An Israeli woman mistook wasabi for avocado and was subsequently hospitalized for ‘broken heart syndrome‘.
The 60-year old woman thought that the wasabi served at the wedding was, in fact, some sort of guacamole or avocado dip. She ate a large amount of it and then she started to feel a sudden pressure in her chest which moved down to her arms soon enough. As someone whose eyes get wet when I accidentally eat just a bit more wasabi than I can take, I cannot possibly imagine what the poor woman felt in the moment.
Weirdly, the woman chose to stay at the wedding, even though she was probably in a lot of pain, and she later said that the sensation lasted for a few hours.
She only decided to go to the hospital the next morning, when she woke up feeling weak and uncomfortable. The doctors performed an electrocardiogram and diagnosed her with takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also known as ‘broken heart syndrome’. This is a temporary disruption of [the] heart’s normal pumping function in one area of the heart. It usually only happens to people over 50 years of age and it’s usually triggered by extreme emotional or physical stress, like the death of a loved one or a car accident.
This appears to be the first incident where eating something triggers the broken heart syndrome, according to a report in BMJ Case Reports. There have been others in the past that were connected to a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of takotsubo cardiomyopathy triggered by wasabi consumption,” the researchers wrote.
Happily, the woman recovered after the incident and will probably never touch anything resembling avocado again.
You can also read about the cases of avocado hand and maybe decide not to eat avocado again, like I think I have.