Angina pectoris or chest pain is one of the conditions which are triggered by the problems in the cardiovascular system. The disease means “the squeezing of the chest” in Latin. While the sufferer does not really feel the pain around his or her chest, the disease causes discomfort around the chest such as the sensations of choking, burning, squeezing, heaviness, and pressure. Sometimes, the sensations can also be experienced in shoulders, jaw, neck area, back, and upper central abdomen. Besides the said symptoms, a person who suffers from the disease may also show other signs such as heartburn, weakness, sweating, nausea, cramping, shortness of breath, and indigestion.
Typically, angina pectoris is recognized in two types:
– Stable angina is found more often in people. The symptoms of this type occur regularly and are foreseeable. Usually, people with this type suffer from the chest discomfort during exercise and stress, or after consuming heavy meals. Generally, the symptoms last not more than five minutes and improve when the patient rests or takes medications such as nitroglycerin, amlodipine besylate, or ranolazine.
– Unstable angina is found less often but more serious than the first type. Unlike the stable one, the occurrence of unstable angina can not be predicted. The symptoms of this type also tend to be more severe. Unstable angina usually creates more pain and occurs longer and more frequent. Usual medication or resting can not improve the symptoms. While unstable angina differs from heart attack, it is often noted as the precursor to heart attack.
People who are at risk of angina are:
– Men above 55 years old,
– Women above 65 years old,
– Obese or overweight,
– Cigarette smokers,
– Having high blood pressure,
– Having high cholesterol levels,
– Physically inactive,
– Having kidney disease,
– Having diabetes mellitus, and
– Having family history of premature cardiovascular disease (men who suffer from heart disease below the age of 55 or women who suffer from the same disease below 65 year old).
Nitroglycerin in spray or tablet, calcium channel blockers, and beta blockers are common medications given to angina patients between resting. For more permanent result, angioplasty and coronary artery bypass surgery are suggested for the patients. While medications and surgeries can be given as angina treatments, to reduce and prevent the occurrence of the disease, the patients need to change their lifestyle. To prevent angina as well as other cardiovascular diseases, you need to exercise regularly, maintain normal weight, avoid stress, consume healthy diet, and stop alcohol and cigarette consumption.