How to Treat Angina

By: peterhutch

Angina attack is an acute chest pain or discomfort felt around the chest area on account of reduced blood flow to heart due to narrowing of the arteries of the heart. Angina could also be caused due to increased demand of blood supply for the heart, blockage of artery, or thickening of heart muscles. Supplying more blood through narrow arteries causes discomfort, sudden pressure, tightness, heaviness or squeezing pain in the chest area which leads to Angina.

True angina can be very serious, but if it is just the pain, not an actual heart problem it may be caused by muscle tension known as Trigger Points which you can locate on your back in the iliocostalis muscles which run along each side of your spine. They can also cause pain mimicking pleurisy, appendicitis, kidney stones, tumors, rib inflamation, ligament tear or disc problems. If you put a tennis ball inside of a long sock (to hang onto it), you can massage the muscles on your back by pressing into a wall.

Boost your vitamins--A, C and E. Here's another benefit of a low-fat vegetarian diet: It's rich in the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E--three nutrients that have been found to help prevent or control angina.

Sit down. Medication or no, your first response to angina should be to sit down and relax, says Dr. Ouyang. If you're having an arterial spasm, it will subside in a minute or two and release its grip on your artery. If clogged arteries are to blame, relief upon resting may suggest that whatever you were doing when the pain hit required more oxygen than your clogged arteries could deliver. Sitting down reduces the workload on your heart and should relieve the pain.

Goals of Treatment - All of the medical and interventional treatments for people with coronary heart disease have the same goals: to decrease improve quality of life and to alleviate symptoms such as angina. In some people, these interventions may also delay or stop the progression of the disease and thereby prolong life.

Aspirin makes platelets less "sticky," decreasing the chances of blood clot formation. One 75 to 325 mg coated tablet daily is the typical dosage for chronic stable angina and unstable angina.

Studies have shown that some patients are resistant to the effects of aspirin therapy. Regular blood tests may be performed to monitor the patient's response; the results of these tests can be used to adjust the aspirin dosage or change the medication.

When physical exertion, strong emotions, extreme temperatures, or eating increase the demand on the heart, a person with angina feels temporary pain, pressure, fullness, or squeezing in the center of the chest or in the neck, shoulder, jaw, upper arm, or upper back. This is angina, especially if the discomfort is relieved by removing the stressor and/or taking sublingual (under the tongue) nitroglycerin.

Typically, angina is described as a "pressure" or "squeezing" pain that starts in the center of the chest and may spread to the shoulders or arms (most often on the left side, although either or both sides may be involved), the neck, jaw or back. It is usually triggered by extra demand on the heart: exercise, an emotional upset, exposure to cold, digesting a heavy meal is common examples.

Calcium antagonists are extremely effective in preventing the coronary spasm of variant or Prinzmetal's angina. These drugs, along with nitrates, are the mainstays of treatment. Prinzmetal's angina tends to be cyclic, appearing for a time, then going away.

Heart Conditions
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