Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is a weakening of the heart’s left ventricle — its main pumping chamber. It’s often called “broken heart syndrome.”
Broken heart syndrome, according to the Mayo Clinic, is a temporary heart condition often caused by stress, such as loss of a loved one or serious physical injury. Symptoms often mimic a heart attack.
It’s believed former President George H.W. Bush was hospitalized with takotsubo cardiomyopathy the day after his wife’s funeral. And a woman in Texas was diagnosed with it after her dog died.
But the most unusual case might be of a 60-year-old woman who went to the emergency room with chest pains. Doctors determined she was suffering from broken heart syndrome brought on by eating wasabi.
According to the case report, published in BMJ, the woman was at a wedding in Israel and thought the wasabi was avocado. Even though wasabi tastes like hot mustard or horseradish, the woman consumed about a teaspoon of the paste.
She experienced chest pain that spread to her arms, but didn’t leave the wedding, the case report states. The next day she felt weak, so she decided to go to the hospital. An echocardiogram showed damage to her left ventricle that was consistent with takotsubo cardiomyopathy.
After a month of treatment, the woman’s heart appears to be working normally, the Washington Post reported.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of takotsubo cardiomyopathy triggered by wasabi consumption,” the case report states.
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