Probably the most common symptom of heart disease is angina. Angina pectoris is the medical name given to this chest pain. This kind of discomfort or pain can manifest itself in a number of different ways. People might feel pressure, heaviness burning, awful feeling, an ache or burning. Indigestion can also show up in people in a similar fashion.
Angina is usually localized in the chest, but pain may be felt in the shoulders neck areas, the jaw or the back.
You shouldn’t ignore the symptoms described above. Even if you have never even been assessed as being at risk for having heart disease you should seek treatment right away. If you already have angina take your medication as quickly as possible and attempt to assess the seriousness of your latest attack. Is it your regular pattern or have your symptoms that worse?
Origins of Angina
In a sense the heart is the source of all the pain that can be described as angina. That is because angina is always caused by decreased flow of blood to the heart. Since the blood is the medium that nourishes the heart with oxygen and nutrients, decreased blood flow means the hearts is starved for oxygen and nutrients. The heart is designed to continue pumping blood, but it has to rely on less desirable or efficient fuel to do so. Burning this “bad” fuel produces a substance called lactic acid. Lactic acid tends to accumulate in muscle tissue and that produces pain. Certain angina medicines address this issue by actually preventing the heart from using the less desirable fuel in the first place.
There are different types of angina:
• Stable angina – As we hinted at above angina can occur according to certain patterns or in response to certain physiological or psychological events. These may include exercise or emotional upsets, for example. It goes away when these events are done.
• *Unstable angina – This type of angina may be a warning sign that a heart attack is about to occur. This type of angina will likely be more intense and last longer than stable angina and occurs without any apparent cause or provocation when the sufferer is at Medication can allay the symptoms of unstable angina, but the possibility of an imminent heart attack should not be ignored when it occurs. Emergency intervention by healthcare professionals is typically needed.
• Prinzmetal’s angina – The third type of angina also occurs during rest or sleep. Cold temperature can bring it on as well. The cause of decreased blood flow to the heart in this instance is actually a spasm of the coronary artery. Although a spasm is the cause this condition it is also strongly associated with coronary artery disease. Typically spasms occur close to arterial blockages.
Is Angina a Sure Sign of Coronary Heart Disease?
The answer to the question in the heading is “Not necessarily.” As many as 30 per cent of patients with angina have aortic stenosis and they should be secured with heart attack insurance. That is a heart valve condition which also interferes with the flow of blood to the heart. Anemia may also bring on angina. If the anemia is severe enough their blood can’t hold enough oxygen in its cells. A thickened heart muscle can cause angina, because as the heart thickens its demands for oxygen increase. In sum, angina almost always indicates a serious pathology and this symptom should not be ignored.