So different is a man’s heart from a woman’s heart that people are in total awe of it. We are not talking about emotions, feelings or sentiments here but about a temporary heart condition known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy that’s almost monopolized by women. Almost 90% cases occur in women aged between 58 and 75 years. Its weird to know this fact as heart disease was mostly a man’s thing years ago and it was not until later decades that more and more women began suffering from the condition.
The unique name for this condition comes from Japan where the case was first diagnosed in 1900. Takotsubo is a Japanese term for an octopus pot and the disease is named so because the left ventricles (primary pumping chambers) of the heart copy the pots’ shape-a narrow neck and a round bottom. One must clearly understand that takotsubo is nothing but a type of cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease) where the heart takes up the shape of a balloon (or basically becomes enlarged) and hence, cannot work to its original efficiency. This in turn leads to chest pain just like the one experienced during a heart attack.
The left ventricle weakens due to severe stress (emotional or physical) such as loss of a loved one, chronic illness and natural calamities such as earthquake that disrupt life. Hence the disease is also named as stress-induced cardiomyopathy or broken-heart syndrome. Keep yourself far away from stress by practicing meditation, yoga and quite a few other practical techniques which are listed down at www.firsteatright.com.
Common Stressors Associated with the Condition
The symptoms are similar to a heart attack and hence many individuals seek a physician’s help immediately. The symptoms given below are triggered after any stressful event:
For a diagnosis the physician must primarily ensure that the cause of the symptoms don’t point to a heart attack, the heart muscle is weak and shape of the heart is like a takotsubo. Once these factors are checked the physician proceeds for a diagnosis that includes:
Unfortunately, there are no treatments available for curing takotsubo cardiomyopathy presently and physicians recommend heart failure medications to deal with the condition. Beta blockers, ACE inhibitors and aspirin might be given to patients. Most important is to reduce your chances of suffering from another incidence of emotional or physical stress that can trigger another case of takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Abnormalities start subsiding in a couple of days while the heart takes up to two months to fully recover. Chances of death are extremely rare but almost 20% patients end up with heart failure.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.