Angina – The Chest Pain

Angina - The Chest Pain

What is angina?

A kind of chest pain, angina pectoris or angina is triggered when inadequate supply of blood to the heart occurs. Typically, Angina is defined as heaviness, pressure, squeezing, pain or tightness in the chest. The condition can be acute or recurring health problem. Relatively, Angina is common, however can be difficult differentiating from few other kinds of chest pain like discomfort or pain of indigestion.

What are the symptoms of angina?

The condition is usually noticed as a pressure, squeezing, tightening, heaviness, aching or burning across your chest that mostly starts at the back of your breastbone. Often, the pain spreads to your arms, jaw, neck, back, throat, shoulders or even to your teeth.

Moreover, few patients can complain shortness of breath, cramping, nausea, sweating, weakness, heartburn, indigestion as well.

Normally, stable angina is predictable, can feel like indigestion or gas and last for a shorter time period. On the other hand, unstable angina is unexpected, occurs while you rest, tend to last for a longer time period and can worse ultimately. Lastly, variant angina is severe and occurs while you rest.

What causes angina?

Usually, causal coronary artery disease tends to consequent angina. Our coronary arteries are responsible for supplying oxygenated blood to our heart. Aggregation of cholesterol forms hard plaques on your artery wall, as a result, your artery narrows. As a result, it creates difficulty reaching the oxygenated blood to your heart muscle.

Moreover, in case the arteries get damage due to certain factors for example sugar in your blood, high fats level or smoking, can cause building up of plague.

  • Stable angina: is usually triggered by physical exertion. Narrowed arteries obstruct the needed blood by the heart at the times when it requires more oxygen (physical exertion). The exact cause of angina attacks is the reduced supply of oxygen to your heart. Plus, heavy meals, emotional stress, smoking and extreme temperatures can too trigger the attacks.
  • Blood clots responsible for blocking the artery totally or partially can cause unstable angina. Larger blockages would lead serious complications for example heart attack.
  • Variant angina tends to occur in case of experiencing spasm by your artery which makes it narrow and tightens, disturbing the supply of blood to your heart. Few other triggering factors such as usage of cocaine, smoking, medicines and stress can also contribute.

How is angina diagnosed?

Your doctor will begin the diagnosis of angina with discussing your symptoms, a thorough physical exam, family and personal medical history and risk factors. In case he suspect angina, he can recommend the below mentioned tests:

  • Chest X-ray.
  • Electrocardiogram.
  • Stress test.
  • Blood tests.
  • Coronary angiography.

How is angina treated?

The goal of the treatment is to lower or prevent the symptoms, reduce pain and lower your chances of heart attack. Lifestyle changes, medical procedures and medicines can be suggested as per the symptoms severity and type of angina.

Few lifestyle changes include:

  • Avoid heavy meals.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Slow down and rest.
  • Avoid or manage stress.
  • Check your cholesterol levels regularly.
  • Consume no-fat or low-fat dairy products, lean meat, whole grains, vegetables and fish.
  • Control your weight.

Medicines:

The doctor can use the following medicine options for angina:

  • Nitrates.
  • Calcium channel blockers.
  • Beta blockers.
  • Anticoagulants.
  • Oral anti-platelet medicines.
  • ACE inhibitors.
  • Medicines to treat high blood pressure.

Surgical procedures:

  • Coronary artery bypass grafting.
  • Angioplasty

By : Natural Health News


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