Happy Valentine’s Day: is there such a thing as heartbreak?

It’s Valentine’s Day. You probably know that because your letterbox and email inbox are full to overflowing with romancey messages from local and global heart-throbs.

Or perhaps your mailbox is empty, barren as a desert, as you stare in there forlornly.

In that case you might feel pangs around your heart region, something like a case of small or large case of heart-break. But is heartbreak just a colourful expression, or something physiological?

The good folk at the New England Journal of Medicine suggest that there is in fact be a physiological foundation to heartbreak.

A condition known as Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy can occur when a stressful and emotional event ­occurs in your life, such as losing an important person or not receiving a Valentine’s Day card from a spunk.

The transmission mechanism is illustrated in the below image:

When someone presents to a doctor with Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy it tends to mimic the symptoms of acute coronary syndrome. Argggh!

The good news is that if you are suffering from Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy, it’s easily treatable by a doctor, and there don’t appear to be any lasting effects, to the heart at least.

Of course, if you do happen to be emotionally heartbroken and have symptoms that you feel are problematic, don’t assume it’s Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy. Consult a doctor straight away to be sure.

If you do end up getting checked out, it’s possible a Troponin test is used to determine if there’s anything serious going on in the heart region, as this gentleman discovered.

Sadly, on the emotional heartbreak front, we have not discovered any immediate cure. To conclude matters on this topic, here’s an insight into lost love and heart-break from Billy Ray Cyrus:

‘I’m so miserable without you, it’s almost as though you’re here.’

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day everybody. Please send all Valentine’s cards to the Editor, c/- PAA, 123 Heartbreak La, Sadsville.