What is Angina Pectoris?
Angina pectoris is a medical term that signifies pain or discomfort in the chest due to coronary heart disease. Angina or Angina pectoris is often characterized by squeezing, heaviness, tightness, or pain and pressure in the chest, neck, shoulder, jaw, back, or arm. Many individuals feel angina Pectoris to be a heavyweight on the chest or squeezing in the chest.
Angina pectoris develops when the heart muscles do not get enough blood as they need. The prime cause of decreased blood flow to the muscle is narrow or blocked arteries in the body, called ischemia.
Angina in women can be different than in men. Although it is relatively common, it can be hard to be diagnosed by a doctor. But you still can differentiate between the pain and discomfort of indigestion and angina pectoris.
In case you have unexplained chest pain, seek immediate medical attention.
When does the pain occur?
Angina occurs when the heart muscles receive less blood than it is supposed to. This might happen when you are exercising or doing physical activity or loaded with too many emotions. Arteries that are extremely tiny may meet the body’s supply of oxygen by supplying enough blood to the heart, such as when you are relaxing. But if you are doing physical exertion, you might end up with low oxygen, such as while walking or climbing stairs; the heart needs to work hard in order to transport more oxygen.
The many types of angina may include:
Stable angina. The most common type of angina is triggered by stress or physical exertion. It lasts only for a couple of minutes and goes away when you do rest. Though the pain may sound like a heart attack, it is not one.
Unstable angina. Inactivity or being at rest may also cause angina. The pain can be very intense and lasts long and may flare up again and again. See your doctor right away when you experience this pain.
Microvascular angina. You may have pain in the chest but no coronary artery blockage, this can be microvascular angina. This happens because your smallest coronary arteries are not working as they are required to. Thus, the heart does not get enough blood to compensate for its needs. The pain usually persists for more than 10 minutes.
Prinzmetal's angina (variant angina). This is the uncommon form of angina causing intense pain. The cause could be potential narrowing or tightening of the arteries.
Angina signs include discomfort and pain in the chest, feeling of pressure, squeezing, etc followed by pain in your arms, jaw, neck, shoulder or back.
Other symptoms that you may have with angina include:
- Shortness of breath
These signs need to be examined for evaluation by a doctor. Based on the signs, your doctor will be able to determine the type of angina.
Signs of stable angina
- The pain is usually similar to previous types of chest pain you've had
- Lasts a short time, perhaps five minutes or less
- Disappears sooner when you rest
Signs of unstable angina
- May not disappear with rest
- Is a change in your usual pattern of angina
- More severe pain that lasts longer than stable angina, maybe 30 minutes or longer
Signs of variant angina (Prinzmetal's angina)
- Develops when you're resting
- Cause severe pain
- May be relieved by angina medication
Angina in women
The signs of angina in women tend to be different than men. For instance chest pain is more common in women during angina than in men. Men may not have chest pain as the only sign of angina.
Other signs that may occur in women include:
- Discomfort in the neck, jaw or back
- Shortness of breath
- Stabbing pain instead of pressure
- Abdominal pain
Angina results from underlying coronary artery disease. The coronary arteries supply heart with the oxygen-rich blood. But when the arteries may become blocked or narrowed due to plaque buildup, heart may not flow properly. Also, plaque may break off and results in blood clots that ultimately obstruct the blood flow.
In the event of low oxygen supply to the heart, the heart muscle may not function well. This is called angina.
Certain risk factors that likely may increase the risk of angina pectoris include:
- Binge alcohol consumption
- Substnace abuse
- Occupational exposure to pollution
- Sedentary lifestyle
- An unhealthful diet
- High cholesterol levels
- Overweight or obesity
- Medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, hypotension, metabolic syndrome, and anemia
- An age of over 45, for males, or 55, for females
- Certain medical treatments and treatments
- Genetic factors
Ayurvedic treatment for angina pectrosis
In Ayurveda, angina pectrosis is named as Hritshoola, which means related to heart. A throbbing and intense pain can be experienced by the person in the chest at this time.
It is characterized by the aggravation of Kapha dosh which is denoted as heavy, stable, thick, wet, clear, and cold in nature. Kapha dosha is responsible for the greasiness in the mind and body. But vitiated Kapha is also a cause of toxins production (Ama) in the body. These toxins when accumulate in the channels which are not healthy, they result in blockage.
During angina, the toxin may start to build up in the hridhyavahi channels or channels of the heart and restrict the arteries from functioning well.
Aggravated Kapha also results in Vata vitiation. Vata is dry, cold, and subtle in nature.
Due to this Vata aggravation, pain can be experienced by a person.
The aim of ayurvedic treatment at AyuKarma is to restore the digestive fire and calm the life energies. This is also done with the help of Satvik diet during the procedures and therapies, such as Panchakarma.
Stress management is also crucial because it keeps the organs working efficiently.