Heart Angina Information
Having chest pain can be a very frightening experience, especially since in most cases it may be associated with heart attacks. The pain usually starts in the chest and may quickly spread to the arms, jaw, neck or back. It usually comes on suddenly and only last for a short period, but if you have never had a heart angina episode, it is best you head straight to the emergency room without waiting for it to get worse. Heart angina may be caused by other health problems such as indigestion or anxiety, but it is always wise to stay on the safe side until your doctor has diagnosed you. Many people have died because they waited too long to go to the hospital with these symptoms.
There are different types of heart angina and each must be dealt with in their own manner. If you are having only occasional mild onsets, your doctor may feel you can be treated with drugs, diet and lifestyle changes. If you are having stronger more frequent attacks, you may have to end up having heart surgery.
The most classic form of heart angina is known as angina pectoris. This is the form of angina associated with coronary heart problems. This is usually caused by hardening of the arteries, which comes with old age and diet. As we get older our arteries have more of a tendency to lose their elasticity. The medical term for this is arteriosclerosis. Another thing that can happen to the arteries is they become narrowed because of diets high in cholesterol and fats. Both of these processes happen over a long period of time and you could go for years with no problems. However, once the arteries become sufficiently clogged to interfere with blood flow to the heart, then symptoms of heart angina begin to appear.
Usually angina pectoris is associated with some classic factors. Some of the factors that may bring on an attack of heart angina is too much exertion, anxiety, and the heightened blood flow needed to digest a large meal.
The two other forms of heart angina are variant angina pectoris and unstable angina pectoris. Variant angina pectoris sometimes occurs while sleeping or just sitting quietly. This type of angina is hard for doctors to diagnose, but the general prognosis is it is caused by a spasm in the coronary artery which slows down or temporarily cuts off blood flow. Both classic angina pectoris and variant pectoris can many times be treated without surgery if the patient is able to make lifestyle changes and/or diet changes.
At times individuals develop signs of both classic pectoris and variant pectoris; they have heart angina often, both at rest and in times of exertion. When this happens, the chances for a heart attack are increased and the problem may have to be dealt with on a surgical basis.
There are three ways that heart angina can be treated. Below they are discussed very briefly.
1-Lifestyle changes – If you smoke, you need to stop. Tobacco is a drug and it causes the heart to work harder as well as doing damage to your bodies organs. If you are overweight, the heart also has to work harder to pump blood through your body. You need to go on a weight loss diet low in cholesterol and fats. You may want to consider a bypass surgery diet which would be perfect for the situation.
2 – Drugs – Nitrates and beta blockers are two drugs that can give relief to heart angina symptoms. Beta blocking drugs slow down the rate of heart beat, thus reducing its workload and lowering needed oxygen levels. Nitrates are administered under the tongue in the form of nitroglycerin, as a cream absorbed by the skin, or by tablets to help avoid an attack. There are also new drugs on the horizon.
3 – Surgery – If a patient is having more frequent and stronger attacks even using while using angina heart drugs, the physician is probably going to start suggesting surgery. This is a last resort measure but at times must be taken. Be certain you are familiar with the bypass surgery complications that can occur if you find you require surgery.
There are times when individuals have no warning before a heart attack. These are called silent heart attacks and are very dangerous. For this reason everyone should have periodic checkups and inform their physician about any heart angina sypmtoms they may be having.