7 Ways In Which Heartbreaks Affect Your Health

By Nupur Jha

Being in a relationship and breaking up is a part of life, but you will be surprised to know the ways in which your break-up affects your body! Various reasons can be responsible for your body's reactions - they can be physical, emotional or mental. The reaction to break-ups differs from person to person and it also depends on the seriousness of the person towards the relationship. Break-ups can lead to severe depression in some cases and even trigger suicidal tendencies, hence if you feel too affected by it, do consult a psychiatrist.

long term effects of heartbreak

Here are 7 surprising ways break-ups affect your health:

1. Impacts your body's response
2. Affects your hunger and sleep
3. Causes release of neurotransmitter dopamine
4. Releases stress hormone cortisol
5. Weakens your immune system
6. Leads to broken heart syndrome
7. Cause skin problems

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1. Impacts Your Body's Response

The break-up you go through is perceived as a stress by your body as it is unable to figure out the exact cause of the stress. Hence it reacts to this stress triggered by a broken heart the same way it would respond to a scenario in which you are chased by a lion. The response by the body would include unwanted thoughts, shakiness, bad concentration etc. Break-up triggers chronic anxiety and if this condition is ignored, it can turn into depression.

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2. Affects Your Hunger And Sleep

Ain't this a common thing we all experience after a break-up? The reason behind it is that break-up falls under long-term stress, and the body tends to release a stress hormone called cortisol which plays the role of diverting the blood from your digestive system. This can trigger conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) which will make overeat or eat less. Talking about the sleep, insomnia or hypersomnia are common phenomena people going through break-ups face which can trigger various health issues like low energy levels, stress, depression, etc.2. Affects Your Hunger And Sleep

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3. Causes Release Of Neurotransmitter Dopamine

A study conducted by researchers at the Columbia University found that breaking up from a significant relationship affects your brain in a way similar to how a cocaine addict's brain gets affected during withdrawal. A neurotransmitter called dopamine gets released by some parts of the brain, this hormone plays various crucial roles in our brain and the body. It ends up leaving us obsessed with the person we like the most.

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4. Releases Stress Hormone Cortisol

Cortisol is a stress hormone which is released when one is undergoing immense stress as well as low blood glucose levels. A trigger in the levels of this hormone is observed when one is going through a break-up. As we know break-up is a long-term stressor which results in making the cortisol hormone remain in our body for longer which affects us adversely by giving us more stress, fear, physical exhaustion, etc.

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5. Weakens Your Immune System

Break-ups result in weakening your immune system by shutting down certain parts of your body which aid in combating disease-causing microbes. Heartbreaks result in secretion of stress hormones which affect your immune system over a span of time and also impact your other body functions adversely. This makes you weak and you become more sensitive to physical pains.

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6. Leads To Broken Heart Syndrome

The American Heart Association revealed that when you break up with your loved ones you go through broken heart syndrome, which results in enlarging your heart temporarily. In this condition, a part of your heart doesn't pump properly while the rest of your heart does carry out the regular functions, meaning the contractions can be more forceful. It has been found that women was impacted by this syndrome in more than 80% of the cases compared to men. The symptoms of this condition include irregular heartbeat and chest pain, hence it is often mistaken to be a heart attack. People hardly experience this condition, it lasts for a few weeks.

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7. Cause Skin Problems

Did you know elevated stress levels can cause skin problems such as acne? A study carried out in 2007 by researchers at the Wake Forest University in North Carolina found that people who are experiencing excess levels of stress such as undergoing a break-up are at 23% more risk of getting acne. The study revealed that stress triggers inflammation and acne is an inflammatory skin disease.

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