People who have lots of stress, sadness, and anger could be badly damaging their heart health, a doctor warned Express.co.uk readers. Doctor Martin Lowe, a Consultant Cardiologist at The Harley Street Clinic, explained that these emotions put you at higher risk of sudden heart failure called stress cardiomyopathy and other deadly heart conditions.
Stress cardiomyopathy is when the left side of your heart, which is the main chamber for pumping blood around your body, changes shape and gets bigger.
It’s known popularly as broken heart syndrome because it’s often associated with intense periods of grief and depression.
These emotions can take a toll on your heart. When you’re depressed, your body creates lots of stress hormones that cause you to have a higher heart rate and blood pressure.
Doctor Lowe also explained that “psychosocial factors such as grief and depression can all contribute to heart attack, heart disease, and cardiac arrest”.
Doctor Lowe warned: “Many studies have shown that the risk of heart attack actually increases within 24 hours after the loss of a loved one.
“The heart is put under immense stress and emotions such as anger can cause irregular heart rhythms.”
But it’s not only a wave of intense emotion that can damage your heart. The damage to your heart may develop from prolonged exposure to stress hormones.
After an ordinary burst of stress, your body should return to normal. But too much exposure to stress can cause damage.
You may also experience heart palpitations, feeling sick and being sick, according to the BHF.
People who develop stress cardiomyopathy are normally treated for a heart attack until it becomes clear it wasn’t a heart attack.
The BHF states that your doctor “might” prescribe diuretics to reduce fluid buildup, or blood thinning medication if you’re at high risk of developing an abnormal heartbeat.
They may also provide blood pressure-lowering medication, such as beta-blockers of ACE inhibitors that take some of the burdens off your heart.
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