Commonly known as chest pain, Angina is a condition wherein the individual experiences discomfort and pain in the chest due to inadequate supply of oxygen to the heart, causing the heart to pump faster or harder. Although not a disease on its own, angina is often a common symptom that highlights the presence of underlying heart conditions.
Angina is often described as tightness or pressure in the chest region, which can travel to the neck, shoulders, jaw, arms and back. Sometimes, the lack of oxygen to the heart can also result in fatigue, nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating or even shortness of breath, which are known as “angina equivalents”.
There are 4 commonly known types of anginas today, namely, Stable angina (Angina pectoris), Unstable angina, Microvascular angina as well as Prinzmetal angina. The underlying cause for these different types is the lack of oxygen in the heart. However, there are various factors that can result in the inadequate supply of oxygen to the heart, which are as follows:
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Coronary microvascular disease
  • Coronary artery spasm
Various factors also determine the chances of you experiencing angina including anemia, chronic stress, diabetes, too much alcohol intake, fatty diets, genetics and heredity, heart failure or diseases, active or passive smoking, obesity, older age, etc.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis and treatment of angina often involves identifying and treating the underlying medical condition that is causing it. Common treatment methods can include:
  • Anticoagulant medication
  • Blood pressure medication
  • Cholesterol medication
  • Coronary artery bypass grafting
  • Percutaneous coronary intervention (coronary angioplasty)
  • Lifestyle changes

Prevention and Remedies

Along with the treatments recommended for the underlying health conditions, angina can also be greatly reduced by following a healthy and active lifestyle. Some common lifestyle changes one can make include:
  • Quit smoking
  • Eat healthy, balanced meals
  • Manage stress levels
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Manage risk factors for coronary artery diseases
  • Stay active and physical

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