CardioSpecialists Group, Ltd.
About Angina

What Is Angina?

Angina is a symptom rather than a disease. It is defined as having temporary chest pain. There are two main types: stable and unstable. If you are under a large amount of stress or exercising and feel angina, it is stable, but if the angina episodes come without warning, more often, last longer, you need to call your doctor immediately. This unstable angina could be a symptom of a serious heart problem.

What Causes Angina?

The most common cause of angina is coronary artery disease. This occurs when the arteries which bring blood to the heart become blocked. Most often, this occurs from a build up of fatty plaque deposits on the inside of the artery walls. If the heart does not get sufficient oxygen, it cannot function properly.

What Are the Symptoms?

If you feel a tightness, pressure, squeezing, burning, choking or pain in your chest either during exercise or rest, you need to discuss it with your doctor. These are the most common symptoms of angina and could signal a larger problem which needs to be addressed.

How Is Angina Diagnosed?

Depending upon how you describe the pain to your doctor, he can make a diagnosis during a physical exam. When you experience chest pain in your doctor's office, he will look at your heart rate, heartbeat, and blood pressure. You might have to have a urine test and blood tests as well. If coronary artery disease is suspected, your doctor will ask for further testing including: nuclear stress test, exercise stress test, stress echocardiogram, a coronary angiogram, or a CT scan.

How Is Angina Treated?

Lifestyle changes such as decreasing stress and changing your diet as well as medications might be enough to control angina. Your doctor will want to monitor you closely, and he will likely want to treat any underlying condition, such as coronary artery disease, in the future with a balloon angioplasty, coronary bypass surgery, or medication.

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