentine’s Day comes once a year, but heartbreak can happen at any time


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — The most romantic day comes once a year, but love and heartbreak can happen at any time of the year. Real-life heartaches can result in real-heart complications.

We associate broken hearts with being sad or alone. However, “Broken Heart Syndrome” is an actual heart disease. Whether you’re spending Valentine’s Day with your sweetie or alone, doctors say pay close attention to the heart that’s beating in your chest 24-7.

“I think it has probably been going on forever,” said Dr. Vishal Arora. “We just started to realize how common it is.”

Is having a broken heart real? Health experts say yes. They call it Broken Heart Syndrome, and it can happen during an emotional or stressful event: like winning the lottery or going through a divorce.

“Any change in our mind-body-connection that leads to either a very positive emotion, or a negative emotion can cause it,” explained Dr. Arora.

Dr. Vishal Arora has been practicing interventional cardiology for 12 years. He says symptoms of broken heart syndrome often are misdiagnosed as a heart attack. What sets them apart is the squeeze.

“Instead of the heart squeezing properly, only part of the heart squeezes properly,” said Dr. Arora. “Whereas, the rest of the heart comes to a standstill.”

Dr. Arora says so far; he has seen 25 cases of broken heart syndrome in Augusta, mostly women between 58 to 75.

“If we take a look at all the women who come in with heart attacks, up to five percent of them will have Broken Heart Syndrome,” Dr. Arora.

The Interventional Cardiologist says it’s a rare heart disease, but the good news is people who experience it can make a full recovery in weeks.

“One of my favorite activities, I like to tell my patients to do is walk,” said Dr. Arora. “Go outside and walk, because that not only helps our hearts to pump better and be stronger, but it also supports our mental health.”

If you feel any chest pain and shortness of breath, you need to go to the hospital. Dr. Arora encourages people to reduce stress this Valentine’s Day, and every day.

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