10 things women should know about angina
When I first heard about angina from a colleague I thought he was talking about vagina. Sorry, but my ears are not born again. Some women don’t know this medical condition exists. Many might not even have heard of it but knowledge is power. If you know what it means now, the risk factors and what you should do when you feel it, you will take better care of yourself.
Here are 10 things every woman should know about the medical condition angina:
*Angina definition…this is a type of chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart. It is not a disease but a symptom of heart disease.
* Angina causes include reduced blood flow to your heart muscle. It is a tightness, pain, or discomfort in the chest that occurs when an area of the heart muscle receives less blood oxygen than usual.
* Although it is relatively common, it can still be hard to distinguish from other types of chest pain, such as the pain or discomfort of indigestion.
* Symptoms include chest pain or discomfort, pain in the arms, neck, jaw, shoulder or back. Other symptoms are nausea, fatigue, shortness of breath, sweating and dizziness.
*Types of angina are stable and unstable angina. Stable angina happens when your heart works harder, such as when you exercise or climb stairs. It lasts a short time, perhaps five minutes or less. It disappears if you rest or use your medication.
* Unstable angina deserves a medical emergency. It can occur even while you are resting. It is usually more severe and lasts longer. It may not disappear with rest or use of medication. It might lead to a heart attack.
* Women older than 55 have a greater risk of suffering this medical condition than younger women. A woman’s symptoms include nausea, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, and discomfort in the neck, jaw or back, as well as stabbing pain instead of chest pressure.
* Risk factors include smoking and long-term exposure to secondhand smoke. Diabetes, high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, family history of angina, obesity and stress are other factors that can lead to extreme chest pain.
*You can prevent this medical condition by making lifestyle changes which include quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight.
*Angina treatment is necessary if your chest pain lasts longer than a few minutes and doesn’t go away when you rest or take pain killers. If chest discomfort is a new symptom for you, it is important to see your doctor to find out what’s causing your chest pain and to get proper treatment.
*Your doctor will order one or more of the following tests if he or she suspects you have this condition:
- Electrocardiogram (EKG): Records electrical activity of the heart and can detect when the heart is starved of oxygen.
- Stress test: Blood pressure readings and an EKG while the patient is increasing physical activity.
- Chest X-ray: This enables the doctor to see structures inside the chest.
- Coronary angiography: Dye and special X-rays to show the inside of coronary arteries.
- Blood tests: These check fat, cholesterol, sugar, and protein levels.