In this article, we will take a look at:
- What is Angina?
- How does Angina occur?
- Who is prone to Angina?
- Symptoms of Angina
- Diagnosis of Angina
- Complications of Angina
- Treatment for Angina
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What is angina?
Angina is a warning sign of a heart attack as it creates a feeling of a pressure or squeezing in the chest. This form of heart disease is caused when there is some kind of disruption in the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. The weak blood flow and blockages in the arteries cause chest pain in cases of angina. According to doctors, there can be three types of this particular heart disease:
- Stable Angina
- Unstable Angina
- Prinzmetal's Angina (often known as Variant Angina).
How does angina occur?
Angina is a heart disease and is primarily caused due to blockage in the arteries that carry oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscles. The fatty substances that get accumulated in the walls of arteries weaken the flow of the blood and as a result, it creates pressure on the normal functioning of the heart. The blood clot in the arteries creates pain in the chest, making the person more prone to heart attacks.
Who is prone to angina?
Chronic angina is a heart disease and can happen to anyone who is exposed to risk factors of any other forms of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) or Coronary Artery Disease (CAD).
Primary risk factors that might lead to any form of CHD or CAD including angina are as follows:
- High cholesterol level
- High blood pressure
- Severe addiction to smoking
- High glucose level in the blood
- Obesity or being overweight
- Having heart disease in the family
- Insufficient physical activity
- Metabolic syndrome
The susceptibility to angina is higher in cases of men aged 45 or more and women aged 55 or more, though both of them have an equal probability of developing this particular type of heart disease.
What are the symptoms of Angina? How is Angina diagnosed?
Chest pain is the primary symptom of angina. Angina related chest pain makes you feel tight and heavy in the chest. The pain is felt at the left portion of the body from back, neck, jaw and extends up to the left arm. Too much physical activities and stress initiate the sudden chest pain and the pain tends to stop after taking sufficient rest for some time.
Apart from the very common symptom of chest pain, there are some other symptoms as well which have been reported by affected patients, like:
- Feeling of breathlessness
- Indigestion like discomfort in the lower portion of chest and belly
- Feeling of nausea
- Experiencing severe tiredness from time to time
Diagnosis of angina is conducted by several tests recommended by the concerned healthcare practitioner. Depending on the symptoms reported by a patient the concerned doctor may go for certain tests as follows to confirm if the disease is angina:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Stress Test
- X-ray of Chest
- Blood Sample Tests
- Coronary Angiography
- Cardiac Computerised Tomography (CT) Scan
- Cardiac MRI
What are the complications of angina?
The primary threat of angina is the higher probability of being exposed to cardiac arrest if not detected and diagnosed in time. Any form of angina if left ignored and untreated can lead to a heart attack at any stage thereafter. According to doctors, unstable angina and variant angina demand strict changes in lifestyle and immediate medication to curb the chance of a cardiac arrest.
What is the treatment for angina?
Patients diagnosed with angina are frequently asked to follow some lifestyle changes and medications. Apart from these, there are some other advanced medical procedures to treat angina, such as coronary artery bypass surgery, angioplasty, and stenting. These medical procedures are not mandatory and they are performed if and only any form of positive changes are not achieved through prescribed lifestyle changes and proper medications.
Questions answered by trusted doctors
Did you know?
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