It is true that most people are aware of the fact that ‘angina’ is a term which has something or the other to do with the heart. That being said, very few would be able to answer a question regarding what exactly it is, in a satisfactory manner. So would it not make sense to know more about it and become one of the few?
The term is derived from the ancient language of Latin and refers to a tightness that is felt or a squeezing of the chest. This happens when there is not enough oxygen-rich blood which is reaching the area of the heart muscle. While many people think that angina is a disease, it is actually not true to think that it is! As a matter of fact, it is a symptom of coronary artery disease. It is this disease which is the most common disease which affects the heart.
But why exactly does a person experience angina? Well, the lack of blood which is rich in oxygen occurs when it so happens that the coronary arteries become narrower than they normally should be. This generally happens due to the build-up of plaque. The condition in which this happens is known as atherosclerosis.
When it comes to the sort of people who are at a higher risk of developing angina, it can be said that those who smoke tobacco really do increase their risk, as do those who are overweight or obese and have other lifestyle diseases such as diabetes.
In order to avoid angina, the most important thing a person can possibly control is his or her lifestyle. In fact, a lot of the risk factors related to angina are attributable to the lifestyle a person chooses to lead. Cholesterol levels can be controlled if a person puts enough attention and effort in. Also, avoiding a lifestyle that is sedentary by exercise can not only help with cutting the risk of angina but also the risks of other conditions such as high blood pressure. It is ironic that high blood pressure is one of the potential signals of angina!
It is to be noted that while most people just call angina as it is, there are various types-
Stable angina is when the heart is working harder than usual and medicine helps improve this.
Unstable angina occurs even at rest and is unpredictable. It may also be a signal of a coming heart attack.
Variant and microvascular angina is relievable by medicine and is generally rare. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Cardiologist.