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A new study has found that a condition known as 'broken heart syndrome' (Takotsubo syndrome) could cause longer-lasting damage than was previously thought.

The syndrome, which can cause temporary heart failure, can be triggered by severe emotional distress such as the death of a loved one or the break-down of a relationship.

Until now, it was believed that the heart made a full recovery following the trauma, however, research from Aberdeen University has suggested that this may not be the case.

Researchers looked at 52 patients with Takotsubo syndrome, using ultrasound and cardiac MRI scans to examine how their hearts were functioning.

The results showed that the condition permanently affected the heart's pumping motion, essentially delaying the twisting and squeezing motions made by the muscle during a heartbeat.

Parts of the heart's muscle were also found to have been replaced by fine scars, which reduce its elasticity and prevent it from contracting properly.

According to the BBC, researchers said the findings may explain why people who suffer from Takotsbo syndrome have similar long-term survival rates to people who have had a heart attack.

Lead researcher, Dr Dana Dawson, said:  "We used to think that people who suffered from takotsubo cardiomyopathy would fully recover, without medical intervention.”

"Here we've shown that this disease has much longer lasting damaging effects on the hearts of those who suffer from it."

Between 3 per cent and 17 percent of people with the syndrome die within five years of diagnosis.

What's more, a massive 90 per cent of sufferers are women and stress is identified as a contributing factor in approximately 70 per cent of cases.

Unfortunately it looks like time can't always mend a broken heart.  

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After a bad break-up, it can feel like you’ll never be okay again.

All you want to do is lie in bed, eat junk and forget everything. At those low points though, it’s important to realise that you won’t feel like this forever. With time – and a little perspective – you will come out the other end.

And in some ways, though it mightn’t seem possible right now, you’ll realise that maybe the new you isn’t all bad.

Here are just some of the reasons your broken heart might be just what you need…

1. You’ll be more grateful
Be it one, two, or ten years down the line, some day you will look back and realise that your life wouldn’t be the way it was now without some bumps along the way. Be it the people you meet, your career path, your future love life – everything that happens is shaped by the decisions you make along the way. Your relationship’s end may have opened doors that you didn’t even realise were there.

2. It’s a shake-up
It’s easy to fall into a rut and miss exactly what’s happening in front of your nose. But by being brave and taking the leap to end things – whether it was your decision or not – you may realise that your situation wasn’t quite as rosy as you thought. You only deserve the best and shouldn’t be held back by a relationship that’s not working out.

3. It makes you see what you really want in life
Maybe you would have gone for that promotion two years ago, except that it involved too much travel. Or maybe you would have moved away from your home town long before now. In a relationship we have to make sacrifices for the other person – that’s a natural part of long-term commitment. Embrace the fact that you’re free to make your own decisions now – go forge your own path.

4. You’ll see how much other love there is in your life
When we’re at our lowest, good friends and family are the ones that can help us pull through. Be grateful for the love you have in your life – and let others look after you for a while.

5. You’ll gain independence
Whether you like it or not, breaking up with your partner means that you’re on your own in many ways. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Knowing that you can look after yourself means you’ll go into your next relationship with your eyes wide open. It’s amazing how far we can push ourselves when we have no other choice!

6. You’ll learn to live in the now
If there’s one thing a break-up teaches you, it’s that you can’t change the past, and you most definitely can’t change the future, either. Whether you two patch things up down the line or whether this truly is the end, a broken heart teaches you to be patient and to accept things as they come.

7. You know what love is
True love, and all the ups and downs that come with it, is one of the most important experiences we can ever hope to have. Know that you have felt love and have been loved – and cherish that knowledge, rather than wishing the whole thing had never happened. These guys knew what they were taking about:

 

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If you’ve had your heart broken, you know how hard it can be to get on with your life. It may even feel impossible, but if there’s one thing worth remembering, it’s that it WILL get easier. You just have to work your way through it. Here are some tips to do just that.

Feel it
While at first, you may try to avoid feeling the burn by keeping really, really busy, there will come a stage where you just have to sit down and let yourself feel it. It’s not nice, and it probably won’t be pretty, but you’ll feel better afterwards. Bottling it all up can only work for so long!

Remember you had a life before
We’re not born with other halves (unless you’re a twin!), and we would put our money on it that you were perfectly happy before you met that guy. Sure, you may have wanted to meet someone, but spending Friday nights alone wasn’t as miserable as it seems now, was it? It was actually kind of nice. You had a shower and watched the films YOU wanted to watch, or read a good book. Remember there’s life outside relationships, and it’s not as bad as it seems right now!

Make a list of your strengths
If you’re feeling weak, make a list of your strengths, or all the times you showed how strong you could be. A little reminder that you’ve gotten through bad times before and came out the other end can do the world of good!

Don’t block the fantasies
If you tell yourself you’re not going to think about that person ever again, you’re going to want to think about them even more. Allow the fantasies to roll through your mind. They will eventually stop, and you’ll know you’re on the mend.

Exercise
Going for a run or doing some kind of exercise can work wonders if you need an instant pick me up. It increases the levels of serotonin in your body, which is the happy hormone.

Make a list of all his pros and cons
The pro list may be considerably longer at first, but as you remember the bad things, write them down. As it grows you’ll come to realise that you’re going to be fine. In the words of your mother, this too shall pass!

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1. Jealousy
This is probably the biggest thing that cause a relationship to fail. Jealousy doesn’t limit itself to potential threats to your relationship from other people however. Jealousy extends to money, friends, family and even career paths. Learn to be happy for your partner and carve your own path; don’t covet theirs.

In terms of being jealous of attention coming your partner’s way, well, that’s more of a trust issue, isn’t it?

2. Trust, or lack thereof
If there is no trust in your relationship it won’t last very long. Do you eye your partner suspiciously whenever their phone beeps or if they leave the room to talk?

Maybe they’re planning your surprise birthday or have a family issue they can’t talk about going on. Either way, mind your own business. If they are cheating you’ll soon find out and be better off anyway.

3. Different places
If your partner is older or younger than you or even just a bit more mature or immature, you may have some issues. If they want to get married and have kids in the next three years and you still have a bucket list of a zillion things you need to do and see then you need to think about it. Maybe they aren’t the marrying type and it has always been your dream to start a family. If you are both in completely different places in life, chances are it won’t work out.

4. Unwillingness to try
Relationships today are disposable. There are plenty more fish in the sea right? So you have one fight over your partner eating the last nice Rose in the box leftover from Christmas and it’s over. Don’t be rash; try and make it work and you may be surprised.

Obviously if you fight like cats and dogs you should probably call it a day.

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