Angina is a fairly common condition. It is more prevalent in men over the age of 55. Though there are many factors that are associated with developing angina, those with diabetes, obesity, or hypertension are usually at higher risk of developing the condition.
People with angina typically suffer from:
- Chest tightness
- Burning or other discomforts
- Shortness of breath
As well as other less well-known symptoms
These symptoms are caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscles. Whilst angina is not usually life-threatening, it is important to note it may be a symptom of underlying heart disease and must be treated as soon as possible.
FAQs about angina
Is there more than one type of angina?
The answer is Yes. there are two types of angina:
- Stable angina: This is the most common form of angina. It can be triggered by stress or exercise but will usually desist after a few minutes of rest.
- Unstable angina: This is the more serious of the two. The attacks are unpredictable and may not be set off by anything in particular. They can continue even after rest.
Is angina just chest pain?
Angina won’t necessarily just present itself through chest pain. Some unusual symptoms include elbow pain, nightmares, heartburn, acid reflux. As well as jaw, neck, shoulder or back pain.
How do you test for angina?
There are several tests your doctor may use to diagnose angina, such as: ECG, stress test, echocardiogram, chest x-ray, blood test, CT coronary angiography, or a cardiac MRI.
How’s angina treated?
Treatment for stable angina
If you are diagnosed with stable angina, usually you will be prescribed medicine to control Angina attacks:
- Glyceryl Trinitrate: This medication is used to relax and widen your blood vessels, allowing more blood to flow to your heart muscle during times when you experience an attack.
- Beta-blockers: This medication blocks the release of adrenaline which causes the heart to beat slower and reduces blood pressure.
- Calcium blockers: This increases blood flow to the heart by widening and relaxing the muscle cells in the arterial wall of the heart.
Treatment for unstable angina
For unstable angina sufferers, you’ll be given medicines to prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of heart attacks or strokes:
- Aspirin: This works to prevent blood clots by reducing the ability to form clots. This makes it easier for blood to flow through narrow arteries.
- Clopidogrel: Again, this prevents clots from forming by making pallets less likely to stick together.
- Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG): This is a procedure used to divert blood around a blocked or narrowed coronary artery (the main vessel supplying blood to the heart) in order to improve blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart.
- Coronary Angioplasty and Stent Insertion: Angioplasty is a procedure used to widen blocked or narrowed coronary arteries using a small balloon. Once the balloon is inflated, a wire mesh coil called the stent is inserted to keep the artery open.
Angina is not a disease in and of itself. It is a symptom of heart disease. In order to lower the risk of heart disease, there are several lifestyle changes you can make:
- Cut out smoking
- Eat a healthy diet
- Carry out safe exercise
- Pace yourself and take regular breaks
- Try to lower your cholesterol
- Avoid large meals
- Reduce stress
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Take preventive steps against obesity
Of course, all of these steps should be carried out under the supervision or advice of a qualified medical practitioner.
If you need advice or support to get a diagnosis, testing or treatment for angina, Venturi Cardiology is the best angina treatment centre in the North West.
You can take a look at our services here: https://www.venturicardiology.com/ Or you can book a consultation here