Monday, Dec 17, 2018

Can you die of a broken heart?

Can you die of a broken heart?
26 Feb
2018

Australian heart and lung surgeon Dr Nikki Stamp has shared the devastating effects heartbreak can have on the body.

It can be a soul crushing experience for many people, but is it possible to die from it?

'In short, yes you can. From the direct toxic effects of adrenaline in an acutely stressful situation, to the physical symptoms of having your heart broken, the mind and heart are truly connected,' Dr Stamp wrote in her new book.

She elaborated that although a broken heart will not always kill you, it isn't good for your physical wellbeing.

'While your body is trying to be helpful by setting off a cascade of hormones and nervous system responses to be ready to fight for your survival, these effects can actually hurt your heart when they hang around for too long,' Dr Stamp said.

Dr Stamp also explained that unfortunately it tends to be women who suffer at the hands of heartbreak more than men.

She said that those who have researched how divorce impacts the heart have found that women going through divorce being more likely to have their hearts 'literally broken'.

'If we look at men and women after divorce, women's health takes more of a hit; men remarry more often and sooner, which may help their emotional and physical health,' Dr Stamp said.

'Women are generally more emotionally and financially hurt in a marriage breakdown, which adds a whole bunch of pain to an already rubbish situation.'

This being said, she explained that the health of men who divorce tends to suffer as they don't have a partner around to help them keep track of their health.

Dr Stamp also explained that women who are divorced have a risk of heart attack that is between 1.29 to 1.39 times higher than women who are always married.

To help put this into perspective for her readers, Dr Stamp explained that the risks posed by divorce to a woman's health is similar to that of high blood pressure or smoking.

Dr Stamp has gone through her own personal heartbreak and she detailed how it almost nearly broke her.

When her relationship ended she spent a lot of her time crying and talking about the break up with her friends as she tried to come to terms with losing her best friend.

Dr Stamp said that because her heart was affected, so was her body as she wasn't looking after herself.

She wasn't sleeping and her appetite was non-existent, meaning she became 'thin and gaunt' as she was undernourished and constantly running on adrenaline.

This being said, time helped to heal her wounds and she doesn't recommend that people shut themselves off from the world until then.

Although you could try and avoid a relationship altogether, Dr Stamp explained that in the long-run being happy and in love is better for your health.

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