Angina refers to the severe pain that radiates across the chest, at times down the arm, into the neck, jaw into the back due to coronary disease. This illness is often mistaken for indigestion as it comes with discomfort, pressure, heaviness, squeezing and aching, shortness of breath, vomiting, sweating, weakness and nausea. Angina is usually brought about by active activities that require the heart to pump more blood tasking the heart muscles to do more work that can cause it to go beyond its energy supply. However, angina should subside with enough rest. Angina is classified as stable, unstable and prinzmetal's angina.
Symptoms of Angina and heart disease
It tends to develop slowly over a period of time thus patients may fail to recognize that their signs and symptoms are due to heart disease. This might be experienced through fatigue and exercise intolerance that graduates to the inability to perform certain tasks that had once been easier to do; shortness of breath for instance while walking uphill, pain that comes during rest or when sleeping. Angina is described by chest pressure that trickles down to the arm, into the neck, shortness of breath, sweating, pain, fullness, ache and tightness.
Symptoms of this disease are felt in dissimilar ways by victims thus may not be recognized as coming from the heart. Some patients may not even have any symptom at all, even with major narrowing of their coronary arteries thus may first present for care during heart attack.
Angina is caused by the reduction of blood flow to an area of the heart hindering the delivery of oxygen and fundamental nutrients to the heart muscle cells. As a result, the heart muscle is forced to use alternative and less efficient forms of fuel so as to perform the function of pumping blood to the body. When the heart uses this less efficient fuel, lactic acid builds up in the muscle causing pain to the individual.
To evaluate angina, a general practitioner may first ask a range of questions to establish what the symptoms are and what trigger them. After examination, he may then order more of a series of tests to determine the core cause of the angina and the degree of coronary artery disease if any.
Heart disease and angina treatment depend on the severity of the primary problem that is, the extent of damage to the heart. People with mild angina require a combination of lifestyle changes and drugs to control the symptoms. Such include getting regular exercise, eating a heart healthy diet, controlling high blood pressure and diabetes and quitting smoking. People who smoke and drink frequently are also at risk of heart disease. Moreover, obesity and overconsumption of saturated fats from animal sources, junk food and fast food can increase your risk therefore your best bet would be to minimize and replace with healthier sources such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains or avoid unhealthy foods completely. People with more serious angina should however see a general practitioner to recommend treatment to open the blocked arteries.
The risk for atherosclerotic heart disease can be minimized by use of preventive drugs. The risk of developing atherosclerotic heart disease, peripheral artery disease and stroke is reduced by exercise, a healthy diet, and avoiding smoking. Regular screening and controlling hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes will diminish the individual susceptibility to heart disease to a great extent. One should understand that not all angina is chest pain and this may help a general practitioner to enhance early diagnosis and treatment. To lead a healthy and productive life, one ought to listen to his or her body in case of any illness.