Angina is chest pain or discomfort caused when the heart muscle doesn't get enough oxygen-rich blood. It may feel like pressure or squeezing in the chest. The pain also can occur in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back. Angina isn't a disease; it's a symptom of an underlying heart problem.










Angina Pectoris FAQ

What causes angina?

Angina is usually caused by coronary artery disease. When the arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood become narrowed by a buildup of plaque, the blood supply to the heart can become restricted, leading to angina.

Is angina a heart attack?

Angina is not a heart attack. It is a symptom of an underlying heart problem, often related to coronary artery disease. However, if angina pain is severe or prolonged, it may be a sign of an impending heart attack.

How is angina diagnosed?

Angina is diagnosed through a combination of medical history, symptoms, physical examination, and tests such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), stress test, coronary angiography, or imaging tests like CT scans or MRIs.

What are the treatment options for angina?

Treatment for angina may include lifestyle changes, medications such as nitroglycerin, beta-blockers, or calcium channel blockers, and in some cases, medical procedures like angioplasty or bypass surgery.

Can angina be prevented?

Preventing angina involves managing risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity. Quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and managing stress are also important in preventing angina.

What are the typical symptoms of angina?

Angina symptoms can include chest pain or discomfort, pain in the arms, neck, jaw, shoulders, or back, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, or lightheadedness.

Is angina a chronic condition?

Angina is considered a chronic condition because it is a recurring symptom of an underlying heart problem, generally coronary artery disease. However, with proper management, angina symptoms can be controlled and the risk of complications reduced.

When should I seek medical help for angina?

Seek emergency medical help if angina symptoms are new, have changed, or are occurring more frequently, or if they do not respond to medication. Also, if angina pain is severe, prolonged, or occurs at rest, it could indicate a more serious problem such as a heart attack.

Is angina more common in men or women?

Angina is more common in men than in women. However, after menopause, the risk of angina in women increases and eventually equals that in men.

Can stress trigger angina?

Yes, stress can trigger angina or make it worse. Learning stress management techniques and finding healthy ways to cope with stress can be helpful in managing angina symptoms.

What role does diet play in managing angina?

A heart-healthy diet low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, and sodium can help manage angina symptoms by reducing the risk of further narrowing of the coronary arteries and lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Is physical activity safe for individuals with angina?

Regular physical activity is important for managing angina, but it's essential to consult your healthcare provider before starting or increasing exercise. A tailored exercise program can help improve cardiovascular fitness and reduce angina symptoms.

Can medications for angina have side effects?

Yes, medications used to treat angina can have side effects. Common side effects may include headaches, dizziness, flushing, and low blood pressure. Always consult your doctor and pharmacist about potential side effects and how to manage them.

Can angina cause complications?

Untreated or poorly managed angina can lead to complications such as heart attack, heart failure, or arrhythmias. It's crucial to seek appropriate treatment and follow a healthcare provider's advice to reduce the risk of complications.

How does smoking affect angina?

Smoking can significantly worsen angina and increase the risk of heart disease. Quitting smoking is one of the most important steps to manage angina and improve heart health.

Is angina always associated with physical activity?

Angina is commonly associated with physical activity or emotional stress that increases the heart's workload. However, it can also occur at rest or with minimal exertion, known as unstable angina, which requires immediate medical attention.

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