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Ailmemts & Remedies

Costochondritis

Alternative Names:Chest wall pain,costosternal syndrome and costosternal chondrodynia.

Definition:
Costochondritis is a benign inflammation of the costal cartilage, which is a length of cartilage which connects each rib, except the eleventh and twelfth, to the sternum. It causes sharp pain in the costosternal joint — where your ribs and breastbone are joined by rubbery cartilage. Pain caused by costochondritis may mimic that of a heart attack or other heart conditions.

You may click to see the pictures

This pain can be quite excruciating, especially after rigorous exercise. When the pain of costochondritis is accompanied by swelling, it’s referred to as Tietze syndrome.

Most cases of costochondritis have no apparent cause. In these cases, treatment focuses on easing your pain while you wait for costochondritis to improve on its own. While it can be extremely painful, it is considered to be a benign condition that generally resolves in 6–8 weeks.

Costochondritis occurs most often in women and in people older than 40. However, costochondritis can affect anyone, including infants and children.

Symptoms:
Costochondritis symptoms can be similar to the chest pain associated with a heart attack.It is the most common cause of chest pain originating in the chest wall.

Costochondritis usually develops gradually with increasing tenderness over the breastplate and pain if you put pressure on the ribs in this area. The pain is made worse by anything that moves the ribs and pulls on the cartilage connecting them to the sternum.

Symptoms include:

*Pain and tenderness in the locations where your ribs attach to your breastbone (costosternal joints)
*Often sharp pain, though also dull and gnawing pain
*Location often on left side of breastbone, but possible on either side of chest

Other costochondritis symptoms may include:
*Pain when taking deep breaths
*Pain when coughing
*Difficulty breathing

Causes:
Costochondritis often results from a physical strain or minor injury, but the true causes are not well understood. . It was at one time thought to be associated with, or caused by, a viral infection acquired during surgery, but this is now known not to be the case. Most sufferers have not had recent surgery. Only some cases of costochondritis have a clear cause. Those causes include:

*Injury.•Mechanical pressure or stress on the sternum or A blow to the chest could cause costochondritis.

*Physical strain. Heavy lifting and strenuous exercise have been linked to costochondritis.

*Upper respiratory illness. An infection that produces sneezing or a cough may produce costochondritis.

*Infection. Infection can develop in the costosternal joint, causing pain.

*Fibromyalgia. Recurring costochondritis could be a symptom of fibromyalgia. People with fibromyalgia often have several tender spots. The upper part of the breastbone is a common tender spot.

*Pain from other areas of your body. Pain signals can sometimes be misinterpreted by your brain, causing pain in places far away from where the problem occurs. Your doctor might refer to this as “referred pain.” Pain in your chest can sometimes be caused by problems with the bones in your spine compressing the nerves.

Diagnosis:
Doctor can diagnose costochondritis by pressing on the area where the ribs meet the chest bone (sternum). If this area is tender and sore, costochondritis is the most likely cause of your chest pain. He or she will ask you to describe your pain and what influences it. The pain of costochondritis can be very similar to the pain associated with heart disease, lung disease, gastrointestinal problems and osteoarthritis. Your doctor will feel along your breastbone for areas of tenderness or swelling.

Costochondritis generally can’t be seen on chest X-rays or other imaging tests used to see inside your body. Sometimes your doctor may orders these tests or others to rule out other conditions.

Treatment:
Treatment mostly consists of finding pain relief that works for you while waiting for the body to heal.

Start with simple analgesics such as paracetamol, which must be taken at regular intervals and not just when the pain is bothering you. Pain killers which also reduce inflammation such as ibuprofen (these are known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs) may be particularly helpful. Local heat (such as from a warm pack) can also be soothing.

Vigorous exercise might not be a good idea. When you exercise, you need to increase your breathing depth and rate, increasing the movement of your ribs. This is more likely to aggravate any inflammation. Gentle exercise, however, is fine and some research suggests that gentle stretching of the pectoral muscles 2-3 times a day may help.

Although most people find that the pain soon settles, a significant number still have some discomfort and tenderness several months later. In persistent cases local injections of anaesthetic and steroids to the rib area may be recommended.

Prognosis :With treatment, the condition usually goes away in a few days.

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.

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/costochondritis.shtml
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/costochondritis/DS00626
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Costochondritis
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000164.htm

http://www.graphicshunt.com/health/images/costochondritis-1030.htm

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Hiatal Hernia

Alternative Names:Hernia – hiatal,  Hiatus hernia.

Definition:
.Hiatal hernia is a condition in which a portion of the stomach protrudes upward into the chest, through an opening in the diaphragm. The diaphragm is the sheet of muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen. It is used in breathing.

click  see to picture

The  diaphragm normally has a small opening (hiatus) that allows your food tube (esophagus) to pass through on its way to connect to your stomach. The stomach can push up through this opening and cause a hiatal hernia.
click to see picture

The esophagus runs through the diaphragm to the stomach. It functions to carry food from the mouth to the stomach.The esophagus passes through the diaphragm just before it meets the stomach, through an opening called the esophageal hiatus.

click  to see picture

A hiatal hernia occurs when part of the stomach protrudes up into the chest through the sheet of muscle called the diaphragm. This may result from a weakening of the surrounding tissues and may be aggravated by obesity and/or smoking.

.CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
In most cases, a small hiatal hernia doesn’t cause problems, and you may never know you have a hiatal hernia unless your doctor discovers it when checking for another condition. But a large hiatal hernia can allow food and acid to back up into your esophagus, leading to heartburn and chest pain. Self-care measures or medications can usually relieve these symptoms, although a very large hiatal hernia sometimes requires surgery.

Classification:
There are two major kinds of hiatus hernia:
The most common (95%) is the sliding hiatus hernia, where the gastroesophageal junction moves above the diaphragm together with some of the stomach.

The second kind is rolling (or paraesophageal) hiatus hernia, when a part of the stomach herniates through the esophageal hiatus and lies beside the esophagus, without movement of the gastroesophageal junction. It accounts for the remaining 5% of hiatus hernias.

A third kind is also sometimes described, and is a combination of the first and second kinds.

Symptoms:
Small hiatal hernias
Most small hiatal hernias cause no signs or symptoms.

Large hiatal hernias
Larger hiatal hernias can cause signs and symptoms such as:

*Heartburn, worse when bending over or lying down
*Belching
*Chest pain
*Nausea
*Swallowing difficulty

A hiatal hernia by itself rarely causes symptoms — pain and discomfort are usually due to the reflux of gastric acid, air, or bile. Reflux happens more easily when there is a hiatal hernia, although a hiatal hernia is not the only cause of reflux.

Causes:

A hiatal hernia occurs when weakened muscle tissue allows your stomach to bulge up through your diaphragm. It’s not always clear why this happens, but pressure on your stomach may contribute to the formation of hiatal hernia.

How a hiatal hernia forms
Your diaphragm is a large dome-shaped muscle that separates your chest cavity from your abdomen. Normally, your esophagus passes into your stomach through an opening in the diaphragm called the hiatus. Hiatal hernias occur when the muscle tissue surrounding this opening becomes weak, and the upper part of your stomach bulges up through the diaphragm into your chest cavity.

Possible causes of hiatal hernia  are:
*Injury to the area
*An inherited weakness in the surrounding muscles
*Being born with an unusually large hiatus
*Persistent and intense pressure on the surrounding muscles, such as when coughing, vomiting, or straining during a bowel movement or while lifting heavy objects.

The following are risk factors that can result in a hiatus hernia.

*Increased pressure within the abdomen caused by:
*Heavy lifting or bending over
*Frequent or hard coughing
*Hard sneezing
*Pregnancy and delivery
*Violent vomiting
*Straining with constipation
*Obesity (extra weight pushes down on the abdomen increasing the pressure)
*Use of the sitting position for defecation
*Heredity
*Smoking
*Drug use, such as cocaine.[citation needed]
*Stress
*Diaphragm weakness

Diagnosis:
The diagnosis of a hiatus hernia is typically made through an upper GI series, endoscopy or High resolution manometry.

Treatment:
In most cases, sufferers experience no discomfort and no treatment is required. However, when the hiatal hernia is large, or is of the paraesophageal type, it is likely to cause esophageal stricture and discomfort. Symptomatic patients should elevate the head of their beds and avoid lying down directly after meals until treatment is rendered. If the condition has been brought on by stress, stress reduction techniques may be prescribed, or if overweight, weight loss may be indicated. Medications that reduce the lower esophageal sphincter (or LES) pressure should be avoided. Antisecretory drugs like proton pump inhibitors and H2 receptor blockers can be used to reduce acid secretion.

Where hernia symptoms are severe and chronic acid reflux is involved, surgery is sometimes recommended, as chronic reflux can severely injure the esophagus and even lead to esophageal cancer.

The surgical procedure used is called Nissen fundoplication. In fundoplication, the gastric fundus (upper part) of the stomach is wrapped, or plicated, around the inferior part of the esophagus, preventing herniation of the stomach through the hiatus in the diaphragm and the reflux of gastric acid. The procedure is now commonly performed laparoscopically. With proper patient selection, laparoscopic fundoplication has low complication rates and a quick recovery.

Complications include gas bloat syndrome, dysphagia (trouble swallowing), dumping syndrome, excessive scarring, and rarely, achalasia. The procedure sometimes fails over time, requiring a second surgery to make repairs.

Lifestyle & Home Remedy:
Lifestyle changes may help control the signs and symptoms of acid reflux caused by a hiatal hernia. Consider trying to:

*Eat several smaller meals throughout the day rather than a few large meals.
*Avoid foods that trigger heartburn, such as chocolate, onions, spicy foods, citrus fruits and tomato-based foods.
*Avoid alcohol.
*Limit the amount of fatty foods you eat.
*Sit up after you eat, rather than taking a nap or lying down.
*Eat at least three hours before bedtime.
*Lose weight if you’re overweight or obese.
*Stop smoking.
*Elevate the head of your bed 6 inches (about 15 centimeters).
*Work to reduce the stress in your daily life.

Alternative Medication:
Some alternative medicine practitioners claim to have discovered a way to cure a hiatal hernia by pushing the stomach back to its normal position below the diaphragm. Practitioners may use their hands to apply pressure to the abdomen and manipulate the stomach.

There’s no evidence that such manipulation works to cure hiatal hernia. No clinical trials of the technique have been conducted.

But Practicing Regular Yoga Exercise & meditation has definitely got some better effect.

Prognosis:
A hiatus hernia  normally  does not cause any symptoms. The condition promotes reflux of gastric contents (via its direct and indirect actions on the anti-reflux mechanism) and thus is associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In this way a hiatus hernia is associated with all the potential consequences of GERD – heartburn, esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus, esophageal cancer and dental erosion. However the risk attributable to the hiatus hernia is difficult to quantify, and at most is low.

Besides discomfort from GERD and dysphagia, hiatal hernias can have severe consequences if not treated. While sliding hernias are primarily associated with gastroesophageal acid reflux, rolling hernias can strangulate a portion of the stomach above the diaphragm. This strangulation can result in esophageal or GI tract obstruction and the tissue can even become ischemic and necrose.

Another severe complication, although very rare, is a large herniation that can restrict the inflation of a lung, causing pain and breathing problems.

Most cases are asymptomatic.

Prevention:
Controlling risk factors such as obesity may help prevent hiatal hernia.

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.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiatus_hernia
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001137.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hiatal-hernia/DS00099

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/presentations/100028_1.htm

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/17070.htm

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Diagnonistic Test

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

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Definition:
An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of your heart. An EKG translates the heart’s electrical activity into line tracings on paper. The spikes and dips in the line tracings are called waves. See a picture of the EKG components and intervals.

The heart is a muscular pump made up of four chambers. The two upper chambers are called atria, and the two lower chambers are called ventricles. A natural electrical system causes the heart muscle to contract and pump blood through the heart to the lungs and the rest of the body. See a picture of the heart and its electrical system.

The coordinated pumping of your heart is controlled by natural electrical currents within the heart. An EKG (sometimes referred to as ECG) measures those currents. An EKG is especially useful for diagnosing heart attacks and rhythm abnormalities, but it can also provide many clues about other conditions.You should have an EKG every one to three years after age 40 if you have heart disease; if you are at risk for developing it because you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes; or if you are about to start a vigorous exercise program.

Why It Is Done
An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is done to:

*Check the heart’s electrical activity.

*Find the cause of unexplained chest pain, which could be caused by a heart attack, inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart (pericarditis), or angina.

*Find the cause of symptoms of heart disease, such as shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, or rapid, irregular heartbeats (palpitations).

*Find out if the walls of the heart chambers are too thick (hypertrophied).

*Check how well medicines are working and whether they are causing side effects that affect the heart.

*Check how well mechanical devices that are implanted in the heart, such as pacemakers, are working to control a normal heartbeat.

*Check the health of the heart when other diseases or conditions are present, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cigarette smoking, diabetes, or a family history of early heart disease.

Click to see the pictures

How To Prepare
Many medicines may change the results of this test. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the nonprescription and prescription medicines you take. If you take heart medicines, your doctor will tell you how to take your medicines before you have this test.

Remove all jewelry from your neck, arms, and wrists. Men are usually bare-chested during the test. Women may often wear a bra, T-shirt, or gown. If you are wearing stockings, you should take them off. You will be given a cloth or paper covering to use during the test.

Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will indicate. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form (What is a PDF document?) .

If you have a hairy chest, a nurse might have to shave several patches so that the stickers or suction cups used in the test can hold to your skin.

…….…Click to see the picture

The electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG) is used extensively in the diagnosis of heart disease, from congenital heart disease in infants to heart attack (myocardial infarction) and myocarditis (heart inflammation) in adults.
.How It Is Done
An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is usually done by a health professional, and the resulting EKG is interpreted by a doctor, such as an internist, family medicine doctor, electrophysiologist, cardiologist, anesthesiologist, or surgeon.

You may receive an EKG as part of a physical examination at your health professional’s office or during a series of tests at a hospital or clinic. EKG equipment is often portable, so the test can be done almost anywhere. If you are in the hospital, your heart may be continuously monitored by an EKG system; this process is called telemetry.

.
How do you feel During an EKG:
*You will lie on a bed or table. Areas on your arms, legs, and chest where small metal discs (electrodes) will be placed are cleaned and may be shaved to provide a clean, smooth surface to attach the electrode discs. A special EKG paste or small pads soaked in alcohol may be placed between the electrodes and your skin to improve conduction of the electrical impulses, but in many cases disposable electrodes are used that do not require paste or alcohol.

*Several electrodes are attached to the skin on each arm and leg and on your chest. These are hooked to a machine that traces your heart activity onto a paper. If an older machine is used, the electrodes may be moved at different times during the test to measure your heart’s electrical activity from different locations on your chest. After the procedure, the electrode paste is wiped off.

*You will be asked to lie very still and breathe normally during the test. Sometimes you may be asked to hold your breath. You should not talk during the test.

*The electrodes may feel cool when they are put on your chest.

Risk Factors:
There is no chance of problems while having an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG). An EKG is a completely safe test.The machine is measuring natural electrical activity in your body; it is not sending electricity into you. In most cases, there is no reason why you should not be able to get an EKG.

The electrodes are used to transfer an image of the electrical activity of your heart to tracing on paper. No electricity passes through your body from the machine, and there is no danger of getting an electrical shock.
Must you do anything special after the test is over?
Nothing.

Results:
An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of your heart. An EKG translates the heart’s electrical activity into line tracings on paper. The spikes and dips in the line tracings are called waves.

The test usually takes 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

Your doctor will look at the pattern of spikes and dips on your electrocardiogram to check the electrical activity in different parts of your heart. The spikes and dips are grouped into different sections that show how your heart is working. See a picture that explains the EKG components and intervals.
How long is it before the result of the test is known?
The EKG must be reviewed by a trained professional. Your doctor can interpret an EKG right away.However, if a technician is taking the EKG and your doctor is not present, it may be one to three days before there is an official interpretation by a cardiologist.
Normal: The heart beats in a regular rhythm, usually between 60 and 100 beats per minute.

The tracing looks normal.

Abnormal: The heart beats too slow (less than 60 beats per minute).

The heart beats too fast (more than 100 beats per minute).

The heart rhythm is not regular.

The tracing does not look normal.

What Affects the Test:
Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

*Not having the electrodes securely attached to your skin.

*Moving or talking during the test.

*Exercising before the test.

*Being anxious or breathing very deeply or rapidly.

What To Think About:-
*Sometimes your EKG may look normal even when you have heart disease. For this reason, the EKG should always be interpreted along with your symptoms, history, physical examination, and, if necessary, other test results.

*An electrocardiogram cannot predict whether you will have a heart attack.

*At first, an EKG done during a heart attack may look normal or unchanged from a previous EKG. Therefore, the EKG may be repeated over several hours and days (called serial EKGs) to look for changes.

*There are several other types of electrocardiograms, including telemetry, ambulatory monitoring (using a Holter monitor or event monitor), and exercise EKG testing. For more information, see the medical tests Ambulatory Electrocardiogram and
*Exercise Electrocardiogram.

*Sometimes EKG abnormalities can be seen only during exercise or while symptoms are present. To check for these changes in the heartbeat, an ambulatory EKG or stress EKG may be done.

*An ambulatory EKG is a type of portable, continuous EKG monitor. For more information, see the medical test Ambulatory Electrocardiogram.

*A stress EKG is a type of EKG done during exercise. A resting EKG is always done before an exercise EKG test, and results of the resting EKG are compared to the results of the exercise EKG. A resting EKG may also show a heart problem that would make an exercise EKG unsafe. For more information, see the medical test Exercise Electrocardiogram.

*Some doctors think that people older than age 35 need a baseline EKG before problems develop. This baseline EKG may be compared to later EKGs to see if changes have occurred. But a baseline EKG is expensive and may not be covered by insurance.
*Baseline EKGs may be most useful in people who have other conditions or diseases that increase their chances of having heart disease.

You may click to learn more in detail about electrocardiogram
Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/electrocardiogram.shtml
http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/electrocardiogram
http://adam.about.com/reports/ECG.htm

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Dyspepsia

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Dyspepsia is word of Greek origin meaning indigestion or difficulty in digestion. It is a common ailment and results from dietetic error……....CLICK & SEE

Many cases of dyspepsia are caused by stomach ulcers which are diagnosed with a barium meal test or gastroscopy. Most cases of ulcer dyspepsia are caused by Helicobacter pylori infection. However, some studies also suggest non-ulcer dyspepsia may be resolved from eradicating this infection. In some situations (such as in ulcers), high levels of gastric acid may irritate the stomach lining and cause dyspeptic symptoms. Dyspepsia may also be a side effect from drugs treating other diseases.

Symptoms:
Abdominal pain a feeling of undue fullness after eating, heartburn, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, and flatulence or gas are the usual symptoms of dyspepsia. Vomiting usually provides relief. Other symptoms are foul taste in the mouth, coated tongue, and foul breath. At times a sensation of strangling in the throat is experienced. In most cases of indigestion, the patients suffer from constipation.

Side Effects:
Side effects of dyspepsia may include nausea, pain in any part of the abdomen, constipation, irritability, and maybe even blood in the feces.

Root Cause:
The main causes of dyspepsia are overeating, eating wrong food combinations, eating too rapidly and neglecting proper mastication and salivation of food, overeating, makes the work of the stomach, lever, kidneys and bowels harder. When the food putrefies, its poisons are absorbed into he blood and consequently the whole system is poisoned. Certain foods especially if they are not properly cooked, cause dyspepsia. Other causes are intake of fried food, rich and spicy food, excessive smoking, intake of alcohol, constipation, habit of eating and drinking together, insomnia, emotions such as jealousy, fear and anger and lack of exercise.

Treatment:
Functional dyspepsia is defined as chronic or recurrent pain or discomfort centered in the upper abdomen. For the sake of this discussion, it is important to clarify that functional dyspepsia often is a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning that endoscopy for other conditions such as GERD or PUD is negative, and the patient is Helicobacter pylori-negative.

Traditional therapies used for this diagnosis include lifestyle modification, antacids, H2-receptor antagonists (H2-RAs), prokinetic agents, and antiflatulents. It is has been noted that one of the most frustrating aspects of treating functional dyspepsia is that these traditional agents have been shown to have little or no efficacy.

Ayurvedic Healing Option:

Herbs good for Dyspepsia: Lemon, Grapes, Carrot and Fenugreek

Diet
: The best way to commence treatment is to adopt a light diet like soup, fruits, juices, boiled vegetables etc. The patient may thereafter, gradually embark upon a well balanced diet consisting of fresh fruits raw and steamed vegetables, seeds, nuts and whole grains.

Lifestyle: The patients suffering from indigestion must always follow certain rules regarding eating, never to hurry through a meal, never to eat on a full stomach, and not to eat if appetite is lacking.Smokers should stop smoking and alcohol intake should be reduced to minimum.

Ayurvedic Supplements : 1. Arogyavardhini Bati 2. Liverole Strong 3. Lashunadi Bati.


Yoga:
1. The Knee to Chest (Pawanmuktasan) 2.Vajrasana 3.The Lotus (Padma Asana)...PRANAYAMA.…(Specially  KAPALVATI  AND  ANULOMVILOM)

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.

Help taken :Allayurveda.com and en.wikipedia.org

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Angina

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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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