Angina Treatment in Montgomery, AL
Angina pectoris, or simply angina, refers to chest pain resulting from reduced blood flow to the heart muscle, and is a symptom of an underlying heart problem like coronary artery disease, a serious health threat (and the leading cause of death in the United States in women and men) that causes the arteries that supply blood to the heart to harden and narrow with plaque.
Angina may be a chronic, recurring problem or a sudden, acute health concern, and may be hard to distinguish between other types of chest pain (such as indigestion-induced chest pain). Risk factors for coronary artery disease and angina include:
- Tobacco use
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Past heart disease
- Older age (men over 45 and women over 55 are at a greater risk than younger adults)
- Lack of exercise
Whether minor or acute, you should never ignore unexplained chest pain. To schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider in Montgomery that specializes in angina treatment, call (334) 781-7319 or contact Dr. Ryan McWhorter online.
Angina Causes & Types of Angina
For its survival, your heart muscle relies on oxygen which your blood carries to your heart. Angina causes reduced blood flow to your heart muscle, leading to your heart receiving insufficient oxygen. Coronary artery disease is the most common cause of reduced blood flow to your heart, due to plaque buildup in the artery walls, known as atherosclerosis.
There are different types of angina which vary by severity and duration. These include:
- Stable angina (angina pectoris): The most common type of angina, stable angina is provoked when your heart is pushed to work harder than usual, such as when you climb stairs, exercise or walk (tasks which demand more blood from your heart). Narrowed arteries, which may be caused by emotional stress, cold temperatures, heavy meals and smoking, struggle to deliver blood sufficiently, triggering angina. This form of angina only lasts a short time (typically 5 minutes or less) and disappears at rest or upon taking angina medications.
- Unstable angina: This form of angina is caused when fat-containing deposits (plaques) in your blood vessels rupture and blood clots form, quickly blocking or reducing flow through a narrowed artery, and suddenly and severely decreasing blood flow from your heart muscle. Unstable angina can also be brought on by blood clots that block or partially block your heart’s blood vessels. It may occur even at rest and may last as long as 30 minutes, and may signal a heart attack.
- Variant (prinzmetal) angina: Variant, or prinzmetal, angina is caused by a spasm in a coronary artery which causes the artery to temporarily narrow, reducing blood flow to your heart and causing chest pain. Variant angina can occur even when you’re at rest, and is often severe.
- Microvascular angina: In microvascular angina, spasms within the walls of arterial blood vessels cause reduced blood flow to the heart muscle. It may be associated with more severe and longer-lasting pain than other types of angina.
Typical angina symptoms to be aware of include:
- Chest pain or discomfort (which may be described as pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest)
- Pain in your arms, neck, jaw, shoulder or back accompanying your chest pain
- Shortness of breath
Angina in women can present symptoms different from those which are typically associated with angina. Women often experience symptoms such as nausea, shortness of breath, abdominal pain or extreme pain, with or without chest pain, or they may feel extreme discomfort in the neck, jaw or back or stabbing pain instead of more typical chest pressure. Because of the difference in symptoms in women, women often don't seek immediate medical attention for angina. It is important to report any changes in your health to your healthcare provider to ensure the underlying cause is addressed.
To diagnose angina, your healthcare provider will conduct a physical exam and discuss your symptoms. Expect to answer questions pertaining to any underlying health conditions which might put you at risk and your family history of heart disease. Additionally, your healthcare provider may recommend one of the following tests to confirm an angina diagnosis:
- Stress test
- Nuclear stress test
- Chest X-ray
- Blood tests
- Coronary angiography
- Cardiac computerized tomography (CT) scan
Angina treatment varies and will be dependent on the severity and type of angina you have. Your treatment could include:
- Quitting smoking
- Losing weight (which may include adding a diet and exercise plan to support sustained weight loss and optimal health)
- Avoiding stress-inducers (including stress-reducing techniques)
- Clot-preventing medications
- Beta blockers
- Calcium channel blockers
- Ranolazine (Ranexa)
Medical Procedures or Surgery:
- Angioplasty and stenting
- Coronary artery bypass surgery
It is important to discuss angina with your healthcare provider who can discuss which treatment plan is best suited for your unique health needs.
Seek angina treatment in Montgomery! Call (334) 781-7319 or contact Dr. Ryan McWhorter online.
Alabama Functional Medicine
Address7040 Sydney Curve
Montgomery, AL 36117
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