But it’s not The Big One. Five minutes later the pain has subsided and Ollie recalls what he is to do. His pain is not a heart attack, and it’s not heartburn. Its Angina. And it’s a sign that the arteries in ollie’s heart are clogging up with fat. The blood can’t get through to nourish his heart. That high-fat, high-salt feast, going out into the cold, shoveling snow. Any one of those things can bring on Angina. Here are some expert advice on Angina.
Get a new outlook on life: Patients are advised to see the light and make some lifelong lifestyle changes. It’s a major concern that patients take expensive drugs and not make a commitment to modify their lifestyle. They’re only going to get Angina again. Sometime we look for quick answers to tough problems. That doesn’t work with angina and heart disease. With a good attitude and the desire to live a healthier life, the other necessary changes will come a whole lot easier.
Clear the Air: For those who smoke, kicking the habit is the most important thing you can do. On a scale of one to ten, it rates a ten. Smoke increases blood levels of carbon monoxide, which displaces oxygen. And since angina is an artery-clogged heart crying out for oxygen, smoking is clearly the worst thing you can do. Those who quit usually show an immediate decrease in episodes of angina. What’s more, cigarettes smoke makes your blood platelets stick together, further blocking your partially blocked arteries. Last, but far from least, smoking diminishes the effects of any medication you may be taking.
Studies have found that angina patients who quit smoking have half the death rate of those who continue.
Think “less is best” when eating: This means less salt, less fat, less calories. Just one overly salty, overly fatty meal can cause an angina attack because it raises your blood pressure suddenly. To control the level of fat in your diet, most doctors suggest a diet containing less than 30% of calories from fat. This means cutting back as much as possible on foods containing saturated fat – the kind (such as butter) that hardens at room temperature – and cholesterol.
Exercise angina away: Lots of angina patients like to sell themselves on the notion that exercise is out of the question because it exerts the heart, and since exertion brings on angina, exercise should be avoided. People with angina need to stay in control of their bodies and so exercise is necessary. Now why is exercise very necessary?
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Exercise is a proven stress releaser: And it will also help you lose weight. Both stress and overweight are counterproductive to heart health. It will also lower your heart rate and reduce your blood pressure, which, in turn, will help reduce your need for medication. Exercise alone is no panacea. It takes exercise and diet combined to be effective.
Learn to relax: Whether relaxation is by exercise or by meditation, learn how to control you’re your emotions instead of having them control you.
Take an Aspirin a Day: For those with unstable angina the kind that can hit you without exertion, such as when you’re resting or even sleeping), aspirin can be a lifesaver, some doctors believe. All heart patients, however should get their doctors approval before starting on aspirin. Even though it is an over the-counter drug, aspirin can have can have side-effects. In addition, it could interact with other medication you may be on.
Put your Body on Tilt at night: if you experience angina attacks at night. Tilting the head of your bed up 3 or 4 inches can reduce the number of attacks. Sleeping in this position makes more blood pool in your leg area, so not so much returns to the heart’s narrowed arteries. And it may help reduce the need for nitroglycerine. Put your foot down: if you do get angina attacks at night, an alternative to reaching for a nitroglycerine tablet is by sitting on the edge of the bed with your feet on the floor. It is equivalent to the effect of nitroglycerine. If you don’t feel your symptoms begin to subside quickly, then reach for your medication.