Broken Heart Syndrome Symptoms and Triggers

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Is broken heart syndrome real? Here's what you should know. Broken heart syndrome is a temporary condition caused by extreme emotional or physical stress, like the death of a loved one. It mainly affects middle-aged women and the signs are similar to a heart attack.

The most common symptoms include chest pain, trouble breathing, and irregular heartbeat. Because broken heart syndrome shares many of the same symptoms as a heart attack, you should immediately call 911. Broken heart syndrome is reversible. Your doctor will determine it's not a heart attack, once tests show no artery blockage.

Treatment may include standard heart failure medications like ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, and diuretics. Your doctor may also suggest long-term stress management to keep stress hormones that may be damaging your heart in check.