Angina is pain and discomfort in the chest felt when the heart does not receive enough blood. This is usually due to narrowing of the arteries, brought on by cholesterol and arthersclerosis.

What is it?
Angina Pectoris, or “Angina” is a recurring pain or discomfort in the chest that happens when some part of the heart does not receive enough blood. It is a common symptom of coronary heart disease (CHD), which occurs when vessels that carry blood to the heart become narrowed and blocked due to atherosclerosis.
What Happens?
Angina is a common symptom of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), which occurs when vessels that carry blood to the heart become narrowed and blocked due to arthrosclerosis (hardening of the arteries and build up of plaque).
Why does it happen?
When you feel angina pain it means that part of your heart muscle is not receiving adequate blood supply. Again, this is due to arthrosclerosis which is a hardening and narrowing of the arteries caused by a build up of cholesterol plaque. Plaque build up occurs when you eat too much food containing this type of plaque creating cholesterol.
Can I stop it?
Usually the first line of defense involves changing one's living habits to avoid bringing on attacks of angina. Controlling physical activity, adopting good eating habits, moderating alcohol consumption, and not smoking are some of the precautions that can help patients live more comfortably and with less angina. For example, if angina comes on with strenuous exercise, exercise a little less strenuously, but do exercise. If angina occurs after heavy meals, avoid large meals and rich foods that leave one feeling stuffed. Controlling weight, reducing the amount of fat in the diet, and avoiding emotional upsets may also help.
Should I see a doctor?
Chest discomfort that feels like a tightening, squeezing pain should be investigated by your physician as soon as possible.
Angina is often controlled by medication. The most commonly prescribed drug for angina is nitroglycerin, which relieves pain by widening blood vessels. This allows more blood to flow to the heart muscle and also decreases the work load of the heart. Doctors may recommend surgery or angioplasty if drugs fail to ease angina or if the risk of heart attack is high. Coronary artery bypass surgery is an operation in which a blood vessel is grafted onto the blocked artery to bypass the blocked or diseased section so that blood can get to the heart muscle.

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