The "Live Healthy" Journal

Better Living Through Nature

Broken Heart Syndrome and Women’s Heart Health

on November 17, 2011

Stress does amazing things to the body, and not in any good way. Now, researchers are beginning to look deeper into the stress that comes from a ‘broken heart,’ and how that stress greatly impacts women’s health.

 

Stress and Heart Health

In cases where stress has been chronic for many months, or has been extreme and beyond what the body is use to, heart health becomes a factor, especially for women. 

 

According to WebMD, stress can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pains, or irregular heart beats. And according to The American Institute of Stress, the incidence of heart attacks and sudden death have been shown to increase significantly following the acute stress of natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis and as a consequence of any severe stressor that evokes “fight or flight” responses.

Heart-broken

 

Technically speaking, stress increases adrenaline and cortisol levels in the body, which under extreme or chronic stress, persistently elevated levels of these hormones can be unhealthy and detrimental to the body’s immune system. There have also been many studies pointing to a link between increased stress levels and changes in the way that blood clots, also leading to an increased risk for heart disease.

 

(By the way, did you know that Cardio Juvenate facilitates healthy blood flow and cardiovascular health with L-arginine? Learn more here).

 

Broken Heart Syndrome

Researchers at the University of Arkansas have found that women are at least 7 times more likely to suffer from broken heart syndrome than men.

 

Broken heart syndrome can happen in response to shocking or suddenly emotional events — both positive ones like winning the lottery, or negative ones like a car accident or the unexpected death of a loved one. A flood of stress hormones and adrenaline causes part of the heart to enlarge temporarily and triggers symptoms that can look like heart attack: chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heart rhythm. The difference is that the factors that would normally cause heart attack, such as a blocked artery, aren’t present.  (Healthland.Time.com)

 

Researchers are not entirely sure why there is such a dramatic difference in numbers. One theory is that hormones play a role. Another, according to the Associated Press, is that men have more adrenaline receptors on cells in their hearts than women do, “so maybe men are able to handle stress better” and the chemical surge it releases.

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