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Insular Health Care Inc Makati Office Clinic
February: The Heart Month (so Protect Your Heart)

by Jennifer Gumba

The heart is often regarded the most important organ in the entire human body. It is really nothing more than a pump, composed of muscle which pulses blood throughout the body, beating approximately 72 times per minute of our lives. The heart pumps the blood, which carries all the vital materials which our bodies need to function, and also removes the waste products that we do not need.

Did you know that heart is affected when you are stressed? If your blood pressure is too high, it could literally burst through the walls of a vein or artery, causing a tear also called an aneurysm. This could lead to a mild heart attack, or a severe one that ends up with total cessation of function.

Studies have also shown that sudden emotional stress can trigger a severe but reversible heart muscle weakness that mimics a heart attack. This condition is “Stress Cardiomyopathy” and is sometimes called “The Broken Heart Syndrome” or the “Love Trauma Syndrome”.The condition has been known to occur after the death of a loved one… or other stress situations, like dramatic financial reversals.

Individual with stress cardiomyopathy can have similar symptoms to some people with a heart attack including chest pain, shortness of breath, congestive heart failure, and low blood pressure. Typically these symptoms begin just minutes to hours after the person has been exposed to a severe, and usually unexpected, stress.

Stress cardiomyopathy can definitely be life threatening in some cases. Because the syndrome involves severe heart muscle weakness, persons can have congestive heart failure, low blood pressure, shock, and potentially fatal heart rhythm abnormalities. The good news is that this condition improves very quickly, so if patients are under the care of physicians familiar with this syndrome, even the most critically ill tend to make a quick and complete recovery.

Luckily, unlike a heart attack, Broken Heart Syndrome is reversible if diagnosed early. They are hospitalized and can recover within days – with no permanent damage to their hearts. Once medical issues are stabilized, seeking a trained mental health specialist will help cure the emotional trauma.

So do take it easy, and be gentle on yourself. Don’t take everything so seriously and risk such frightening effects. Just take it slowly. Life must go on. Everything happens for a reason. Good or bad, big or small. Everything that happens to you… happens for a reason. As saying by Melvin Davis goes, “When you move on and look forward, things will fall into place when you least expect it”.

Protect your heart, protect your life.

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