Stress cardiomyopathy (also known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy or ‘broken heart’ syndrome) happens when a person experiences sudden and intense stress or emotional changes, causing the heart muscle to weaken very quickly. Various life events such as losing a loved one, extreme sadness or happiness can bring about this condition. The weakened heart is unable to pump properly. This results in symptoms which can mimic a heart attack or heart failure. This condition usually responds well to medication and recovery is expected with time.
Stress cardiomyopathy might be prevented through better stress and emotional management. Making lifestyle changes and seeking help when necessary can help reduce unnecessary stress, and decrease the chances of developing stress cardiomyopathy.
The doctor will perform an initial evaluation on the patient before ordering tests to check for stress cardiomyopathy.