The term ‘angina’ refers to a pain in the heart. In most cases, it’s due to the narrowing of the heart (coronary) arteries. Standard treatment usually involves administering a statin medicine in order to lower cholesterol levels, a beta-blocker to protect the heart and stop the pain, and low-dose aspirin to ward off a heart attack. Occasionally, surgery and/or angioplasty are options that doctors also employ to either bypass or widen narrowed arteries.
The pain itself comes from the heart and is more common among men than women. It usually occurs in people aged 50 or older, although younger people have experienced it as well.
How Coronary Arteries Work
The heart is primarily made of unique muscle tissue and works by pumping blood into your arteries that transfer it to every other area of your body. Similar to other muscles, your heart needs an adequate supply of blood in order to properly function. The coronary arteries work to transport blood to the pumping heart muscle and are the first arteries that branch off your aorta, which is the primary artery that takes blood from the heart to every other area throughout your body.
If you’re experiencing angina, then it’s likely that one or more of your heart arteries are narrowing. This in turn causes less blood to circulate to parts of the heart muscle. When you’re at rest, there may be enough blood supply. But, when the heart has to work harder (i.e., climbing stairs or walking fast) it requires more oxygen and blood. If the surplus blood that the heart requires can’t get through the narrowed heart arteries, it responds in the form of pain.
Artery narrowing is caused by a condition known as atheroma, which is plaques or fatty-like patches that tend to develop inside the lining of the arteries (think drain pipes getting clogged with debris).
Atheroma plaques can be in one or more areas along the coronary arteries and progressively develop over many years. Eventually, they can grow in size and cause one or more arteries to narrow enough to cause significant symptoms. Atheroma can form in virtually any area of the heart arteries.
The most common symptom is an aching pain, tightness, or discomfort that’s felt across the front area of the chest when you’re exerting yourself; perhaps in the case of briskly walking upstairs. Also, you may experience pain in your stomach, neck, jaw, and arms in addition to the chest as well.
Angina pain typically doesn’t last very long. The pain usually subsides within 5-10 minutes after you stop exerting yourself and rest. Having a heated argument or a nightmare can also trigger the pain. Sometimes the pain can more easily develop after a meal in some cases. Contact RejuvaHeart™ Clinics today to regain a full, energetic lifestyle.
Less Frequent Symptoms
Some individuals experience less typical pains, for instance, pains that arise when eating or bending over. Unfortunately, if the symptoms aren’t characteristic of the condition, it can be somewhat difficult to diagnose and determine the difference between the condition itself and other key causes of chest pain, including heartburn or a pulled chest muscle.
If you think you may have angina and you want to try an alternate way of treating it, consider RejuvaHeart™ at one of the available RejuvaHeart™ Clinics. Schedule your initial visit today in order to find a reputable doctor that offers this highly innovative treatment so you can return to a pain-free lifestyle as quickly as possible.