What is Angina?
Angina (also known as angina pectoris) is a warning sign, a symptom of various heart diseases including but not limited to coronary heart diseases, congestive heart failure (CHF) arteriosclerosis, heart attack, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, coronary microvascular diseases (CMD) etc.
Statistically, experts believe that over 6 million people in the USA suffer from angina pectoris.
Angina is caused by flow of insufficient oxygen to the heart muscles which makes it suffers the glucose metabolism of the heart, thus reducing the energy made available for the heart to carry out its pumping action.
Symptoms of angina are very obvious once they set in
The major cause of angina pain is buildup of cholesterol on the arterial wall which cause narrowing of the arteries. If this happens on the carotid arteries it may result in terrible consequences i.e. Carotid stenosis.
Angina may be any of the following: stable, unstable, microvascular and variant (this type happens mostly at night with angina symptoms such as chest tightness and sudden breathing difficulty). The most common type is the stable angina.
One of the signs of angina is chest pain which may radiate to the jaw and the neck.
Symptoms of angina
Angina pain is a symptom of other diseases, however. when you experience this pain, there is a certain way you feel, also what you experience depends on the type of angina you are suffering from. Let us look at some of the angina symptoms.
- Sharp chest pain that may radiate to the jaw, shoulders and neck area.
- Shortness of breath.
- Profuse sweating
- Unstable angina may lead to sudden heart attack.
- Irregular heart beat (arrythmias).
Some of these symptoms of angina are very similar to other diseases’ symptoms thus the need to check in with your doctor for proper assessment.
Several diagnostic tests may be used to check angina, its type and severity on the angina symptoms presented and type. Here are few of them:
- Stress test to determine the level at which the pain surfaces.
- Computerized tomography angiograph.
- Blood test to check for cardiac problem biomarkers such as creatinine kinase (CK) and troponin. These two biomarkers slip out of the heart muscle when there is a degenerative disease in progress.
- Echocardiograph: This shows the images of your heart which helps to study the heart structures.
- Coronary angiograph and catheterization may also help in the study of heart health.
Recognizing the signs, and angina symptoms is always the first step to recovery. A large number of diseases are preventable if they promptly managed.