What is Angina

What is Angina ?

Angina can occur when the coronary arteries cannot deliver enough oxygenated blood to the heart. The feeling translates into squeezing, suffocating, or burning in the chest region. Some causes of angina include heavy meals, extreme temperatures, exercising, smoking, and alcohol. Although the pain goes away often, it is a symptom of an underlying heart condition and must,therefore, be taken seriously.

The narrowing of the aortic valves can be caused due to many reasons and some risk factors contribute to it. Studies show that some anaemia or hyperthyroidism can cause significant blockage in the coronary artery. Other risk factors that could bring upon the condition include:

1. Diabetes
2. High cholesterol
3. Obesity
4. High blood pressure

The plaque builds up in the arteries and stiffening the arteries which reduce the flow of oxygenated blood to the heart. This creates discomfort. Studies show that the angina pain usually starts in the chest region radiating to the left arm, neck, back, throat, and the jaw. There can also be some numbness experienced in the arms, wrists, and shoulders.

Angina can be of four types:

1. Stable: The chest pain can be caused by a high level of activity or stress.
2.Unstable Angina: The chest pain, in this case, occurs without any trigger and is akin to spasms and can last longer minutes before going away.
3. Variant Angina: Can occur even during periods of rest and throughout the day.
4. Microvascular Angina: This angina is followed by chest pain and discomfort but there no major blockage at the level of the artery. The blockage, in this case, is present in the tiny vessels in the heart, arm, and legs. This kind of angina can indicate coronary microvascular disease and can cause shortness of breath, abdominal pain, and vomiting.

If you are experiencing chest pain, it is always good to see your doctor to eliminate angina. An electrocardiogram, blood test, and coronary angiography will help see if you have heart disease or are likely to develop one.

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