Angina

Angina is chest pain or pressure caused by lack of blood flow to the heart muscles. The medical condition occurs when an individual is suffering from coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is a form of heart disease that may lead to heart attacks, when the plaque buildup in the arteries is too great. Angina’s are commonly confused with a heart attack. The symptoms of an angina resemble that of a heart attack. The pain and symptoms occur when the blood flow to the heart has decreased. While angina’s will most likely stop, individuals will want to consult with their medical professional for treatment and prevention options.

Angina Symptoms

Symptoms and severity of Angina may vary among individuals. However, the common symptoms of an angina is a squeezing or tightness in the chest. The pain may also spread to other areas of your body, like your shoulders or neck. Symptoms typically subside but if you experience chest pain, consult with a medical professional.

  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in arms, jaw, shoulders, back, or jaw
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Burning, heaviness in the chest

Angina Causes

Angina is the result of a decrease in blood flow to the heart muscle. This is usually caused by coronary artery disease. When the arteries have a buildup, blood flow decreases, causing a reduction in oxygen-rich blood that is necessary. There are three types of angina’s: stable, unstable, and variant angina.

Stable Angina

  • Physical activity or exertion
  • Emotional stress
  • Cold temperatures
  • Smoking

Unstable Angina

  • Plaque buildup causing blood vessel ruptures
  • Blood clots
  • Decrease in blood flow to the heart

Variant Angina

  • Spasm in a coronary artery

Angina Diagnosis

To diagnosis an angina, a medical professional will ask about symptoms, pain, history, conduct a physical exam, etc. There are also different tests that may be done to monitor the heart and confirm whether an individual is suffering from an angina.

  • Physical Exam
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG)
  • Stress Test
  • Echocardiogram
  • Nuclear Stress Test
  • Chest X-Ray
  • Blood Tests
  • Coronary Angiography
  • CT Scan
  • Cardiac MRI

Angina Treatment

Different treatments and drugs may be used to reduce the frequency and symptoms of an angina. Depending on the type of angina, different forms of treatment will be used. These include, medications, changes in diet or lifestyle, angioplasty, and more. Consult with a medical professional for a treatment plan that works for you.

Medication

Lifestyle Changes

  • Smoking
  • Overweight
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Healthy diet
  • Exercise

Medical Procedures

  • Angioplasty
  • Stents
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery