Angina

 

Definition:  Angina pain develops when the muscles of the heart are not getting enough oxygen. This is usually caused by narrowing or blockages of the coronary arteries which deliver oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle (known as coronary artery disease). So angina is a sign of heart disease……….click & see

If the blockage of a coronary artery progresses and becomes complete, then the blood supply to part of the muscles of the heart is lost, causing a heart attack. Angina is a warning sign that the heart is at risk of a heart attack, and should be taken very seriously. One patient in every ten will go on to have a heart attack within a year of diagnosis of angina.

When your heart isn’t getting enough blood and oxygen, the crushing, squeezing pain of angina is typically the result. Usually the pain begins below the breastbone and radiates to the shoulder, arm, or jaw, increasing in intensity until it reaches a plateau and then diminishes. The attack can last up to 15 minutes.

Angina may be an occasional problem or may rapidly increase in severity and duration until a heart attack occurs.

Although conventional medications for angina may help relieve the intense chest pain of this heart disorder, they do very little to halt the physiological mechanisms behind it. Vitamins, minerals, and natural remedies may actually improve the condition — or at least keep it from.

Symptoms:…….

Symptoms include:

*Crushing or squeezing chest pain.
*Weakness.
*Sweating.
*Shortness of breath.
*Palpitations.
*Nausea.
*Light-headedness.

When to Call Your Doctor
If you have any of the above symptoms for the first time.
If there is any change in the normal pattern of your angina attacks — for example, if they increase in frequency, intensity, or duration, or if they are brought on by new activities.
If an angina attack lasts more than 15 minutes, which may be a heart attack — call for an ambulance immediately.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

Causes and risk factors:
Angina is common – about eight per cent of men and three per cent of women aged between 55 and 64 have experienced it, and it becomes more common with age.

It’s most commonly caused by narrowing of the arteries which carry oxygen to the heart muscle by a process called atherosclerosis (sometimes known as hardening of the arteries). This is a common condition where fatty deposits or plaques build up in the coronary arteries. Symptoms don’t usually develop until there is at least a 50 per cent blockage of the artery.

Most people in the developed world will have some atherosclerosis by the time they reach mid-life (and often much earlier), but some conditions can make it worse including:

•High cholesterol levels in the blood (especially if there is an inherited tendency to high cholesterol or a strong family history of heart disease).
•Cigarette smoking.
•Diabetes mellitus.
•High blood pressure.
Other conditions can also interfere with the blood supply to the heart muscle and lead to angina. These include:

•Abnormal heart rhythms (for example when the heart beats so fast that it isn’t pumping blood efficiently around the body).
•Heart valve disease.
•Inherited structural abnormalities of the coronary arteries.
•Severe anaemia (where the blood count is so low that it cannot carry much oxygen to the tissues).
Other important risk factors for angina include obesity, and raised levels of chemical in the blood called homocysteine, or other chemicals involved with clotting.

In another condition, known as Prinzmetal’s angina or coronary artery spasm, the coronary arteries aren’t permanently blocked but intermittently narrowed by spasm. This often develops in the early hours of the morning and may last up to 30 minutes. Those affected may also complain of palpitations and abnormal heart rhythms, or have similar conditions linked to spasm of the arteries such as migraine or Raynaud’s phenomenon.

Events which put extra strain on the heart can make angina worse, such as:

•Fever.
•Infection and serious illness.
•Emotional stress.
•An overactive thyroid gland.
•Sudden extreme exertion.
But angina can come on at rest, even when a person is lying down in bed.

Diagnosis and modern treatment :
There are many problems which can be confused with angina, especially simply indigestion or gastro-oesophageal reflux. There may be no visible signs of angina so it’s important that tests are done to establish the diagnosis, to ensure the affected person gets the right treatment.

An electrocardiogram (ECG) is essential and may show typical changes but can be normal in angina. Blood tests can be done to check for causes such as anaemia and look for chemical enzymes (called Troponins) released from the heart if a heart attack has occurred. Other checks for cholesterol levels, blood fats, diabetes and thyroid disease may be done. In most areas of the UK these tests will be done at the local Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinic.

More complex tests such as an ECG during exercise, echocardiogram or other sophisticated x-ray tests may be recommended. However, NICE has recently produced guidelines which direct which tests should be done based on a statistical calculation of how likely to patient is to have angina. For example, invasive coronary angiography (where a tube is inserted into the coronary arteries and dye injected to produce x-rays pictures of the coronary arteries) is usually offered when there is a greater than 61 per cent chance of coronary artery disease.

Treatment of angina includes:

•Lifestyle advice to manage risk factors, such as weight loss, exercise, quitting smoking and a healthy diet.
•Medical treatment, including a drug called glyceryl trinitrate or GTN which can be taken repeatedly as a tablet put under the tongue or as a spray, and medical advice on what to do if pain persists (ie. if there is a risk of a heart attack).
•Assessment and treatment for coronary artery disease, including a variety of drug treatments to help open the arteries or treatments such as aspirin and a statin type drug which help to reduce the risk of a heart attack. More invasive treatments to open up the coronary arteries may be recommended especially when there is severe blockage. These are known as coronary revascularisation. The main two types are either coronary artery bypass grafting, or percutaneous transluminal angioplasty.

How Supplements Can Help
The supplements listed in the chart can all be used together or alone. They can also complement your prescription angina medications; never stop your heart medication without first consulting your doctor, however.
The antioxidant effect of vitamins C and E can help prevent cell damage: Vitamin C aids in the repair of the arteries injured by plaque, and vitamin E blocks the oxidation of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, the initial step in the formation of plaque. In addition, some people with heart disease have low levels of vitamin E as well as the mineral magnesium, which may inhibit spasms of the coronary arteries.

Amino acids can benefit the heart in several ways. Arginine plays a role in forming nitric oxide, which relaxes artery walls. One study found that taking this amino acid three times a day increased the amount of time individuals with angina could exercise at moderate intensity without having to stop because of chest pain. Carnitine, an amino acid-like substance, allows heart muscle cells to use energy more efficiently, and another amino acid, taurine, may temper heart rhythm abnormalities.

Like carnitine, the nutritional supplement coenzyme Q10 enhances the heart muscle, reducing its workload, and the herb hawthorn improves blood flow to the heart. Essential fatty acids may be effective in lowering triglyceride levels and keeping arteries flexible.

What Else You Can Do
Eat a low-fat, fiber-rich diet; use canola or olive oil instead of butter.
Don’t smoke and avoid smoky places.
Learn to relax. Meditation, t’ai chi, and yoga may reduce angina attacks.
Join a support group. Determine what brought you to this point in your life and what you can do to begin reversing the disease.

Supplement Recommendations
Vitamin C
Vitamin E
Magnesium
Arginine
Carnitine
Taurine
Coenzyme Q10
Hawthorn
Essential Fatty Acids

Vitamin C
Dosage: 1,000 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Reduce dose if diarrhea develops.

Vitamin E
Dosage: 400 IU twice a day.
Comments: Check with your doctor if taking anticoagulant drugs.

Magnesium
Dosage: 200 mg twice a day.
Comments: Do not take if you have kidney disease.

Arginine

Dosage: 500 mg L-arginine 3 times a day on an empty stomach.
Comments: If using longer than 1 month, add mixed amino acids.

Carnitine
Dosage: 500 mg L-carnitine 3 times a day on an empty stomach.
Comments: If using longer than 1 month, add mixed amino acids.

Taurine
Dosage: 500 mg L-taurine 3 times a day on an empty stomach.
Comments: If using longer than 1 month, add mixed amino acids.

Coenzyme Q10

Dosage: 100 mg twice a day.
Comments: For best absorption, take with food.

Hawthorn

Dosage: 100-150 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Standardized to contain at least 1.8% vitexin.

Essential Fatty Acids
Dosage: 1 tbsp. flaxseed oil a day; 2,000 mg fish oils 3 times a day.
Comments: Take fish oils if you don’t eat fish at least twice a week.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resource:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/in_depth/heart/angina.shtml
http://www.gulfmd.com/cardiology/Facts_About_Angina.asp
http://indiahealthtour.com/treatments/health-check-screening/treadmill-test-india.html

Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs

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2 thoughts on “Angina

  1. Jeff Brailey

    Hypertension is a major cause of angina. Check out my blog at http://woordworks2001.blogspot.com.

    I am a 59-year-old retired US Army master sergeant. I was compelled to start this site to alert unsuspecting patients that have been told they need a coronary bypass that you probably don’t. I was told by an invasive cardiologist in April 2004, that my heart was in great shape, but I needed a quintuple bypass. Why, I wondered is my heart doing so good when the vessels that feed it oxygen are all clogged? Despite being told I needed surgery right away and that I was a walking time bomb, I got a second opinion and I am glad I did. Not only did I save myself from getting my chest cracked open in a major surgery, I saved a lot of money. PLEASE, get a second opinion whenever someone wants to give you a bypass. And read this entire blog.

    Reply
  2. Jeff Brailey

    Hypertension is a major cause of angina. Check out my blog at http://wordworks2001.blogspot.com.

    I am a 59-year-old retired US Army master sergeant. I was compelled to start this site to alert unsuspecting patients that have been told they need a coronary bypass that you probably don’t. I was told by an invasive cardiologist in April 2004, that my heart was in great shape, but I needed a quintuple bypass. Why, I wondered is my heart doing so good when the vessels that feed it oxygen are all clogged? Despite being told I needed surgery right away and that I was a walking time bomb, I got a second opinion and I am glad I did. Not only did I save myself from getting my chest cracked open in a major surgery, I saved a lot of money. PLEASE, get a second opinion whenever someone wants to give you a bypass. And read this entire blog.

    Reply

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