What Does It Mean If You Have Chest Pain?
Chest pain can be a symptom of coronary artery disease, and one of the earliest signs is a condition called angina. It can create a feeling of tightness or heaviness, or a feeling of pressure in your chest. This pressure can then spread, causing pain in your arms and legs or in your neck. It’s caused by a reduced blood flow to the heart as a result of one or more of your coronary arteries having become narrowed.
Coronary Artery Disease is the Number One Cause of Death in the US
Unfortunately, coronary artery disease is the main cause of death in this country and this type of heart disease is very common amongst both men and women. Coronary artery disease may occur where cholesterol causes plaque to build up on the inside of your arteries. This buildup is called atherosclerosis and prevents oxygenating blood from flowing to your heart.
The presence of atherosclerosis greatly increases your chances of suffering from an irregular heartbeat, a heart attack or heart failure. It’s one of the reasons why so important to take notice of any signs of angina or any symptoms of chest pain. It is best to consult a heart doctor NYC if you feel you may be experiencing chest pain.
How Do You Know If You Have Angina?
One of the problems with angina is that it can be difficult to determine if it actually is this condition, or if your chest pain is due to something else as simple as indigestion. Other symptoms of angina can include a feeling of nausea or fatigue, being short of breath or feeling dizzy or sweating. Women can experience angina slightly differently to men, as they may not experience chest pain, instead feeling a stabbing pain. Other symptoms in women include feeling discomfort in their neck or jaw or in their back, or having abdominal pain.
Who Is More at Risk of Developing Angina?
Risk factors for angina are much the same as the risk factors for heart disease and include:
- Being overweight
- High cholesterol levels
- Being diabetic
- High blood pressure
- Not taking regular exercise
- Not eating healthily
- Having a family history of heart disease
Unfortunately getting older is also a risk factor. Your risk increases if you are a man aged 45 or over or a woman aged 55 or over.
What Is the Treatment for Angina?
If you think you might have angina or have been experiencing chest pains then it’s best to book an appointment with a top cardiologist.
A full evaluation will determine if you are at risk and will allow Dr Ghalchi to devise a suitable treatment plan to help reduce your symptoms and to lower your risk for heart attacks. This is important as every year coronary artery disease results in around 370,000 deaths in the United States. Taking a preventative approach towards your health care will greatly improve your prognosis, and will hopefully stop you from becoming a statistic.
Making Lifestyle Changes
You can also take preventative action by improving your diet or taking more exercise. If you are overweight then make this the year when you get your weight back under control. Try to avoid excess stress and if you have any health problems like diabetes, then make sure your blood sugar levels are well-controlled. If you smoke then you already know that quitting the habit will help. It can be hard to make these kinds of changes on your own but the potential reward could be a much longer and healthier life span.
Depending on your level of coronary artery disease and whether you have had any other significant symptoms other than angina, you may be able to take part in a cardiac rehabilitation program. It might be worth discussing this with Dr. Ghalchi during your consultation.
With something like cardiac rehabilitation, you gain access to a wealth of knowledge and support from a group of professionals and specialists who will help you take the first steps towards a healthier lifestyle.
If you think you might have angina or are worried about heart disease then please don’t ignore the early warning signs. Taking action now could help you avoid a heart attack in the future.