Angina is a medical condition that affects the cardiovascular system, namely the heart. It occurs when there is not enough blood flow to the heart.
Specifically, angina is related to the oxygen in the blood. If there is not enough oxygen going to the heart, it cannot pump and function as well as it should and will affect a person’s heart health and overall sense of well-being.
Types of angina
There are three different types of angina that a person may suffer from. Stable angina is chest a form of angina that occurs when a person is working their heart more than they normally would. This can include intense exercise or other stressful situations. When a person suffers from stable angina, it has a regular and predictable pattern. Unstable angina, on the other hand, has no predictable pattern and can occur even without physical exertion. This makes unstable angina very dangerous. The third type of angina is referred to as variant angina and happens when a person is at rest.
Angina is a condition that is associated with coronary artery disease (CAD) which is a form of heart disease. When a person suffers from coronary artery disease, it means that there are plaque buildups in their arteries that cause the passageways to narrow. This means that less blood can flow through those arteries, contributing to angina.
Most common symptoms
The most common sign or symptom of angina is chest pain and discomfort. It can be experienced as pressure on the chest.
A person may also experience pain in their neck, arms, and shoulder and because of this may be confused with signs of a heart attack. Nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, and sweating are also common symptoms of angina.
The most common reason for angina is coronary artery disease, which occurs when your arteries are narrowed by fatty deposits called plaques. The pain of angina occurs because of reduced blood flow to the heart.
Angina typically occurs after physical exertion, when your heart’s demand for oxygen increases, although other conditions may trigger an episode, such as stress, extreme temperatures, big meals, and smoking.
Because coronary artery disease is the most common cause of angina, we must pay attention to the factors that affect our risk of contracting the disease.
Lifestyle changes are usually recommended as treatment for angina. This can include weight loss, eating a healthier diet, and stopping alcohol consumption or tobacco use.
Sometimes, medications are also necessary to help manage angina. This can be done by taking daily aspirin or possibly nitrates or other prescriptions.
If a person’s angina is severe and/or their coronary artery disease is advanced, they may require an angioplasty, stent procedure, or coronary artery bypass surgery may be necessary as well.
While hormones protect women from heart disease and help them live on average a decade longer than men, gender doesn’t offer a free pass; angina affects as many women as men. To reduce the risk of angina, we must control the lifestyle factors that lead to heart disease.