5-speed listening (Wasabi - Level 6)

Wasabi gives woman broken-heart syndrome



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A woman ended up in hospital after eating a large amount of the spicy condiment wasabi by mistake. The 60-year-old woman was attending a wedding reception in Israel. She mistakenly ate around a teaspoon of the spicy green paste, believing it to be an avocado-based dip. Her taste buds got the shock of their lives when the spices in the wasabi started working on her tongue and nose. The woman said that within minutes she felt pressure in her chest and tingling all over her arms. She went to hospital the following day, where she was diagnosed with "broken-heart syndrome". This is a term for symptoms that are similar to a heart attack following physical or emotional distress.

Doctors said the woman was struck with a condition known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy, which typically affects older women. It is also called "broken-heart syndrome". The heart's main pumping chamber weakens and suffers a "temporary disruption" so that it cannot pump blood properly. It is usually brought on by life-altering and shocking events such as financial troubles, serious traffic accidents or bad news. The syndrome is not as serious as a real heart attack. Most patients fully recover within a month. Doctors said: "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of takotsubo cardiomyopathy triggered by wasabi consumption." They reassured sushi lovers that wasabi is not dangerous.

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