Angina And Heart Disease
Heart disease develops when there are problems with the
coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle. One of the first signs of heart disease is
angina which is described
as a squeezing chest pain that sometimes radiates to your neck, jaw, or shoulder.
The pain can be mild and go away on its own in a few
minutes, or it can be severe and require medication to alleviate. Nitroglycerin is the medicine normally given
to relieve the pain of angina.
There are two types of angina, stable and unstable. Stable angina is predictable
and comes on when a certain level of exertion is reached and then goes away quickly. You can live with stable
angina for a long period of time. Unstable angina is another matter. It is unpredictable as to when it will
strike and how severe it will be. It could happen even when you are at rest, and this is a danger sign of a
possible impending heart attack.
When you have angina that doesn't go away with
medication or rest, and that strikes in a different pattern than you are accustomed to, you should call for
transport to the ER because you could be having a heart attack. Also, the first time you have an angina attack, you
should go to the emergency room right away for a proper diagnosis.
At the hospital, the doctor can administer tests like an EKG or x-ray that can show
if your heart has been damaged or if any of your arteries have become blocked. Heart disease can sometimes be
treated with medication alone and other times surgery such as a bypass or angioplasty may be indicated.
You might be able to prevent angina and heart disease by reducing the risk factors
you can control. Keep high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol under control to reduce damage to
vessel walls. Engage in regular exercise and eat a heart healthy diet that is low in sodium and saturated fat. In
addition, you should stop smoking since there is a direct link between smoking tobacco and the development of heart
Chest pain is usually frightening to experience since there is always the possibility
of it being a heart attack that is causing it. For that reason, chest pain should always be taken seriously, even
when the pain is not severe. In the case of stable angina, you may become accustomed to chest pain striking at
predictable times, but even it should be taken seriously if it does not quickly go away, or if it differs in any
way from its usual behavior.
The only way to know for sure what is causing your chest pain is to go to the
hospital and have the necessary tests, and it is always best to err on the side of caution since you don't want to
have a heart attack at home and do nothing about it until it is too late.
Return From Angina To Blood Pressure Monitors