The medical world brings to attention the bizarre case of a woman that came to hospital with the “broken heart syndrome” after mixing up two foods.
The syndrome is known as a temporary heart condition triggered by stressful events as losing someone you loved, moving to a new city, job loss, but unexpected pleasant events can also provoke it.
In this case, the element of surprise and the trigger was when the woman ate wasabi, thinking it is avocado, according to BMJ Case Reports.
The patient, a 60-year-old Israeli woman, was at a wedding feast when she confused the two foods, and suddenly started to feel chest pain that radiated to her arms.
Dr. Alona Finkel-Oron from Soroka University Medical Centre in Israel, the case report author, affirmed the woman was positive about having avocado in her full spoon, and the shock of finding wasabi caused her almost a heart attack.
What Doctors Found After Tests
The woman felt unwell for 4 hours without calling an ambulance. The day that followed, she presented symptoms which required some heart tests. The results revealed irregular heartbeat and elevated blood pressure, as stated by the report. What appeared to be a heart attack, at first sight, was the broken heart syndrome.
St Vincent’s Hospital Heart Health states that the condition modifies the shape of the main pumping chamber of the heart, reducing the capacity of the life organ to deliver blood throughout the body. The woman had to spend a few days in the hospital for rehabilitation but she fully recovered only after a month with proper medication.
A hypothesis is that the big spoon of wasabi led to a high release of catecholamines, a stress hormone.The woman was prone to heart issues, as she had a pre-existent non-obstructive coronary artery disease.
The disease is not regarded as a life-threat, but it can weaken the heart muscles over time.