Woman Confirmed To Suffer From Broken Heart

According to a report recently published in a medical journal, an Israeli woman was reportedly hospitalized with what was suspected to be a “broken heart.”  The condition was brought on when the woman mistook wasabi for avocado.

The report stated that the usual story began when a woman, listed as in her late 60s, attended a wedding.  As published in BMJ Case Reports, while at the event of the wedding, the unidentified woman proceeded to eat what was stated to have been a “large amount” of what she perceived to be an avocado dip.  To the woman’s surprise, she quickly realized that what she had in reality eaten wasabi paste, a Japanese form of horseradish.

Image: Washington Post

The woman stated that she then felt the onset of “sudden pressure” in her chest, with the feeling proceeding to move down into her arms.  Although the woman stated the strange feeling did last for a few more hours, she chose to remain at the wedding.  After waking the following morning, feeling both weak and uncomfortable, she decided to seek out the help of a doctor.

After examining the woman, the doctors ordered an electrocardiogram (ECG), which produced some surprising results.  The woman was diagnosed as suffering from takotsubo cardiomyopathy, commonly referred to as “broken heart syndrome.”  The condition, as defined by The Mayo Clinic, is:

“… a temporary disruption of the heart’s normal pumping function in one area of the heart.”


Although the condition was officially diagnosed as “broken heart syndrome,” this particular instance was the first known time that it was brought on by way of the consumption of food alone.  Other related cases of the condition that involved food were thought to have been brought on by anaphylaxis, better known as a severe allergy reaction.

The researchers said that to the best of their knowledge, this was the first instance known of takotsubo cardiomyopathy, broken heart syndrome, that is suspected of having been brought on by wasabi.