Reply To: Takotsubo cardiomyopathy

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Christine Bailey

Dear Debra,

Many thanks for your question regarding your friend who has had a car accident and now appears to have a condition known as Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. You do not mention what signs and symptoms she is currently experiencing which may be linked to the accident. This condition is often triggered by stress which may explain why they suspect this has developed.

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also known as Takotsubo syndrome, is a temporary condition where your heart muscle becomes suddenly weakened or ‘stunned’.

The left ventricle, one of the heart’s chambers, changes shape and enlarges. This means this part of the heart doesn’t pump well.  This condition is also called acute stress-induced cardiomyopathy, broken heart syndrome and apical ballooning syndrome.

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy was first reported in Japan in 1990. The word ’Takotsubo’ means ‘octopus pot’ in Japanese, as the left ventricle of the heart changes into a similar shape as the pot – developing a narrow neck and a round bottom.

The condition can develop at any age, but typically affects more women than men.

The good news is that often the condition is temporary and reversible.  The main symptoms of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy are chest pain, breathlessness or collapsing, similar to a heart attack. In some cases, people may also suffer palpitations, nausea and vomiting. The left ventricle will return to normal over a few days, weeks or months and you will usually be followed up with regular echocardiograms until this happens. About 10-15 per cent of people who have had Takotsubo cardiomyopathy before will have another episode. For people affected for a second time, the stressful event can be completely different each time.

Depending on her symptoms various supplements may or may not be helpful. Firstly, I would support the stress response. You may even wish to consider an adrenal stress test. This is where adaptogens can be very helpful. Ashwaganda, maca, and rhodiola, for example, may all be helpful. I would also consider Stabilium 200 which can help provide resilience.  Yes, magnesium could be helpful as a calming mineral and you could consider Epsom salt bathing. I would also suggest lifestyle factors to support recovery – massage, acupuncture, sleep and rest is important.

She should avoid all caffeine – there have been cases where this condition has actually been triggered by energy drink consumption.

Reverse Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy Associated With the Consumption of an Energy Drink Circulation. 2012;125:1584-1585


In some cases there is microvascular dysfunction and therefore supplements that improve oxygen and strength capillaries may be helpful. If the consultant is concerned about heart health, then aspirin may be prescribed as a precaution. You may wish to run a comprehensive cardiovascular screen (Dr’s Data or Genova) to check any other independent risk factors for heart attacks and strokes.

Komamura et al. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy: Pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment World J Cardiol. 2014 Jul 26; 6(7): 602–609.


If breathing is laboured or there is respiratory inflammation, then an antioxidant formula with glutathione may offered protection and lower inflammation. You may wish to consider COQ10 as well for heart health. Bio-Cardio 369 contains a combination of nutrients designed for the heart.


The following supplements are suggested for you to consider in light of your relevant expertise and intimate understanding of the needs of your client or patient. They may be used in isolation or as part of a multi supplement strategy, but at all times the consideration of their use should be tied into the specific needs of the individual you are responsible for.

Stress support

Stabilium 200 (ARG) – take 4 in the morning –

Mg-Zyme (BRC) – take 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening –

Heart protection

Bio-Cardio 369 (BRC) take 1 packet daily. Provides general multiple vitamin and mineral support which include Coenzyme Q10 (emulsified for increased uptake and utilisation), non GMO source of Vitamin E, purified chondroitin sulfates, specific amino acids, essential fatty acids providing specific amounts of Omega 3,6 and 9 (from flax seed, and Fish Oils).

Additional CoQ10

COQ10 with tocotrienols (ARG) – take 2 daily –

Additional fish oil

Nordic Naturals Arctic Cod Liver oil lemon gel capsules – take 2 twice daily

(or use the oil – 1 tspn per day)

I hope this helps with your friend