• Monday, March 20, 2023


Medic reveals best ‘cure’ to mend broken heart

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

A broken heart is a medical issue that is commonly caused by stressful events and intense feelings. It may also arise from severe physical health problems or medical procedures.

Although this syndrome is typically a short-lived condition, some individuals may still experience discomfort even after their heart has recovered.

One physician claims that a broken heart not only causes emotional distress but can also result in ‘physical pain,’ the Daily Mail reports.

47-year-old, Chun Tang, a general practitioner from Lytham, Lancashire, states that the effects of heartbreak can manifest in various forms. These may include headaches, loss of appetite, sleep deprivation, lethargy, and discomfort in muscles and joints.

What is heartbreak?

“Essentially, it is a state of devastating emotional loss,” explains behavioural psychologist and relationship coach, Jo Hemmings in an earlier report in the BBC.

He is quoted as saying, “While different for all of us, the intense feelings of sadness, grief, and the overwhelming sense of never being able to get past the pain, are common.

“In brain terms, the areas responsible for feeling physical pain ‘light up’ in the same way as if you’re actually in pain. It also triggers withdrawal symptoms very similar to those seen in (drug) addicts.”

Contrary to popular belief that a broken heart is only associated with the end of a romantic relationship, therapist Jenna Palumbo, LCPC, told Healthline that grief can be complicated and encompass a range of events.

The loss of a loved one, job termination, career transition, and even the end of a close friendship can lead to feelings of heartbreak and a sense that one’s world has changed irrevocably.

Heartbreak is a common and often distressing experience that results from intense emotional pain.

In response to heartache, the body releases the hormone adrenaline, causing the ‘fight-or-flight’ response, an automatic physiological reaction to a stressful event, thereby suppressing appetite or the desire for food.

Stress and nervousness can also reportedly induce symptoms like muscle tension headaches and difficulty sleeping.

Experiencing a broken heart can be a devastating event. But to get over heartbreak, Dr Chun Tang suggests that indulging in junk food such as pizza and cake is not the answer. In fact, he recommends avoiding these foods entirely.

Dr Tang, who is medical director at Pall Mall Medical, a private healthcare provider, recommends avoiding comfort foods that are high in processed ingredients and refined carbohydrates.

Instead, the expert suggests consuming fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish as they have the potential to ‘boost mood.’

Omega-3 fatty acids/fruits & veggies

Studies have indicated that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish can enhance the functioning of the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for processing emotions related to pleasure and contentment.

Additionally, a research study involving 80,000 participants conducted by the University of Warwick found that individuals who consumed more fruits and vegetables reported higher levels of happiness.

Foods to avoid

‘Avoid processed foods and refined carbohydrates — they’ll just make you feel sluggish and tired,’ Dr Tang adds.

Foods that reportedly fall under the category of refined carbohydrates include white bread, pizza crust, pasta, baked goods, white flour, white rice, sugary desserts, and various types of breakfast cereals.

Dr Tang also advises avoiding fatty and fried foods that are rich in trans fats, a type of unhealthy fat, such as burgers, French fries, and Chinese takeout dishes.

According to the British Dietetic Association (BDA), a deficiency in foods that contain essential nutrients like folic acid found in leafy greens and legumes and selenium found in seafood and Brazil nuts can result in feelings of fatigue.

The BDA also acknowledges that carb-heavy foods may have a positive impact, but only if they provide a sense of comfort to an individual.

Dr Tang recommends that those who have recently gone through a heartbreak should not keep their feelings to themselves and instead should express their emotions to their friends, family, or even their employer.

He adds, ‘Take time for yourself and talk to your close friends and family about your situation. It’s important to discuss these feelings – preferably with a healthcare expert.

‘Sometimes, medication can put people through difficult times and help them see the light again.

‘Don’t push things as this will only lead to more stress and prolong your symptoms.

‘If you’re really struggling, talk to your employer about making some reasonable adjustments to your work to make sure you’re not under too much pressure.’


Related Stories