What Is Chest pain (angina)?
A feeling of squeezing or pressure in the chest may be associated with angina. It may be a feeling like a heart attack, however, most of the times; it is considered as a warning sign of the future heart attack.
The chest pain (angina) can happen if the sufficient amount of blood is not flowing into the parts of the heart. It is regarded as a symptom of the heart disease. It can occur if anything blocks the arteries or there is a decreased blood flow in some arteries. Arteries are responsible in order to bring the oxygen-rich blood in the heart.
Angina generally goes away in a short period of time. But, it can be an alarming sign of a life-risking heart problem. It is very important to get checked by a specialist as early as possible in order to avoid a heart attack.
Angina can be of different types as follows:
- Stable angina: It is the most common type of angina. It can be triggered by the physical activities or stress. It can last for a few minutes and goes away when an individual takes rest. Stable angina is not a heart attack, although it can be an alarming sign of developing heart attack in the near future. A Specialist should be consulted without any delay.
- Unstable angina: An individual can experience this type of angina while he/she is not very active or taking rest. The pain, associated with it, can be strong as well as long-lasting. It can frequently come back. It is considered as a signal of developing heart attack very soon. So, a Specialist should be consulted in this regard as soon as possible.
- Prinzmetal's angina (or variant angina): It is a rare type of angina that can happen at night in the time of resting or sleeping. The arteries in the heart can suddenly narrow or tightened. It can be associated with lots of pain and individuals should be given the proper treatment as soon as possible.
What Are The Symptoms Of Chest pain (angina)?
Chest pain (angina) that is experienced in the chest region can be associated with the following symptoms:
- Pressure, squeezing
- Tightening, heaviness
- Aching or burning across the chest, it usually starts behind the breastbone.
The particular pain can be spread into the jaw, neck, throat, shoulders, teeth, or back. Sometimes, patients can also complain of the following symptoms:
- Heartburn, indigestion
- Sweating, shortness of breath.
- Weakness, nausea
Stable angina generally lasts for a small period of time. Sometimes, it may feel like indigestion or gas. Unstable angina generally occurs at a resting position. It can be a surprising effect as well as lasts longer and may be complicated over time. Another type of angina is variant angina that generally occurs at a resting posting and can be severe.
What Are The Causes Of Chest pain (angina)?
Chest pain (angina) usually occurs due to a heart disease. If a fatty substance (plaque) builds up in the arteries, then it can block the normal blood flow to the heart muscles. For this particular situation, the heart is forced in order to work with less oxygen. It results in pain. The arteries can also be associated with the blood clots that can result in heart attacks.
Some of the less common causes of the angina are as follows:
- If a major artery of the lungs (called pulmonary embolism) is associated with a blockage, then the angina can develop.
- If a valve in the central part of the heart (aortic stenosis) gets narrowed, then the angina can occur.
- A thickened or enlarged heart (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) can develop this particular situation.
- If the sac associated with heart (pericarditis), experiences swelling, then angina may develop.
- Tearing of the aorta (the largest artery in the body) wall can develop this situation.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Chest pain (angina)?
- To protect oneself from angina, following things can be done after consulting with the doctor:
- Before initiating any prolonged physical activity like having intercourse or walking uphill, consider taking nitroglycerin (ask your doctor before taking it).
- Consider Deep breathing: Stress is one of the major causes of angina pain. Therefore, it is important to manage stress. Stress can be released by performing deep breathing.
- Maintain a healthy weight: A healthy weight should be maintained in order to protect the heart. An overweight can force the heart in order to work harder for pumping blood across the body and that can result in an increased blood pressure. It can trigger the chest pain.
- Stop your activity as soon as angina pain is felt: If one experiences angina pain while performing some activity, he/she must immediately discontinue the particular activity and take rest.
- Immediately stand up or sit, if angina is experienced while sleeping or lying. This helps to release the pressure built-up in the heart.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Chest pain (angina)?
To protect oneself from chest pain following things should not be done after consulting with the doctor:
- Do not do heavy exercises: Regular exercising as well as maintaining an active schedule is very important in order to keep the heart as well as blood vessels in a good working condition. Proper exercise can also be helpful in order to lose weight and maintain a healthy blood pressure level. Thus, angina can be prevented. Make sure you don’t do vigorous exercises and it should be conducted under expert guidance as heavy exercise may increase the chances of angina.
- Do not work in an industry that requires vigorous physical activities: Try to change the job, if it requires heavy physical work. As heavy physical work may induce the episodes of angina pain.
What Are The Best Foods For Chest pain (angina)?
Following foods can be consumed when suffering from angina pain after consulting with the doctor:
- Fibre-rich foods: These types of foods help in maintaining a lower cholesterol level and thus prevent chest pain (angina). Such types of foods are beans, oats, peas, barley, apples, citrus, and psyllium.
- Consume lean proteins: Lean proteins such as fish, skinless chicken, and beans are helpful in preventing chest pain (angina).
- Vitamin C rich foods: Consuming vitamin C rich diet helps to keep the cholesterol under control. Good cholesterol level significantly decreases the risk of angina pain. Vitamin C rich foods that one must consume are oranges, grapes, pineapple, broccoli, etc.
What Are The Worst Foods For Chest pain (angina)?
Following foods should not be consumed in the case of angina pain:
- Consume less red meat: Red meat, such as lamb, pork, goat, veal, etc. is rich in saturated fat that enhances the cholesterol levels. An individual should try to consume one meat-free meal on a regular basis in order to prevent angina.
- Limit your salt intake: Salt can cause fluid retention that can enhance the blood pressure as well as can worsen chest pain. High sodium foods that one must avoid to reduce the risk of angina are pickles, pizza, etc.
What Are The Medicines For Chest pain (angina)?
What Are The Tips To Manage Chest pain (angina)?
If an individual is associated with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, then he/she should take care of the following things in order to prevent angina:
- A healthy blood pressure should be maintained. Lower blood pressure will also be helpful in various other health issues, such as kidney disease, diabetes, heart problems, or stroke.
- Keeping a healthy blood sugar level is also very important for preventing angina.