Angina Pectoris

Heart disease can cause a number of issues from heart attacks to angina.

In both instances, chest pain occurs and while a heart attack is more serious and can cause heart damage, angina can be scary to the sufferer because they feel as if it could be a heart attack. If you have angina, you may realize that the chest pain lessens within a few minutes time.

Recognizing Angina Symptoms

Symptoms of angina are closely related to that of a heart attack. There is chest pain, although it could come in the form of a squeezing sensation, heavy pressure or even a sharp sensation.

You may experience the pain radiating to your jaw, the back of your left shoulder blade or even down your left arm. This pain may be more intense during or after physical exertion and taking a rest alleviates the pain.

The pain of angina can be exacerbated by overeating or stress and anxiety. Nervousness, hypertension and even cold weather fronts have a tendency to kick up angina attacks.

Some people finally progress from angina to an actual heart attack and this is usually detected when the pain does not abate and lingers on far beyond the few minutes of an angina attack.

The Biology of Angina

The heart muscle requires proper blood flow containing oxygen and nutrients and when it doesn’t get it, pain of angina is the result. Atherosclerosis is the usual culprit of angina.

This condition occurs when fatty deposits called plaque start to build-up along the walls of the arteries, especially those leading to the heart. When this happens, the artery stiffens up and because the passageway is narrower, your heart has to pump that much harder to gets blood flowing. This overexertion causes the angina pain.

Unfortunately, when you start getting angina, this means that your arteries are already in the throes of atherosclerosis. At this stage, doctors work with you to find the right combination of drugs to help prevent blood clots from forming and to maintain blood flow. There are a few other conditions like magnesium deficiency or even hypoglycemia that can cause angina but they are in the definite minority against atherosclerosis.

Treatment Options

The scary part of heart disease is the fact that the surgical procedures have as good a chance of killing as they have of helping you. Bypass surgery is an option as is angioplasty and cardiac catheterization. The best solution seems to be medication and lifestyle changes until greater strides can be made in cardiac surgeries to treat atherosclerosis, a major contributor of angina.

There are homeopathic remedies that might work for you in addition to those prescribed by a doctor. The homeopathic way should only be followed with someone who is well-versed and certified in it because each treatment is personalized for each individual’s needs.

Of course, moderate exercise and the need to change your diet are also important as well. Work to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Steer clear of saturated and trans fats and embrace omega-3 fatty acids as well as mono- and poly- unsaturated fats.

Whole grains, fruits and vegetables and low fat dairy and meats are important as well. Do what you can to avoid the surgery and you just might buy yourself some time.