More commonly known as chest pain, angina can be experienced by sufferers of CAD as a discomfort, a pressure or heaviness on the chest. For me, this was the most significant symptom that warned me I was on the verge again of having another heart attack. Sometimes it was an aching, burning sensation, or a feeling of fullness that often times, I attributed to indigestion.
It was mostly chest pain, but sometimes also, the pain would radiate towards my left arm and back. Other sufferers might experience the pain going through their shoulders, neck, jaw or throat.
If there is one advice I could share with you is to take note of these eecp near me symptoms and never ignore them. I did once and it resulted to a heart attack when I was just 44 years old. Even if you have never been diagnosed with any heart problem, please seek treatment as soon as possible – no, immediately. And if you know you have angina, you must take your anti angina medicines as prescribed by your doctor. Make sure you tell the doctor the precise nature of the pain, when it happened and what you exactly you were doing. With the doctor’s help, you can determine if the pain you have experienced were regularly occurring or if the pain is becoming worse and more frequent, even if you are at rest and not doing any physical efforts.
Causes of Angina
It starts with the decrease of blood flow to the heart. When this happens, oxygen and vital nutrients do not reach the heart muscles. The heart them must use another type of fuel, but a less efficient one so it can continue to pump blood to the rest of the body. This use of another less efficient fuel leads to the production of lactic acid. Lactic acid builds up in the muscles and its accumulation cause pain. The same thing happens with muscles in the legs or arms when you work out too much. The pain in the muscles of the arms and legs is caused by lactic acid also. There are drugs that are used to counteract this tendency of the heart to use an inefficient fuel.
Types of Angina
There are three types of angina, namely:
1. Stable angina – pain is experienced only while doing physical activities or during intense emotional episodes. Taking a rest will usually make the pain disappear.
2. Unstable angina – chest pain experienced from this type may occur more frequently and even while resting or doing minimal activity. Oral medications can usually relieve symptoms but because the pain is unstable, it may be a precursor to a heart attack.
3. Prinzmetal’s angina – pain comes even if you are at rest, sleeping or just being exposed to cold temperatures. Pain is caused by diminished blood flow to the heart’s muscle or due to spasms of the coronary artery very near the blockage.
A doctor can make a diagnosis of angina after asking the patient a series of questions to find out what the symptoms are and under what circumstances pain appears. The doctor will ask you the intensity of the pain, what part of your body experienced the worst pain and what you were doing when the pain came. In my case, I vaguely remember now (it was 9 years ago when I first experienced angina) the chest pain and shortness of breath that followed. I remember becoming nervous and afraid since it was the first time I experienced such pain. I thought then that I was already having a heart attack. I went to a hospital near where I was working at the time. The doctor had me put on a nitroglycerin patch which immediately gave me a terrible headache and advised me to see a cardiologist the next day. You guessed it, I postponed the visit but only for three days. The first episode of pain occurred on a Monday and I went the next Thursday. The cardiologist told me that indeed it was possible that I have blockage on my heart arteries so he told me to stay in the hospital to have my heart examined. I went to the hospital that weekend to undergo a series of test: exercise stress test, ECK, and echo cardiogram. They all pointed to the possibility of coronary artery disease. What remained for me to undergo was angiogram. It was impossible for me to have that then for financial reasons. I asked the doctor to honestly tell me my chances and he told me we could still try to control the progress of my disease through medication.