Most people who had their first instance of Angina mistake it to be a heart attack. Angina is not a heart attack but in some cases, it could be a strong sign of an upcoming heart attack. But not necessarily. So don’t be worried. Most Doctors would prescribe for nitroglycerin for Angina, as it increases the oxygen supply into the blood and eases the pain and tightness. If you are a frequent traveler then you must have some nitroglycerine with you for emergency purposes. But it is not the only way out of the problem, you can ease angina through other methods and even prevent them completely through some lifestyle changes.
What is angina?
Angina is a pressure or tightness that you feel in the chest region. It is often accompanied by shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, and anxiety. It happens whenever there is a sudden drop in the oxygen levels in the blood. The main reason for this oxygen deficiency could most likely be plaque build up in the arteries that are blocking the free flow of blood into the heart.
What are the emergency steps?
Angina happens all of a sudden and it can happen at any time of the day. As it always occurs without any warning, there are certain things that you should know on what to at times of its occurrence for an immediate relief before you could rush to a hospital.
- Sit down and take rest: If you experience Angina while you are walking, standing or while working out, just sit down somewhere comfortable and take some rest till the pressure goes off.
- Change your Body position: Sometimes it can happen while you are at sleep or while you are lying down, do not panic and try to change your sleeping position or body position to ease the pressure off the heart nerve where you feel the heaviness.
Remember that Angina that happens while you are at rest, is a strong sign of an upcoming heart attack, so it must be brought to a Doctor’s attention immediately.
- Stay Calm: When Angina occurs while you are emotionally excited, then you should try to stay calm and try to find a little peace. If you are in a place where certain people make you feel excited or emotionally unstable, then you should come out of the place and get to some place where you feel at peace and at ease. Negative emotions like stress, anxiety, pressure etc.. will make your body to demand more oxygen, which leads to the feeling of heaviness in the heart.
Supplements to the rescue
Apart from Nitroglycerin which should only be used in accordance with the Doctor’s advice, there are certain other supplements that come in quite handy to get immediate relief from Angina symptoms.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): This is a substance that is present in every cell of your body. It is essential for your body cells to produce enough energy for its functioning. Many studies have revealed that around 75 percent of people who undergo Angina have Coenzyme Q10 deficiency in their body cells. Additionally, these studies also reveal that people who took this supplement drastically reduced their Angina instances by nearly 50 percent. The safer dose of CoQ10 is 150mg which should be taken twice a day.
L-carnitine: It is an amino acid, we all know that amino acids are good for heart’s health. What L-carnitine does is it increases the overall efficiency of the heart muscles to use the available oxygen supply more effectively thereby easing the heaviness and pressure. There are studies that prove people who took this supplement regularly over 45 week period showed incredible improvement in their overall of physical ability. They were able to exercise longer, walk for longer distances and undertake many physical tasks at ease. The recommended dose for this supplement is 500 to 1000mg for two to three times a day.
Hawthorn: Hawthorn is a natural herb and an ancient medicine for many heart problems. This herb has been used for centuries across the world for heart issues. It dilates the blood vessels thereby increases the blood flow along with it the oxygen. So it a very effective medicine for Angina. There are also claims that this herb increases the rate and force of heart contractions.
How to Prevent?
- Exercise: Regular moderate exercise will keep many problems at bay and also angina. People who exercise regularly with a balanced diet do not develop blocks in the arteries which is one of the primary reasons for Angina pain.
- Give up Smoking: Time and again many studies have proved that nicotine in cigarettes contracts the arteries and reduces the blood to the heart, which triggers Angina. If you are a smoker not giving it up after an instance of Angina will make your health condition much worse.
- Coffee: I know you love your cup of coffee, but too much of anything is bad for your health and this saying cannot be truer when it comes to coffee. Though coffee packs in many health benefits, drinking more than 3 cups a day will increase your risk of having an attack.
- Eat at moderation: When you eat more your abdomen does the extra work in digesting them all, this diverts the blood flow and oxygen to the abdomen region making your heart to receive less oxygen, which increases the probability of getting an angina attack.
- Avoid going out while its cold: Cold weather can increase the muscle stimulation which can result in Angina.
- Do not lift heavy weight: There are many instances where people even young people had heart attacks while lifting heavy weights. Physical exertion like running, and lifting heavy objects can result in Angina.
Flush out your suppressed emotions
You can practically feel your heart undergoes a heavy beating when you are stressed. Many studies reveal that people who lockout certain feelings and emotions to themselves end up secreting more stress hormone called cortisol which puts more stress on the heart. If you are someone who is quite locked up with your emotions, find a trustable partner, friend or a Psychologist to share your emotions and vent it out. Venting out your emotions helps a lot and it will strengthen your heart.
When should you seek Doctor’s Help
Like mentioned earlier, many people mistake Angina attack with a heart attack. Unlike Angina attacks, heart attacks block the blood flow to the heart completely and is a very serious emergency condition. Angina, on the other hand, doesn’t block out the blood flow completely but will drastically reduce the blood flow. Just in case if you feel pain instead of pressure that stays on more than 15 minutes followed by shortness of breathing, nausea, and wheezing then get to a Doctor immediately.