Sunday, September 27, 2009

Angina Pain - Beginning of Heart Diseases

To day is World Heart Day. Currently we are undergoing various pulls & pushes in life which disturb the rhythm of our heart. We are giving below information on Angina Pain which is the first signal to getting Heart Problem.

What Is Angina?

Angina (an-JI-nuh or AN-juh-nuh) is chest pain or discomfort that occurs when an area of your heart muscle doesn't get enough oxygen-rich blood. Angina may feel like pressure or squeezing in your chest. The pain also may occur in your shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back. It can feel like indigestion.

Angina itself isn't a disease. Rather, it's a symptom of an underlying heart problem. Angina is usually a symptom of coronary artery disease (CAD), the most common type of heart disease.

CAD occurs when a fatty material called plaque (plak) builds up on the inner walls of the coronary arteries. These arteries carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart. When plaque builds up in the arteries, the condition is called atherosclerosis (ATH-er-o-skler-O-sis).


Plaque causes the coronary arteries to become narrow and stiff. The flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle is reduced. This causes pain and can lead to a heart attack.

Types of Angina

The three types of angina are stable, unstable, and variant (Prinzmetal's). Knowing how the types are different is important. This is because they have different symptoms and require different treatment.

Stable Angina

Stable angina is the most common type. It occurs when the heart is working harder than usual. Stable angina has a regular pattern. If you know you have stable angina, you can learn to recognize the pattern and predict when the pain will occur.

The pain usually goes away in a few minutes after you rest or take your angina medicine.

Stable angina isn't a heart attack, but it makes a heart attack more likely in the future.

Unstable Angina

Unstable angina doesn't follow a pattern. It can occur with or without physical exertion and isn't relieved by rest or medicine.

Unstable angina is very dangerous and needs emergency treatment. It's a sign that a heart attack may happen soon.

Variant (Prinzmetal's) Angina

Variant angina is rare. It usually occurs while you're at rest. The pain can be severe. It usually happens between midnight and early morning. This type of angina is relieved by medicine.


Angina occurs equally in men and women. It can be a sign of heart disease, even when initial tests don't show evidence of CAD.

Not all chest pain or discomfort is angina. A heart attack, lung problems (such as an infection or a blood clot), heartburn, or a panic attack also can cause chest pain or discomfort. All chest pain should be checked by a doctor.

Other Names for Angina

* Angina pectoris
* Acute coronary syndrome
* Chest pain
* Coronary artery spasms
* Prinzmetal's angina
* Stable or common angina
* Unstable angina
* Variant angina

How Is Angina Treated?

Treatments for angina include lifestyle changes, medicines, medical procedures, and cardiac rehabilitation (rehab). The main goals of treatment are to:

* Reduce pain and discomfort and how often it occurs
* Prevent or lower the risk of heart attack and death by treating the underlying heart condition

Lifestyle changes and medicines may be the only treatments needed if your symptoms are mild and aren't getting worse. When lifestyle changes and medicines don't control angina, you may need medical procedures or cardiac rehab.

Unstable angina is an emergency condition that requires treatment in the hospital.

Lifestyle Changes

Making lifestyle changes can help prevent episodes of angina. You can:

* Slow down or take rest breaks if angina comes on with exertion.
* Avoid large meals and rich foods that leave you feeling stuffed if angina comes on after a heavy meal.
* Try to avoid situations that make you upset or stressed if angina comes on with stress. Learn ways to handle stress that can't be avoided.

You also can make lifestyle changes that help lower your risk of heart disease. An important lifestyle change is adopting a healthy diet. This will help prevent or reduce high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and obesity.

Follow a heart healthy eating plan that focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or no-fat diary products, and lean meat and fish. The plan also should be low in salt, fat, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol.

Your doctor may recommend TLC if you have high cholesterol or the DASH eating plan if you have high blood pressure. Even if you don't have these conditions, you can still benefit from these heart healthy plans.

