Healthy Family | Home Safety | Health and Wealth | Relationship Issues | Career Advice | Growing Family
Get the SixWise e-Newsletter FREE!
Google Web
Free Newsletter Subscription
Get the Web's Most trusted & Informative Health, Wealth, Safety & More Newsletter -- FREE!


Share Email to a Friend Print This

Broken Heart or a Leaky Heart?
Plus Safe Phytonutrients and Rx Prescriptions …


Emotional traumas – the death of a loved one, a divorce or romantic breakup, etc. -- can trigger heart attacks and sudden deaths due to the flood of stress hormones that are unleashed. These can take a drastic toll on your heart and cause sudden life-threatening heart spasms, even in otherwise healthy people.

Can you actually die from a broken heart?

But did you know that emotional distress can also cause a syndrome known as “broken heart syndrome”?

Broken Heart Syndrome: Real?

In one study, researchers analyzed 19 patients who had what appeared to be traditional heart attacks after experiencing sudden emotional stress … however, what they actually had was broken heart syndrome, technically known as stress cardiomyopathy (myopathy meaning disease).

When researchers compared the 19 patients with other people who had experienced classic heart attacks, it was discovered:

  • All but one who suffered from broken heart syndrome were women, and most were post-menopausal. It was learned that women are more vulnerable to suffering from a broken heart, as the occurrence may be correlated with hormones or how women's brains are wired to their hearts.

  • The patients had healthy, unclogged arteries.

  • The levels of stress hormones in their blood, such as adrenalin, were two to three times higher than those suffering from classic heart attacks.

Researchers suspect high amounts of stress hormones go straight to the heart and produce a startle of the heart muscle that causes a temporary dysfunction. Instead of killing the heart muscle like a heart attack would, it simply renders it helpless.

An additional explanation as to how people suffer from broken heart syndrome is that grief kicks the body's "fight or flight" response into overdrive. Instead of fleeing, however, the body is placed in a state of prolonged activation, completely void of direction or outlet or purpose. Therefore, this prolonged stress response takes its toll on the cardiovascular system, causing heart attack-like symptoms.

Fortunately, unlike heart attacks, those suffering from broken heart syndrome begin recovery within a few days and are completely recovered within two weeks' time.

Leaky Heart Valve (MVP): Deadly or Not?

Ironically, while upon first glance you might think you can’t really be harmed by a broken heart, it turns out you very well can be. On the other hand, a common condition known as mitral valve prolapse (MVP) may not be worth getting worked up over.

MVP is a type of leaky heart valve disease that impacts 1 percent to 2 percent of Americans. In some types of heart valve disease, such as valvular stenosis, when a heart valve is smaller than normal, making the heart work harder to pump blood, or valvular insufficiency, or “leaky valve,” when a valve does not close tightly enough and also makes the heart work harder, the consequences can be dangerous and include:

  • Shortness of breath

  • Weakness and dizziness

  • Discomfort in your chest

  • Heart palpitations

  • Swelling of your feet, ankles or abdomen

  • Rapid weight gain

It’s also possible to have no symptoms at all, yet still have severe valve disease.

However, in the case of MVP, the condition typically causes no symptoms, is not severe and usually requires no treatment. As you might recall, it used to be recommended that people with MVP take antibiotics before certain dental and medical procedures to prevent endocarditis (heart valve infection), but this is no longer advised in most cases.

For both MVP and other types of valve disease, powerful drugs are often prescribed,  including beta blockers, vasodilators, ACE inhibitors, anticoagulants (blood thinners), and diuretics (water pills). However these are typically only used to relieve symptoms, not treat the underlying cause of the problem, and most carry steep risks of side effects.

One of the major concerns with valve disease is that as your heart works harder and harder to pump blood through your body, your heart will become enlarged, possibly leading to heart disease and/or heart failure.

However, according to Dr. Bruce West, thousands upon thousands of people are diagnosed with leaky heart valves and subjected to a lifetime of powerful drugs or open heart surgery, when what is at the root of the problem is a nutritional deficiency.

As Dr. West reports, a valve problem does not cause an enlarged heart. Rather, an enlarged heart due to nutritional deficiencies causes the valve problem.

