Angina (Cardiac Pain)
Written By Dr. Gopal Mavani, EECP Consultant - Saaol Heart Center Surat.
What is Angina?
Angina : is the medical term for chest pain or discomfort due to coronary heart disease. It occurs when the heart muscle doesn't get as much blood as it needs. This usually happens because one or more of the heart's arteries are narrowed or blocked, also called ischemia. Angina is a type of chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart. Angina is a symptom of coronary artery disease.
Angina, which may also be called angina pectoris, is often described as squeezing, pressure, heaviness, tightness or pain in your chest. Some people with angina symptoms describe angina as feeling like a vise is squeezing their chest or feeling like a heavy weight has been placed on their chest.
Symptoms Of Angina.
- Chest pain or discomfort, possibly described as pressure, squeezing, burning or fullness.
- Pain in your arms, neck, jaw, shoulder or back accompanying chest pain.
- Shortness of breath.
How To Diagnose?
- Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG).
- Stress test (treadmill Test Or TMT).
- Echocardiogram (2D Echo).
- Coronary angiography.
- Cardiac computerized tomography (CT) scan.
- Blood tests: (Certain heart enzymes slowly leak out into your blood if your heart has been damaged by a heart attack. Samples of your blood can be tested for the presence of these enzymes).
There are many options for angina treatment, including lifestyle changes, medications and invasive procedure. A treatment called EECP is approved by US-FDA to treat patients with Refractory Angina. The goals of treatments are to reduce the frequency and severity of your symptoms and to lower your risk of a heart attack and death.
If your angina is mild, lifestyle changes may be all you need. Even if your angina is severe, making lifestyle changes can still help. Changes include:
- Stop smoking.
- If you're overweight, talk to your doctor about weight-loss options.
- Eat a healthy diet with limited amounts of saturated fat, lots of whole grains, and many fruits and vegetables.
- Because angina is often brought on by exertion, it's helpful to pace yourself and take rest breaks.
- Treat diseases or conditions that can increase your risk of angina, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol.
- Avoid large meals that make you feel overly full.
- Avoiding stress is easier said than done, but try to find ways to relax. Talk with your doctor about stress-reduction techniques.
- Limit alcohol consumption.