Diagnostic Tests, Prevention and Treatment of Angina

Angina, or angina pectoris, is the medical term used to describe the temporary chest discomfort that occurs when the heart is not getting enough blood. The main cause of Angina pectoris is Coronary Artery Disease, due to atherosclerosis of the arteries feeding the heart. There is a weak relationship between severity of pain and degree of oxygen deprivation in the heart muscle. In some cases Angina can be extremely serious and has been known to cause death.

Angina is usually felt as:
  • pressure,
  • heaviness,
  • tightening,
  • squeezing, or
  • aching across the chest, particularly behind the breastbone.
This pain often radiates to the neck, jaw, arms, back, or even the teeth.

Patients may also suffer:
  • indigestion,
  • heartburn,
  • weakness,
  • sweating,
  • nausea,
  • cramping, and
  • shortness of breath.

Diagnostic Tests of Angina :
  • EKG (Electrocardiogram)
  • Stress Testing
  • Chest X Ray
  • Coronary Angiography and Cardiac Catheterization
  • Computed Tomography Angiography
  • Blood Tests

Prevention of Angina :

Healthy lifestyle choices can help prevent or delay angina and heart disease. To adopt a healthy lifestyle, you can:
  • Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke
  • Avoid angina triggers
  • Follow a healthy diet
  • Be physically active
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Learn ways to handle stress and relax
  • Take your medicines as your doctor prescribes

Treatmnet of Angina

Treatments for angina include lifestyle changes, medicines, medical procedures, cardiac rehabilitation (rehab), and other therapies. The main goals of treatment are to:

Reduce pain and discomfort and how often it occurs
Prevent or lower your risk for heart attack and death by treating your underlying heart condition

Lifestyle changes and medicines may be the only treatments needed if your symptoms are mild and aren't getting worse. If lifestyle changes and medicines don't control angina, you may need medical procedures or cardiac rehab.

Unstable angina is an emergency condition that requires treatment in a hospital.

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