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Many of us have experienced our fair share of heartbreak, whether it was a bad breakup or the loss of a loved one. When a loss happens to you, it can feel as if the world is ending and you may be consumed with overwhelming feelings. Some people, particularly those who have not experienced such a devastating loss, may not think it’s true, but the feelings associated with heartbreak are very real.
Some of them, if experienced overtime, can lead to serious health problems. Heartbreak does not only take a toll on your feelings but on your physical well-being and health as well.
Changes In Eating Habits
One of the more common symptoms of a broken heart is a change in our diet or the way that we eat. Some people are so racked with grief that they cannot eat at all, or only very minimally. This change in diet often results in unwanted or unnecessary weight loss. Not eating enough results in a lack of nutrition, which is detrimental to your health.
On the other side of the coin is over-eating. Some people deal with heartbreak by sinking into a gallon of ice cream or just carelessly eating in an attempt to console their feelings. Overindulging in comfort foods can lead to weight gain and the effects of weight gain overtime can lead to health problems.
Changes In Sleeping Habits
Another common symptom of heartbreak is a change in the way that we sleep. While some people find comfort in sleeping all day, others cannot seem to sleep at all. Either way, getting too much or too little sleep is not good for your body. Both can result in a lack of mental clarity, an overall sense of crankiness, a loss of energy and can contribute to depression.
Broken Heart Syndrome
Many people who have experience heartbreak will complain of an aching in their chest and the feeling that they could be having a heart attack. This sudden change in the heart muscle following an intensely stressful situation is known as Broken Heart Syndrome. The symptoms of Broken Heart Syndrome mirror those of an actual heart attack: chest pain, difficulty breathing, and a change in blood pressure. The symptoms are real and very frightening and usually can only be differentiated as not a heart attack after a trip to the emergency room. The symptoms, though scary, are only temporary.
When we are under a lot of stress, our bodies undergo a natural chemical reaction to try to remedy the situation. The chemical, known as cortisol, is released throughout our bodies during stressful situations. The effects of cortisol affect your ability to react and stay on your toes following a devastating event. In minimal doses, cortisol is often what helps us through a tough situation, however, the effects of prolonged cortisol release can be detrimental. If you are in a continuous state of tension, you will feel weak and that can put a strain on your immune system, as well as cause muscle aches, headaches and stomach troubles.