Is it a Heart attack or Angina
There are different types of chest pain. And then there is chest pain that occurs in your heart and at times you might feel like you are having a heart attack. This is not a heart attack but a condition known as Angina.
Angina (an-JI-nuh or AN-juh-nuh) is chest pain or discomfort that occurs if an area of your heart muscle doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood.
Angina may feel like pressure or squeezing in your chest. The pain also can occur in your shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back. Angina pain may even feel like indigestion.
Angina isn’t a disease; it’s a symptom of an underlying heart problem. Angina usually is a symptom of coronary heart disease (CHD).
CHD is the most common type of heart disease in adults. It occurs if a waxy substance called plaque (plak) builds up on the inner walls of your coronary arteries. These arteries carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart.
Angina is a condition that is closely related to heart disease. In Fact the major risk factors that could cause a heart disease are similar to those that could cause Angina. The main culprits of course being inactivity and unhealthy eating.
Understand Your Risk for Angina
If you’re at risk for heart disease or coronary MVD, you’re also at risk for angina. The major risk factors for heart disease and coronary MVD include:
Unhealthy cholesterol levels
High blood pressure
Overweight or obesity
Older age (The risk increases for men after 45 years of age and for women after 55 years of age.)
Family history of early heart disease
Diagnosis of Angina
All chest pain should be checked out by a healthcare provider. If you have chest pain, your doctor will want to find out whether it’s angina and if it is, whether the angina is stable or unstable. If it’s unstable, you may need emergency medical treatment to try to prevent a heart attack.
Sourced from: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/SymptomsDiagnosisofHeartAttack/Angina-Chest-Pain_UCM_450308_Article.jsp#.WG-KCVV97IU
There are different kinds of treatment for Angina patients. They can receive treatment to minimize the effect of the symptoms. They can also be given treatment to prevent heart attack and stroke. The final mode of treatment is surgery and this is an option when the condition is worse.
Immediate relief from symptoms
Glyceryl trinitrate is a medication widely used to provide immediate relief from symptoms of angina. It can also be used as a preventative measure before doing activities known to trigger angina, such as exercise.
Glyceryl trinitrate belongs to a group of medication called nitrates. Nitrates work by relaxing and widening the blood vessels that increase the blood supply to the heart.
Glyceryl trinitrate is available in tablet form, which you dissolve under your tongue, or as a spray. You may experience headaches, flushing and dizziness soon after taking glyceryl trinitrate.
Reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke
Three medications are available to help reduce the risk of a heart attack and stroke in people with angina. They are:
Statins work by blocking the effects of an enzyme in your liver used to make cholesterol. Reducing blood cholesterol levels should prevent further damage to your coronary arteries and should reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke occurring.
Statins sometimes have mild side effects that can include constipation, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.
Low-dose aspirin is a type of medication called an antiplatelet. It’s used to reduce the “stickiness” of your blood to prevent blood clots, which can reduce your risk of having a heart attack.
Side effects of low-dose aspirin are uncommon, but can include irritation of the stomach or bowel, indigestion and feeling sick.
If you’re allergic to aspirin, or you’re unable to take it because of another health condition that may be aggravated by it, such as a stomach ulcer, alternative antiplatelet medicines are available.
Sourced from: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Angina/Pages/Treatment.aspx