Breaking up is hard to do. But now a new study suggests a broken heart is even tough on your tummy.
A reporter in the Netherlands sought out the reason why lost Lotharios don’t have the same hunger pangs as they once did while in love according to VICE.
Gert ter Horst, a professor of neurobiology and director of the Neuroimaging Center at the University Hospital in the city of Groningen, said heartbreak causes “quite a bit of stress,” and the body responds to stress in the same way by raising cortisol and adrenaline levels, whether it’s a traumatic life event or your changed your Facebook status to single.
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“Similar to being in a stressful situation, the level of adrenaline and heart rate both go up during excessive activity,” ter Horst told VICE. “Because of that, it’s almost impossible to get food down your throat.”
In other words, a person’s body goes into a fight or flight response post-breakup which includes having your stomach muscles tightening up and hindering appetite plus digestion.
Then, there’s the emotional impact of heartache.
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“The areas of the brain in charge of emotions and emotional pain also [regulate] how we eat, our need for food, and what we taste,” ter Horst told VICE. “The areas that take care of these functions are close together, and can influence one another.”