Coronary heart disease has many symptoms. Angina pectoris happens to be the most common symptom. This is also known as regular chest pain. It is something that people explain as discomfort, pressure, fullness, heaviness, squeezing, aching, or a painful feeling in their chest. It has also been known to fool people into thinking they only have indigestion.
Although it is normally something that is felt in the chest, it can also be felt in the neck, throat, arms, shoulders, jaw, or back. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you want to see you doctor as soon as possible. If you are someone that has no heart disease that you know of, treatment is something you want to seek immediately. If you have been diagnosed with angina before, then take the medications as you doctor directed you to do. You will also want to try to figure out your regular pattern of the angina, and note if the symptoms are worse than before. This is what is known as unstable angina.
When there is less blood flow to a general area of the heart it frequently causes angina. When the blood flow is decreased, this damages the distribution of oxygen and vigorous nutrients to the cells of the person’s heart muscle. This often results in the heart muscle needing to use different forms of fuel that are not as effective for pumping the blood to the body properly. Lactic acid is the byproduct of using this less efficient form of fuel, thus building up the muscle and causing pain.
There are three different types of angina. When it occurs while a person is at rest, or when the person is asleep is known as prinsmatal’s angina. It also occurs when you are in various types of places that are cold. A coronary artery spasm causes a lower amount of blood flow to go to the person’s heart, resulting in painful symptoms. Coronary artery disease is also a condition that is commonly found in people that suffer from this form of angina.
Stable angina is a form that only happens when a person is under excessive emotional stress, or they are overexerting themselves in some type of activity. The symptoms of this kind of angina will go away when the individual is at rest.
Unstable is generally a warning sign that a future heart attack is imminent. The pain that is experienced with unstable angina is quite a bit different than what is experienced with regular angina. This type usually feels a lot more severe, it will happen more often, and last much longer. It also occurs much easier when the person is engaging in very little activity or while resting. What is frustrating about unstable angina is medications generally will relieve the symptoms, but the progression into a heart attack can happen very easily. This is a form of angina that requires intense and immediate medical attention, as medical procedures are often needed.
Even when coronary heart disease is not present, angina can still happen. There is close to 30 percent of the people who have angina that also have aortic stenosis causing a drop in the blood flow to arteries from the heart. People that have a bad case of anemia might also have this condition since their blood doesn’t have enough oxygen.