When a love one dies and your heart along with this they call Takotsubo, one of the single most draining experiences emotionally we’re face in life. Effectively an endurance test like no other and one I’d not wish upon my worse of enemies. Not that I have any of those can promise you that (nudge nudge). We had a family bereavement some years ago now and is often said by those who have lost a loved one, there’s never a day go by where you’ll not think of them in some capacity or other. Thoughts will wonder to memories of a dearly departed triggered by what you see, hear or think at any given time.
You’ll wonder exactly what you’d have said if only they were here right now, what would they have said in return. There can be no underestimating the impact of losing mums, dads, brothers and sisters can have on our every day lives. Once gone a proverbial chasm left in their wake never to be filled, as it’s often them and them alone that have a unique insight into you as a person, as you do them. Whether that be fun times, down times for that shoulder to cry on, we can so easily take for granted that which may not always be there.
They can be our conscience, a guiding hand an inspiration able to light up our days our lives in ways only they could. When extinguished this can be truly an agonising experience. I’ve lost count how many times they have crossed my mind when enjoying music, a video or film, knowing full well they’d enjoyed it as much as I. This can and is extremely heavy on the heart, especially in the early months and years following a love ones death. This will be further compounded by seeing others endure the same blessed heartache as you
And it’s this pain which many feel that can lead to a very real serious health problem. The sheer heartache as British researchers have discovered can and likely will result in so called “broken heart syndrome”or Takotsubo. In the UK alone some 3,000 adults every year suffer from the syndrome
The Common Thread
Takotsubo is commonly triggered by bereavement and occurs when severe stress causes the heart muscle to become “stunned and weakened. Until now doctors believed that the damage was temporary and would eventually heal but researchers at the University of Aberdeen have discovered that the condition weakens the heart permanently, much like a heart attack.
Dr Dana Dawson, the lead researcher at the University of Aberdeen told the Daily Mail:
It is becoming increasingly recognised that Takotsubo is more common than we originally thought.
The researchers studied 37 patients with Takotsubo for an average of two years and carried out regular ultrasound and MRI scans of their heart. It was found that the damage was present long after the event which triggered the condition. Researchers advised patients should be offered the same drugs as those who have suffered a heart attack.
The study was presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Anaheim, California. Dr Dana Dawson said:
This is the longest follow-up study looking at the long-term effects of Takotsubo, and it clearly shows permanent ill-effects on the hearts of those who suffer from it. These patients are unable to perform the physical exercise as well and fatigue more easily.