When the chest pain occurs, the patient feels like there is a heavy object pressing on the chest, which is very uncomfortable, in some cases, the pain feels like squeezing the heart, burning pain, pain like cutting.
What is chest pain?
Angina is a medical term, used to describe symptoms of ischemic heart disease. The cause of the disease is that a small branch of the coronary artery is narrowed, making an area of the heart muscle not supplied with adequate blood, so it does not guarantee myocardial nutrition.
However, many patients believe that angina is pain that feels like a constriction in the chest area. In fact, there are many such pain but it is not due to ischemic heart disease, so it is not called angina.
For example, pain due to other diseases in the heart, in the lungs, in the esophagus, in the stomach, in the ribs, in the nerves, and in the muscles…
Angina attacks often recur many times, each pain usually lasts 2 to 10 minutes. Pain that is too short for less than 1 minute or too long for more than 15 minutes, is not usually angina.
Factors that increase the risk of angina
– Age: Men over 45 years old, women over 55 years old have a higher risk of angina than younger people.
Family history of heart disease: If you have a family member with coronary artery disease or a heart attack, you have a higher risk of developing angina.
Smoking: Smoking and long-term exposure to second-hand smoke damage the body’s arteries, including those leading to the heart, causing cholesterol plaques to build up blocking the flow of blood.
Diabetes: In people with diabetes, the body cannot produce enough insulin on its own to convert glucose into energy. Diabetes also increases the risk of coronary heart disease, leading to angina, myocardial infarction; at the same time increase the possibility of atherosclerosis and increase blood cholesterol levels.
High blood pressure: High blood pressure damages the arteries by speeding up the hardening of the arteries.
High cholesterol: Cholesterol is a major part of a deposit that can narrow arteries throughout the body, including those that supply blood to the heart. High levels of “bad” cholesterol increase the risk of angina and heart attack.
Having medical conditions such as chronic kidney disease, peripheral artery disease, metabolic syndrome, a history of stroke, etc. increases the risk of angina.
Sedentary: In sedentary people, cholesterol levels are at increased risk. In addition, the risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and obesity is also higher than those who are regularly active.
Obesity: Obesity is linked to high blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and diabetes. All of which increase the risk of angina and heart disease.
Stress: Stress can increase the risk of angina. An increase in hormones produced by stress can narrow the arteries and worsen angina.
Medications: Migraine medications, which can cause Prinzmetal’s angina.
Drug abuse: Cocaine and other stimulants can constrict blood vessels and trigger angina.
Cold weather: The cold weather of winter can cause angina.
What causes chest pain?
Angina occurs due to decreased blood flow to the heart muscle, while blood supplies oxygen to the heart’s activities. When the heart muscle is not supplied with enough oxygen, it will cause ischemia.
Angina is a sign of an underlying heart problem, such as:
Coronary artery disease (CAD): This is the leading cause of angina. This condition occurs when plaques build up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. The arteries narrow or harden reducing blood flow to the heart. This lack of blood flow causes myocardial ischemia, increasing the risk of myocardial infarction.
Coronary Microvascular Disease (MVD): Women have a higher risk of MVD angina than men. This condition affects the walls and lining of the small blood vessels that branch from the coronary arteries, reducing blood flow to the heart, causing coronary artery constriction.
Coronary spasms: These spasms restrict blood flow to the heart causing angina.
In addition, heart problems such as heart failure, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, heart valve disease, abnormal heart rhythms, etc. can also cause angina.
What are the symptoms of angina?
Angina may be indistinct, indistinguishable, or intense, as if there is great pressure on the chest area. The pain can radiate down the back, neck, left shoulder, even the arm.
In addition, the pain may be accompanied by symptoms such as sweating, nausea, fainting, dizziness, and shortness of breath. However, the symptoms of angina depend on the type that the patient is having. Recognizing the types of angina will help the patient to manage the pain promptly and effectively.
There are four types of angina:
This is the most common type, the pain occurs in the posterior region of the sternum, can radiate to the arms, back and other parts. Symptoms occur when the patient does strenuous activities such as walking or climbing stairs. Stable angina is usually predictable and will subside with rest or vasodilators.
Unstable angina is often severe, prolonged, and has an increasing frequency with increasing pain. This pain is extremely dangerous because it not only causes acute myocardial infarction but can cause sudden death if not treated promptly. Even with timely emergency treatment, the patient’s chances of having sequelae are very serious.
This is a rare pain that usually comes on suddenly in the middle of the night while you are sleeping, can last up to 30 minutes and tends to be severe. However, this symptom can be reduced with medical treatment.
The pain is present for a long time, causing more serious heart damage than other angina attacks. Accompanying symptoms include: shortness of breath, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, lack of energy and onset of stress, stress, etc.
