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Thread: Why does the heart get pain when sad?

  1. #1 Why does the heart get pain when sad? 
    Forum Senior Weterman's Avatar
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    Feels like something rushes to your heart. You know what I mean? When you feel really depressed, and you get that feeling in your heart. That's what I'm talking about. Why do we get that feeling? Why in the heart?


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    Most likely for most of us most of the time, it's a combination of hormones affecting both our physiology and our perceptions. People who are depressed can be more attentive to and conscious of bodily symptoms of discomfort even when there's no real problem with function. (Other depressed people can be quite insensitive to pain and symptoms that would concern people not suffering from depression.)

    The big issue is the location of the heart, the lungs and the stomach. They're all very close to each other. It's why so many people misdiagnose themselves with indigestion when they've really got a heart problem, and vice versa. If a hormone response is affecting your lungs or your stomach (or both) it's entirely possible that it will be perceived as in the heart.

    There could also be an indirect effect if depression/sadness makes a person's breathing shallow or inadequate in some way or if it affects their eating patterns and therefore has a knock on effect to the metabolism generally. You could finish up with an ache near the heart quite literally. Which brings me to something I often mention. The combination of recurring sadness/depression and sensitivity to pain (anywhere, not just pain that appears to relate to the heart) is an indicator that a doctor should consider checking the person's thyroid function. Thyroid inadequacy often causes depression and/or fatigue. Thyroid inadequacy often causes a low pain threshold. It's an easy, simple blood check - and it's worth doing anyway so long as you keep the records so that, even if everything's OK now, the person has a baseline as comparison for later checks. Given that it's the end of winter where you live, it might also be worth checking your vitamin D levels. Inadequate vit D can also cause depression/sadness.

    (And there is a real condition commonly called broken heart syndrome, but that's an extreme reaction, usually sudden, to overwhelming grief or a related form of stress. Yes, you could die of a broken heart, doctors say - Chicago Tribune That's most unlikely to be related to the common feelings you're talking about. This condition gets you into an ER with a suspected heart attack.)


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