It’s normal to go through a phase where you’re constantly down in the dumps if you’ve suffered heartbreak. But, if you suspect it’s affecting your heath, it probably is. Khevna Pandit talks about ten changes your body goes through after a breakup
A breakup makes you feel as though your world has come crashing down. While most of us cope with it by sobbing to Taylor Swift songs or losing ourselves in solitude, we can’t ignore the fact that it takes a major toll on our emotional as well as physical health. Ever wondered why that overly concerned friend keeps telling you to ‘catch up on some sleep’ or, how your mother force feeds you your daily dose of nutrition as though you haven’t eaten in days? Believe it or not, a breakup can wreak havoc with your health. Here we’re telling you about 10 physiological reactions that are brought on by a breakup and how they can affect you.
Your brain induces physical pain
If you find yourself aching, but dismiss it as simply your brain playing tricks on you, think again! You’re not imagining it. A study published in the Journal of Neurophysiology in 2010 found brain activity in the same part of the brain where physical pain is registered when people are shown pictures of their exes. A 2011 study by Columbia University researchers found that when you’re going through a breakup and feeling like you need your significant other, you are actually craving their presence.
Your body gets into fight-or-flight mode
We’ve heard of the fight-or-flight response, and it is real. Your body tends to release high levels of stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) in response to threatening or worrisome situations. But, this also happens after a breakup. However, this often does more harm than good since these hormones are not specifically “required” during this time. This can lead to sore or swollen muscles and an elevated heart rate.
Your digestive system is thrown off
A study conducted in 1994 by the Department of Psychology at Yale University found that sudden and uncontrollable stressful situations can affect the distribution of fat in your body. A spike in the level of cortisol in your system can divert blood away from your digestive system, leaving you with gastrointestinal unpleasantness. So, if you’ve been gaining weight, you know that it’s your breakup that is to blame!
Your skin is prone to breakouts
Acne is caused by many factors, but we’ve always heard of stress playing a major role in breakouts. However, this is now backed up by a study conducted by The New York Times in 2007. When your level of cortisol shoots up, it can lead to a hormonal imbalance. Many a times, this is the reason for breakouts and acne.
You may lose hair
Losing hair is yet another side effect of extreme heartache. Along with internal changes, a sudden drop in your mood can lead to hair loss or hair fall. So, if your drain is frequently clogged with your hair, you know that it’s your breakup that’s causing it.
Your blood pressure skyrockets
No shocker, right? Stress, along with the other changes, can cause your blood pressure to shoot up. However, you don’t need to worry too much about this, as the American Heart Association says that this does not lead to chronic high blood pressure. However, if you already suffer from hypertension, elevated blood pressure levels can cause headaches, shortness of breath and nosebleeds.
You feel sick
This isn’t just limited to a feeling; stress and loneliness have the power to considerably weaken your immune system. Since your body is in the stressful fight-or-flight mode, it doesn’t pay much attention to fighting off germs and bacteria. So, although not directly related, a broken heart can definitely increase your risk of falling sick.
You may have mobility issues
While this may seem hard to believe, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Texas in 2009 found that couples who recently divorced reported difficulty in climbing the stairs or walking for short distances. They experienced spasms or tightness in their muscles, resulting in pain.
Your eyes get puffy
Yes, you’ve been sobbing all day, but puffy eyes are caused due to an entirely different reason. Our body produces different types of tears. Some keep the eyes moist and lubricated; others we use for crying. However, psychic tears, or tears associated with emotional crying, are produced by the lacrimal gland, located in the upper corner of the eye. These tears often seep into the ducts at the top of our nose making our eyes appear puffy and swollen. Rubbing your eyes can also cause irritated or sore eyes.
You suffer from broken heart syndrome
This syndrome causes part of your heart to enlarge — we’re not joking! According to the American Heart Association, dealing with emotional pain can cause the valves of your heart to enlarge temporarily. Blood is not pumped well, and the rest of the heart overcompensates by pumping blood more vigorously. Medically referred to as stress-induced cardiomyopathy, Broken Heart Syndrome is usually treatable and it occurs in extremely rare cases.