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The Shape of a Broken HeartBroken heart syndrome has yet another name: Takotsubo syndrome.

Chest painShortness of breathArm painSweatingBecause traditional heart attacks can be triggered by stress as well, you shouldn't take any chances.

"If you're at home having chest pain, you shouldn't question whether this could be stress cardiomyopathy just because you're going through a stressful period. The take home message is get to the hospital and let the doctors find out which one of these you're having," Wittstein says.

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But other patients had just gone through a trauma like a car accident or a mugging. Another woman landed in the intensive care unit on her 60th birthday after being startled by well wishers shouting "Surprise!" Wittstein says.

The symptoms are so similar to those of a traditional heart attack that you, a paramedic, and even many ER doctors aren't Nike Vapormax Cs Midnight Fog

A tako tsubo is a pot that's used in Japan for catching sea creatures. When Japanese researchers looked at images of people's Nike Vapormax Plus On Feet

Some research suggests that about 2% of people who seem to be having a heart attack actually have broken heart syndrome. Among women, the number may be higher than 5%, Wittstein tells WebMD.

It's especially common after menopause. Lisa Wysocky was 52 when she had her encounter with broken heart syndrome.

Afterward, people may need to take heart medications called beta blockers or ACE inhibitors for a limited time. However, experts don't know if these drugs are necessary for the long term, Wittstein says.

To diagnose broken heart syndrome, doctors usually perform an angiogram. This provides images of the major blood vessels that supply your heart. During a heart attack, one or more arteries are often blocked. But during broken heart syndrome, these blood vessels look OK.

A Troubled Mind May Lead to a Broken HeartThe term "broken heart syndrome" came about after researchers noticed that many people with the condition were grieving, says Ilan Wittstein, MD, a Johns Hopkins University cardiologist who's been studying the condition for a decade.

Their heart muscle also usually recovers fairly quickly. Neither is often the case after a major heart attack.

Your body unleashes a flood of chemicals, including adrenaline, he says. This sudden flood can stun your heart muscle, leaving it unable to pump properly.

A Healed HeartA remarkable aspect of broken heart Nike Vapormax Womens Rose Gold syndrome is that "someone can be critically ill on a Monday, and by Nike Vapormax Plum Fog/Elemental Rose/Particle Rose/Plum Fog

Once the Nashville, Tenn., resident went to the hospital, doctors began running tests. They told Lisa that instead of a heart attack, she actually had a different type of heart problem called stress cardiomyopathy. This problem which is also dubbed "broken heart syndrome" may be the real issue in some cases that initially appear to be a heart attack.

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The previous day she had learned that her adult son, Colby, had died of an overdose after struggling with mental illness. She then spent the night on her bedroom floor with pain that she suspected was from a heart attack. But she was too numb with grief to seek help immediately.

Thursday can literally be preparing to go home," Wittstein says.

"The first several patients we saw, many of them had [just experienced] the death of a loved one, a spouse, a parent. Some people started having symptoms at a funeral," he tells WebMD.

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During an episode of the condition, the heart muscle can be so profoundly affected that it can't pump blood out to the body strongly enough. As a result, the patient may develop heart failure. This can be life threatening, Wittstein says.

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going to know the difference, Wittstein says. They include:

´╗┐Broken Heart Syndrome Stress Cardiomyopathy Symptoms

Understanding broken heart syndrome requires understanding how the body reacts to stress and a bit of knowledge about Japanese octopus fishing gear.

Lisa Wysocky was having a bad week even before she landed in the emergency room one afternoon in July 2009.

So even though broken heart syndrome may feel like a heart attack, it's a very different problem that needs a different type of treatment.

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Nike Vapormax Womens Rose Gold

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Nike Vapormax Womens Rose Gold

Nike Vapormax Womens Rose Gold

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If you've just gone through grief, stress, or emotional trauma, mention it to your doctor, Wittstein says. Also bring up recent physical stress such as an asthma flare up or low blood sugar, he says. These can also trigger the problem.

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Your doctor is likely going to want to also perform an echocardiogram. This takes pictures of your heart, which may reveal the tell tale fishing pot shape.

These types of events can trigger your sympathetic nervous system, which is also called your "fight or flight" mechanism, says Peter Shapiro, MD, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University who studies emotional issues in heart disease.

hearts during broken heart syndrome, they noted that the left ventricle had taken on an unusual shape resembling the fishing pot.

Diagnosing a Broken HeartClues that may help lead your doctor to the right diagnosis are your age and gender. More than 90% of cases reported thus far have been in women.

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