Nutritional Therapies to Protect Your Heart Valves

“Beri-beri” of the heart, which is a vitamin B deficiency, is the underlying cause of many valve problems, according to Dr. West. He states in Health Alert:

Tuna, bananas, chicken and turkey breast, crimini mushrooms, spinach, green pea, black beans and salmon are all excellent dietary sources of B vitamins to help support heart health.

Without adequate and properly balanced vitamin B in the diet, muscles suffer. Skeletal muscles can weaken, making it difficult to perform tasks or even walk.

Internal muscles like those in the intestines can weaken and fail to contract properly, leading to constipation. And involuntary muscles like those in the heart can weaken and lose tone.

When heart muscle loses tone, it is very similar to any other muscle in the body that loses tone, it begins to sag, droop, and stretch. When the heart muscle is weakened because of a vitamin B deficiency, the entire heart will sag, droop, enlarge, and stretch. This stretches the heart valves out of their normal shape and position and can even make them seem deformed, as in mitral valve prolapse.

This allows for heart valve leaks and murmurs.

While diseases of the heart like a viral or bacterial attack can cause an enlarged, flaccid heart with leaky valves, by far the most common cause of these conditions is a vitamin B deficiency, or beri-beri of the heart.”

The solution is therefore incredibly simple, and involves high-quality nutritional supplements including:

  • Standard Process Cardio-Plus: A special combination product containing bovine heart PMG™ extract and naturally occurring Coenzyme Q10. It has been well established in scientific literature that these nutrients are important for healthy cardiovascular function.

  • Standard Process Cataplex B: Cataplex B contains different components of the B complex that are stimulatory to the metabolic, cardiovascular, and central and peripheral nervous systems.

“After almost 30 years of practice, I can tell you first hand that the heart responds well -- even in people of advanced age, into the ’90s, and even after years and years of nutritional deficiency. The average time before a response can be seen is 90 to 120 days. And the response is easy to measure with standard medical diagnostics.

The murmurs disappear, the leaking seals up, and the heart on x-ray is seen shrinking and repositioning in the chest. These are the kinds of changes that no surgeon, no drugs, and even no synthetic vitamins and minerals can produce,” Dr. West states.

Tips for Mending a Broken Heart?

If nutritional therapies are key for mending a “leaky heart,” then what is the “cure” for a broken heart?

For those recovering from a broken heart, it is suggested they make sure to rest and drink plenty of fluids. Other preventative methods include exercise, especially mind-body fitness programs like the ingenious SheaNetics from, which can help to keep the heart and mind healthy.

Also important? Learning to effectively cope with stress. Support from others is one of the most important ingredients for healing grief, including grief from a broken heart. Talk about your loss with supportive friends and family. Writing in a journal can also be extremely helpful, as can Staying Healthy in a Stressful World, the complete training program CD by Dr. Peter Reznik, one of the most respected mind/body integrative therapists of our time (a recognized expert in mental imagery, dream work, and clinical hypnosis).

This highly recommended CD will help you use Mind-Body Progressive Relaxation to shift gears, replenish your energy, and increase your vitality and clarity of mind, and also includes mental imagery exercise designed to help you let go of guilt, sadness, hurt, and worry.

SixWise Ways!
SixWise Says ...

“I wish I was a kid again, because skinned knees are easier to fix than a broken heart.”

 “The heart is an organ of fire.”

--Michael Ondaatje

Recommended Reading

How Midlife Heart Disease, the #1 Killer, can be Avoided

Heart Health: Nutrition Vs. Drugs and Surgery


New England Journal of Medicine 2005 Feb 10;352(6):539-48. February 9, 2005 Mitral Valve Prolapse Heart Valve Disease

HealthAlert August 2004, Volume 21, Issue 8

To get more information about this and other highly important topics, sign up for your free subscription to our weekly "Be Safe, Live Long & Prosper" e-newsletter.

With every issue of the free newsletter, you’ll get access to the insights, products, services, and more that can truly improve your well-being, peace of mind, and therefore your life!

Share Email to a Friend Print This