Location of chest pain
Most pain comes from the center of the chest just behind the sternum, or the left side of the chest in front of the heart. The pain then spread from the chest to the left shoulder. If it spreads further, it will spread to the left arm, left forearm, left finger and often the little finger. Rarely, it spreads to the neck, right arm, and epigastrium but never down to the navel.
Is angina dangerous? When to be hospitalized?
Angina is the most typical warning sign of cardiovascular disease, especially myocardial infarction.
When symptoms of angina persist for more than 15 minutes and do not subside despite taking medicine and resting, you need to be very careful because this is most likely a warning sign of an impending heart attack. The “golden” time to treat a heart attack is within 1-2 hours from the time the first symptoms appear. Therefore, the patient needs to be taken to the hospital immediately, any delay can damage the heart and take the patient’s life.
Diagnosis of angina pectoris
At Hong Ngoc General Hospital, patients will be assigned to perform the following items to diagnose angina:
Blood tests: In patients with myocardial infarction, the heart releases biomarkers such as Troponin T or I. If these biomarkers are present in the blood, you may have had a myocardial infarction. heart.
Coronary angiogram: The doctor places a thin tube in a blood vessel in the arm or thigh. The tube is then brought up to the heart, and contrast is injected to see the blood vessels that feed the heart. This method will detect if the artery that feeds your heart is blocked.
– Multi-slice computed tomography (MSCT) with contrast: Helps to detect blocked blood vessels supplying the heart and blood clots in the pulmonary arteries…
How to treat angina?
Depending on the cause of your chest pain, your doctor will have an appropriate treatment method. The main aim of treatment is to prevent and relieve pain; limit the accumulation of additional atheroma, slow down the progression of the disease; reduce the risk of a heart attack.
Some of the treatments used to treat angina:
In case of chest pain caused by a heart attack, the doctor will prescribe pain relievers and drugs to limit heart damage. If medication does not control the angina, the doctor will recommend the patient to perform some surgical interventions to keep the heart muscle working, such as coronary angiography and stenting or bypass surgery.
– In case the patient has aortic dissection, surgical repair will be performed.
If the chest pain is caused by the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus, the patient will be prescribed an acid-suppressing medication.
If the chest pain is caused by panic attacks, the patient will be treated with antidepressants.
How to prevent angina?
Lifestyle changes don’t give immediate relief from angina, but it is an important factor in helping you prevent angina from occurring. Here’s how you should apply it every day:
Avoid heavy work or exertion to keep your heart healthy.
– Avoid stress, stress, keep psychological comfort.
– Build a scientific diet, eat a lot of vegetables, fiber, fish. Limit eating fat, salt, sweets, fried foods …
– Quit smoking, alcohol, try to lose weight if overweight or obese.
Thorough treatment of diseases that cause angina pectoris such as high blood pressure, diabetes, dyslipidemia, etc.
Exercise at least 30 minutes a day with moderate activities such as yoga, walking, cycling, etc.
– Take medicine exactly as prescribed by your doctor to control blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar…
– Periodic health examination at least once a year, electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, blood pressure measurement, etc., every 6 months.
To have a healthy heart, people who are at high risk for cardiovascular diseases or have symptoms of angina need to see a doctor soon, for timely treatment.
With the desire for customers to be examined, monitored and treated for cardiovascular disease effectively, Hong Ngoc Hospital has cooperated with experienced cardiovascular experts to examine patients.
Accordingly, when having a cardiovascular examination here, customers will be examined with a team of doctors who are highly trained in the US, France, Germany, Japan… on echocardiography, vascular ultrasound, fetal echocardiography, heart ultrasound congenital, cardiac arrhythmia treatment, coronary intervention, peripheral vascular…
Doctors are constantly updating the latest methods in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. The diagnosis of the disease is based on thorough history taking, symptom assessment, and appropriate laboratory indications. Along with that, each patient will receive detailed and specific advice on treatment regimens, reducing economic burden and unwanted side effects.
In particular, the cardiovascular treatment regimen for each patient is always closely monitored, interdisciplinary coordination in the treatment of cardiovascular disease in elderly patients with many underlying diseases.
In order to assist doctors in accurately diagnosing cardiovascular diseases, the hospital also invests in modern imported equipment such as: Voluson E8 ultrasound machine, electrocardiogram system, 24-hour electrocardiogram Holter, CT machine Revolution EVO and MRI Signa Creator 1.5 Tesla (GE Healthcare – USA); Abbott testing system (USA)…
For cardiovascular consultation, please register here:
Cardiology – Hong Ngoc General Hospital
Address: 55 Yen Ninh, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
No. 8 Chau Van Liem, Nam Tu Liem, Hanoi
Hotline for consultation and appointment booking: 0911 858 616
**Note: The information provided in the article of Hong Ngoc General Hospital is for reference only, not a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. To know the exact condition of the disease, patients need to go to reputable medical facilities to be directly examined by doctors and advise on effective treatment regimens.
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