Angina is an indicant of coronary heart disease, and its symptoms in women are different from those experienced by men. They are also many times misinterpreted as heart attack symptoms.
Angina, a common symptom of coronary heart disease, is known to be caused due to reduced blood flow to the heart. It is characterized by chest pain or tightness in the upper chest while performing some physical activity. The pain may extend till your neck, throat, or arms. You may also experience a choking feeling in the throat. One of its major causes is narrowing of the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart. When these arteries get blocked due to fatty deposits, a condition known as atherosclerosis occurs, which leads to an angina attack. Other causes include disease of the heart valve or heart muscle spasm in the coronary arteries. Scroll down to know more about the symptoms of angina in women.
One of the most prominent symptoms is chest pain along with a feeling of pressure, heaviness, tightness, and squeezing. It may also be commonly accompanied by a burning sensation in the chest, which is many a time mistaken as a symptom of indigestion. The chest pain caused due to this condition is usually felt on the left side, and it might further radiate to the throat, neck, shoulder, back, or arm as well. Remember that the chest pain caused by this condition usually lasts for about 5 minutes.
Here is a list of some more common symptoms:
- Palpitations (rapid or irregular heartbeat)
- High blood pressure
- Burning sensation in the throat
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain behind the breastbone
- Excess perspiration
- Feeling of heaviness at the center of the chest
- Feeling of choking or lump in the throat
- Lightheadedness and weakness
- Sensation of indigestion or heartburn
- Sharp pain in the left arm, shoulders, and back
- Complete numbness in one or both the arms
- Anxiety and fatigue
Many a time, this condition is mistaken as a heart attack. This happens because the symptoms of both are very much similar. Remember that the main difference between the two is the duration of pain.
Some Quick Tips
➜ Maintaining healthy body weight by exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet is very essential.
➜ You must opt for a low-fat diet, fiber-rich foods, fresh fruits, and vegetables. This will help in reducing high blood pressure and obesity.
➜ You must also give up smoking and have a control on the alcohol intake. These changes in your lifestyle will certainly help.
➜ Staying stress free by trying relaxation techniques, like meditation or yoga will also help.
Though this heart condition does not damage your heart, remember that it is a symptom of coronary heart disease. If you experience the aforementioned symptoms, it is best to visit a doctor. The diagnosis will include physical examination and knowing whether there is a family history of any heart disease. Before the doctor starts the treatment, he/she might also suggest an X-ray, echocardiogram, exercise stress test, or coronary angiography to confirm the cause and type of angina. Further, your doctor might also prescribe some medications and would also guide you about the things to be done in an emergency. Considering the severity of the problem, your doctor might suggest you an angioplasty or coronary artery bypass graft surgery.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.