Other important lifestyle changes include:

* Quitting smoking, if you smoke. Avoid secondhand smoke.
* Being physically active. Check with your doctor to find out how much and what kinds of activity are safe for you.
* Losing weight, if you're overweight or obese.
* Taking all medicines as your doctor prescribes, especially if you have diabetes.


Nitrates are the most commonly used medicines to treat angina. They relax and widen blood vessels. This allows more blood to flow to the heart while reducing its workload.

Nitroglycerin is the most commonly used nitrate for angina. Nitroglycerin that dissolves under your tongue or between your cheeks and gum is used to relieve an angina episode. Nitroglycerin in the form of pills and skin patches is used to prevent attacks of angina. These forms of nitroglycerin act too slowly to relieve pain during an angina attack.

You also may need other medicines to treat angina. These medicines may include beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, oral antiplatelet (an-ty-PLAYT-lit) medicines, and anticoagulants (AN-te-ko-AG-u-lants). These medicines can help:

* Lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels
* Slow the heart rate
* Relax blood vessels
* Reduce strain on the heart
* Prevent blood clots from forming

Medical Procedures

When medicines and other treatments don't control angina, you may need a medical procedure to treat the underlying heart disease. Angioplasty (AN-jee-oh-plas-tee) and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) are both commonly used to treat angina.

Angioplasty opens blocked or narrowed coronary arteries. During angioplasty, a thin tube with a balloon or other device on the end is threaded through a blood vessel to the narrowed or blocked coronary artery. Once in place, the balloon is inflated to push the plaque outward against the wall of the artery. This widens the artery and restores blood flow.

Angioplasty can improve blood flow to your heart, relieve chest pain, and possibly prevent a heart attack. Sometimes a small mesh tube called a stent is placed in the artery to keep it open after the procedure.

During CABG, healthy arteries or veins taken from other areas in your body are used to bypass (that is, go around) your narrowed coronary arteries. Bypass surgery can improve blood flow to your heart, relieve chest pain, and possibly prevent a heart attack.

Your doctor will help decide which treatment is right for you.

Cardiac Rehabilitation

Your doctor may prescribe cardiac rehab for angina or after angioplasty, CABG, or a heart attack.

The cardiac rehab team may include doctors, nurses, exercise specialists, physical and occupational therapists, dietitians, and psychologists or other behavioral therapists.

Rehab has two parts:

* Exercise training. This part helps you learn how to exercise safely, strengthen your muscles, and improve your stamina. Your exercise plan will be based on your individual abilities, needs, and interests.
* Education, counseling, and training. This part of rehab helps you understand your heart condition and find ways to reduce your risk of future heart problems. The cardiac rehab team will help you learn how to cope with the stress of adjusting to a new lifestyle and to deal with your fears about the future.

How Can Angina Be Prevented?

You can prevent or lower your risk for angina and coronary artery disease (CAD) by making lifestyle changes and treating related conditions.
Making Lifestyle Changes

Healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent or delay angina and CAD. To make lifestyle changes, you can:

* Follow a healthy eating plan. (See "How Is Angina Treated" for more information.)
* Quit smoking, if you smoke. Avoid secondhand smoke.
* Be physically active. Check with your doctor to find out how much and what kinds of activity are safe for you.
* Learn ways to handle stress and relax.

Treating Related Conditions

You also can help prevent or delay angina and CAD by treating related conditions, such as:

* High blood cholesterol. If you have high cholesterol, follow your doctor's advice about lowering it. Take medicines as directed to lower your cholesterol.
* High blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, follow your doctor's advice about keeping your blood pressure under control. Take blood pressure medicines as directed.
* Diabetes. If you have diabetes, follow your doctor's advice about keeping your blood sugar level under control. Take medicines as directed.
* Overweight or obesity. If you're overweight or obese, talk to your doctor about how to lose weight safely.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.