Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stress Attack

Physical and emotional stress has yet another downside in its cause-effect arsenal: a faux heart attack, also called broken-heart syndrome. Medical researchers report that people who undergo severe emotional or physical stress have all the symptoms of a heart attack-except it's not.

Those stressors might include the loss of a loved one, for example. Or they might include severe migraines, stroke or asthma flare-ups. The good news is that unlike a real heart attack, a broken heart syndrome attack doesn't have any lasting damage-but it can be just as frightening. What's happening is the sudden release of neurohormones into the bloodstream-up to 20 times what is normal. This basically stuns a person's heart, making it look injured and weak. But within 2 or 3 weeks, the heart is back to normal. That's unlike an authentic heart attack in which damage to the heart is permanent.