Angina is a medical term for chest discomfort or pain. It occurs when the muscles of your heart do not have a proper supply of oxygen-rich blood. You feel a squeeze or pressure in your chest when it lacks oxygen-filled blood.
It is a heart problem. However, you will have restlessness in your arms, shoulders, jaw, neck, or back if you have angina. Angina pain may make you feel the issues that you usually have in your indigestion.
Some facts about angina
- It informs you that your heart requires more oxygen-rich blood.
- It tells you that you must take a break from what you are doing.
- It is a sign that you have heart disease or blocked arteries.
- It warns you that you have a higher risk heart attack on its constant ignorance.
- It can happen to you when you take a large meal and have stress. Besides, it can occur during physical activity.
- It lasts for a few minutes to thirty minutes.
Types of Angina
Based on its severity level, angina is of several kinds. Some of them are as follows:
- Stable angina– It is the usual type of angina. Stress or severe physical activity can trigger it. You get rid of stable angina soon as you take a short break.
- Unstable angina – It occurs to you when you live a comfortable life. It lasts for a more extended period in comparison with the first one and can come back to you again and again. It clearly informs you that you are at the risk of a heart attack.
- Microvascular angina – There is no coronary artery blockage in this type of angina. However, you have discomfort in your heart. It is more common for women than men and lasts for around ten minutes.
- Variant Angina – It is a sporadic angina type. You typically face it when you are sleeping or taking a rest. It makes you restless and warns you to get treated soon.
Angina happens to you when you have heart diseases. There is a build-up of plaque, a fatty substance, which causes a blockage to your arteries. Consequently, your heart muscles have a lack of blood filled with fresh oxygen, and you feel pain in your chest. Some other causes of angina are as follows:
- A blockage in a significant artery of your lungs
- A thickened or enlarged heart
- Valve narrowing in the primary part of your heart
- Swelling of the sac around the heart
- A tear in the wall of your aorta, the largest artery
No health issue occurs itself. It relates to your lifestyle. The risk factors of angina include:
- Use of tobacco
- Luxury lifestyle/lack of physical activity
- Family history
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol
Chest pain is the first sign. However, you can feel it differently. Some other symptoms of angina are as follows:
- Breath shortness
- Discomfort in arms, shoulders, etc.
- Feeling of pressure or heaviness
- Vomiting or upset stomach
In any heart disease, you must not make any delay. Act fast to consult your physician if you face pain in your chest once or more than one time. Any delay can lead you to have a severe issue, like a heart attack. You can have a significant threat to your life.
You need to consult your doctor when you notice frequent pain in your chest. During the diagnosis of angina, your physician may talk to you about your family medical history and the symptoms you are facing. The doctor can ask you for having more than one of the following tests to know the real causes and the stage of this heart problem in you:
- EKG (Electrocardiogram)
- Blood tests
- Stress test
- Chest x-ray
- Cardiac catheterization
- Coronary angiography
Depending upon the test results, your cardiologist may prescribe medicines that have:
- Calcium or nitrates channel blockers to widen the blood vessels in your body for smooth blood circulation to the chest.
- Statins to stabilize plaque and bring down your cholesterol level.
- Antiplatelet or blood thinners for the prevention of blood clots.
- Beta-blockers to slow down your heart to stop it the feel pressure.
Angina has no substitute for medical examination and treatment. However, you can escape from this heart problem by bringing some changes in your lifestyle. Here are some effective lifestyle changes that your doctor can advise you:
- Quit smoking
- Control your weight
- Have proper breaks while doing anything for a more extended period
- Be physically active
- Stay away from processed and fast food items
- Keep yourself from stress and depression
- Avoid having large meals. Eat four to five times instead of taking a large meal two/three times.
- Get into a habit of eating fruits, whole grains, seasonal vegetables, fish, lean meat, and low-fat or no-fat dairy products.
Angina, a type of heart disease, is the signal of having a heart stroke or attack. Be a health-conscious individual and consult your physician to get treated when you feel any discomfort in your chest. Having a healthy lifestyle can safeguard you from angina.