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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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can a broken heart affect your physical health ?

my mom passed away in 2001 then my son in 2002, i had not missed one day of work in seven years prior to these events. now i am on high blood pressure medication and anxiety medication and a sleep aid for chronic insomnia i also take medication to slow my heart rate and have gained a lot of weight. also, i have copd which limits my ability to exerxise. there is also a family history of heart disease, my mom, dad, all 4 of my siblings have had heart attacks.
Fri, 11 Dec 2009
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Gee, I'm saddened by your situation. It's not easy at all... losing two loved ones in a row.... A broken heart, whether due to grief, separation or any kind of failure in life, definitely affects physical health because what is in your mind and in your heart to a large extent , determines the overall state of your body. I know this from experience and so do a many people.. Depression can slowly damage you inside and out. You ought to know that many others are in the same boat. You're not alone, and you are psychologically & emotionally stronger than you think.....most of us are. You need to try to find something fun or enjoyable to do.....maybe see a good movie, take a nice long walk , cuddle a puppy.Do something to delight the child in you....for this will bring you some calm and relaxation. Find a friend or a therapist whom you can fully express feelings to. Express what you miss most about your mom and your son. .....venting out every detail. It's important to find someone to talk to, but it's also vital that you help yourself get some good R & R......why? this will help you ease your high blood pressure. You mentioned you gained a lot of weight. Now being heavy is also related to having high blood pressure for as we gain weight, our blood volume increases, causing increased pressure within our blood vessels, so this concerns me. ....bronteheights mentioned exercise, and I think that's solid advice, for exercise doesn't only help one lose weight, it actually elevates one's mood. If you have gained weight then that also means your blood sugar levels are up....continuously having elevated blood sugar levels makes you a candidate for diabetes. I strongly suggest that after each meal, you go for a walk. Remain standing and moving for an hour after each meal. Why? That's because blood glucose is highest 1 to 2 hours after each meal.. if walking for an hour is difficult for you, start with 30minutes....whatever you do, do not sit and be immobile after eating a meal. That's actually very unhealthy. Walking has been proven to get one out of depression, especially if its brisk walking. It kinda stimulates your mind and body into action . In order to lose weight, avoid eating anything made of white flour....especially doughnuts. Avoid french fries, hotdogs & other cured meats, for these are unhealthy and are even cancer-causing. Instead , eat whole wheat stuff, fruits that arent so sweet and a lot of veggies and some soy. Also avoid anything with hydrogenated vegetable oil and trans fats. Try not to have any sweet drink as well. Sodas have high fructose corn syrup -- a no no. Drink unsweetend fruit juices instead. These things sharply increase your blood sugar level and unused sugars get stored as fat in the form of triglycerides (that's body fat).Hence, we have these fat deposits in the abdomen, thighs,etc. Have you heard of Omega3 fatty acids? It's actually fish oil. ....very good for health, in that it thins the blood, promoting effective circulation and is therefore good for the heart.....it prevents blood clots and has natural anti-depressant properties. I'm sorry if I am boring you. It's just that I believe we need to address your problem of a broken heart and that of health....hence my suggestions. Keep a journal and write down your thoughts . This just might help..... Your sorrows, your questions - your whys, anger, doubts, broken dreams -if any......then after a couple of days, go and read what you have written down. It will somehow give more clarity to your thoughts and feelings. It may even lead to a deeper self-discovery....as you reflect on what you've written. If you have progressive tachycardia (fast heart rate even at rest),then just walk slowly after meals. ...but keep moving. Remember that only you can truly help yourself in a significant way... I totally understand how you feel and I know how it hurts...but.know too, that if your mom and your child could see you depressed and broken hearted for a long, time, then they would feel sad, for I'm sure they'd want the best for you, that you'd be happy. To aid in relaxation, listen to soothing music of your choice...when you feel relaxed, you heart rate will slow down. Make an effort to start the day with positive affirmations, such as...."this will be a good day, and I feel better today" "my health is improving more & more and God will help me through each day"
Disclaimer: These answers are for your information only and not intended to replace your relationship with your treating physician.
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