"She was sure it was an avocado, that is why she took a full spoon of it," case report author Dr. Alona Finkel-Oron explained
A 60-year-old Israeli woman was hospitalized after eating a spoonful of wasabi, mistaking it for avocado.
The woman was at a wedding when she was served the spicy condiment, according to a case report published earlier this month in BMJ Case Reports.
According to the report, the woman went to the hospital after experiencing extreme chest pain.
Doctors then diagnosed her with takotsubo cardiomyopathy, a condition that is commonly referred to as broken heart syndrome.
“Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is a left ventricular dysfunction that typically occurs after sudden intense emotional or physical stress and mimics myocardial infarction,” the case report states.
The woman’s experience is the first time doctors have seen takotsubo cardiomyopathy “triggered by wasabi consumption,” according to the report.
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“She was sure it was an avocado, that is why she took a full spoon of it,” case report author Dr. Alona Finkel-Oron said, NBC News reported. “Of course, she was shocked to find out it was not.”
After eating the wasabi, the woman began to feel pressure in her chest. The pain lasted for a few hours, according to NBC News. When the pain didn’t go away the following day, the woman went to the emergency room.
Doctors first believed the woman was suffering from a heart attack, but later learned it was takotsubo cardiomyopathy as her blood was flowing normally, but her heart was misshapen, NBC News reported.
When a person experiences broken heart syndrome, the heart takes on a shape that resembles a Japanese octopus fishing pot called takotsubo.
According to Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publishing, the condition is temporary and more than 90 percent of reported cases are women ages 58 to 75.
Other than eating wasabi, causes of broken heart syndrome are domestic violence, intense fear, car accidents or a sudden surprise.