Angina pectoris is also known as chest pain due to the heart not getting enough blood flow. This is clear and undisputed evidence that you are suffering from heart disease.
What is the cause of this condition? One of the major causes is from the reduced blood flow to the heart due to narrowing of the blood vessels supplying heart. This narrowing, caused by atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), is due to the fatty deposits of cholesterol on the inside of the blood vessels.
If you allow this condition to continue and the blood vessels continue to narrow, eventually, the blood flow will be reduced so much that the heart muscle muscle will start to die. This condition is called a heart attack or myocardial infarction (MI).
High cholesterol is one of the major reasons for this deposit to form on the inside of the blood vessel.
Since angina is the warning sign of a potential future heart attack, the treatment option is similar to treating and preventing heart disease. Click here to jump the natural remedies and supplements you can use to help with preventing this condition.
It is very important that if you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, you must get these two conditions under under control.
Chest pain, heaviness or a squeezing feeling is the most common symptom. This usually last five minutes up to half an hour and usually occurs when you engage in physical activities, after eating or when you are expressing strong emotions.
The pain may also spread to the neck, arms and the back. Breathing may be laboured and difficult. It is important to seek medical help if this is the first time you are suffering from chest pain.
The symptoms in women are similar to those experienced by men. However, women tend to respond differently to the symptoms. For example women who are expressing strong emotions may experience heaviness in the chest and think that it is a normal feeling from being emotionally excited.
Angina is a symptom of the heart muscle not getting the needed supply of blood flow. The muscle tissue is suffering from a reduced oxygen supply but no muscle tissue is damaged at this stage.
When you are suffering from a heart attack, the blood flow is reduced so much that the muscle tissue starts to die in minutes. Once the part of the heart muscle dies, it cannot be repaired or regenerated. It becomes scar tissue. So after a heart attack, there will be permanent tissue damage. Needless to say, people suffering from angina will most likely get a heart attack sometime in the future.
There are three common types:
Stable - This is when the chest pain is brought on by any strenuous activity that causes the heart to work harder (and thus needs more oxygen).
Variant - This type of chest pain can happen whether you are resting or exercising. It is due the coronary arteries having a muscle spasm.
Unstable - This is the most deadly type. It happens anytime and cannot be predicted. This form is most likely to lead to a sudden heart attack. There are not many good treatment options for this type of chest pain.
If you are suffering from an attack, non-prescription nitroglycerin sprays or tablets are the standard therapy. They dilate the coronary blood vessels immediately to increase blood flow to the heart muscle and relieve the symptoms. They work within minutes. You must always carry on you nitroglycerin at all times or able to get to it within seconds.
As well, if it is physical activities that triggered the attack, sit down and relax. This will reduce the oxygen needs of your heart.If the symptoms are severe or persistent constantly, prescription drugs and/or surgery may be your only options.
These attacks are almost always treated by using nitroglycerin spray or
sitting down and relaxing. However, if the pain continues even after
nitroglycerin (3 doses five minutes apart), call for an ambulance
immediately. You may be suffering from a heart attack.
Also, if the chest pain is different or worst than last time, seek immediate medical attention. Do not delay as every minute counts.
Since this condition is the result of reduced blood flow to the heart caused by clogged arteries, you will need to unclog the blood vessels to cure this condition. There are no natural remedies or even prescription drugs that are known to do this. The best you can do is to prevent the blood vessels from getting further clogged. There are natural remedies that can be helpful here. See the section on heart disease.
Surprisingly, studies show that physical exercise (prescribed by your doctor or specialist) reduces future incidences of attacks. This is because exercise strengthens the heart, increases its efficiency and thus reduces its need for oxygen.
Yes. There are many cases where people who are suffering from this condition (or having a heart attack) thought that it was just a bad heartburn. This can be deadly.
On a personal note, we knew of a friend who was misdiagnosed for over 2 years by his doctor as having bad heartburns. He suffered a massive heart attack one day. About a year later, while on a waiting list for a heart transplant, he died very shortly after shoveling snow during a snow storm. He was only 45 years old.
Updated: March 4, 2010