The Warning Signs of An Angina
One of the most common signs that you are about to have a massive heart attack. As common as it is, however, not many people understand what it is all about. For one, angina is typically used to describe a heart condition that involves extreme chest pain spreading to the extremities. This typically happens when there is insufficient supply of oxygen to the heart. Now, the latter, in turn, is caused by the narrowing of the arteries due to a build up of plaque.
What are the Different Types of Angina?
One type of Angina is known as the Prinzmetal angina. It involves temporary spasm of the coronary artery which leads to a decrease in the supply of blood flow to a certain area of the heart. Another type of angina is what is known as the Microvascular Angina. In this type of Angina, it is the smaller arteries that are affected instead of the bigger ones; thus, the name. A variant of the microvascular angina is known as the Syndrome X cardiac disease. In this type, the decrease in the supply of blood is not caused by vasospasm seen in Prinzmetal angina.
Causes of Angina
Aside from the narrowing of the blood vessels, another cause of angina is hypertension. The continuous pressure brought about by the pumping can prove to be too much for your heart. Conditions such as anemia and poisoning can also lead to angina in the same way as hyperthyroidism and stress.
Signs and Symptoms of Angina
The most common sign of angina is a squeezing pain in the chest that radiates to the arms, neck and jaw. It is oftentimes accompanied by shortness of breath and sweating. Generally, strenuous activities can make the angina worse. In some cases, a person suffering from angina might complain of indigestion and heartburn combined with shortness of breath, weakness, and nausea.
Now, you have to keep in mind that an angina could either be stable or unstable. In the case of the former, the angina lasts for a few seconds only, and typically feels like indigestion. On the other hand, an unstable angina can be more complicated. For one, it can come without a warning. This is aside from the fact that it cannot be treated with resting or taking nitroglycerin. In most cases, however, it can occur while one is sleeping and would typically last longer than a stable angina. What makes it even more serious is the fact that it can lead to a heart attack. That being the case, it is best to keep an AED handy.
There are a number of ways by which an unstable angina can be dealt with. This would include the use of Percutaneous Coronary Intervention or Coronary Artery Bypass Graft. In the case of the former, cardiac catheterization would be done. The catheter typically comes with an inflatable balloon at the tip in order to open up the fatty plaque deposit along the coronary walls. On the other hand, Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery makes use of a blood vessel in order to re-route the blood and bypass the area where there is a blockage.