Angina pectoris is a condition that occurs when your heart muscle doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood.
It is not actually a disease but a warning sign of heart disease, and recognizing it and getting it treated correctly, along with some lifestyle changes, of course, may prevent a heart attack.
An estimated 525,000 new cases of stable angina occur each year, according to the Framingham Heart Study. In the present day, over 12 million Americans suffer from angina.
Symptoms usually include:
- shortness of breath;
- pain in your arms;
- chest discomfort;
- burning across the chest;
- a rapid heartbeat.
Women may experience different symptoms, such as – abdominal discomfort or pain in the jaw, neck, or back as well as feeling a stabbing pain rather than pressure.
Note – these symptoms are usually brought on by an emotional upset, physical activity, after a meal, or cold weather. The episodes usually subside after three minutes.
This condition is commonly caused by coronary atherosclerosis, the thickening of arteries that supply oxygen, blood, and nutrients to the heart.
Atherosclerosis is caused by a fatty substance called plaque which builds up in the arteries, blocking blood flow to the heart muscle. Coronary atherosclerosis forces the heart to work with less oxygen. This causes pain.
There are many risk factors for coronary atherosclerosis, such as – smoking, sedentary lifestyle, low HDL cholesterol, high LDL cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, a diet high in salt.
If plaque ruptures, a blood clot may occur, blocking the coronary artery and preventing blood flow to the section of the heart muscle which the artery supplies. This is called a myocardial infarction or heart attack and is a life-threatening condition.
Moreover, chest pain can be caused by severe anemia – a condition in which the human body has less hemoglobin or fewer red blood cells that carry the much-needed oxygen.
Risk factors for angina are:
- for women – a history of pregnancy-related diabetes and preeclampsia;
- high LDL and total cholesterol;
- sleep deprivation;
- smoking tobacco;
- emotional stress;
- age – greater for women over 55 years and men over 45 years;
- sedentarism (lack of physical activity);
A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked. If the blood flow is not restored quickly, the damage to the heart muscle is permanent.
Every year about 735,000 people in the US have a heart attack.
Symptoms can include:
- an overwhelming feeling of anxiety;
- feeling weak;
- shortness of breath;
- chest pain (the pain can radiate from the chest to the neck, jaw, back, and arms).
Note – If you think you are having a heart attack, call for an ambulance immediately.
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The risk factors for a heart attack include the following:
- smoking cigarettes;
- increased C-reactive protein;
- living a sedentary lifestyle;
- a diet that is high in cholesterol, saturated fats, trans fat, and sodium;
- regular emotional stress;
- Low HDL cholesterol and high LDL cholesterol;
- high blood pressure.
Angina Pectoris (Chest Pain) – Spiritual Causes And Meaning
Constraints are always related to fear. In the case of angina pectoris, you have often disconnected your Ego from the unity of life and emotions, which results in their blocking. Separation always creates antagonisms or a defensive attitude.
In turn, this creates fear, which you are trying to compensate by striving for strength.
The physical expression of this mechanism is angina pectoris.
When you shut down and close off from other people, nothing can come in and out, so open yourself to the things that scare you. Life is a process of continuous exchange and shutting down and separation blocks you. Freely offer beauty within yourself.
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Spiritual Meaning of Heart Attack
A heart attack indicates the release of a large amount of “aggressive” energy accumulated within your body.
It represents all the anger, worries, and sadness that you have experienced, but, now these emotions have turned against you because they haven’t been released in any other way.
Look carefully at all your negative emotions without judging yourself. Open your heart to yourself and save yourself from having a heart attack.
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Stress is a normal part of life. However, if stress is left unmanaged, it can lead to psychological, emotional, and physical problems, like – chest pains, irregular heartbeats, heart disease, or hypertension.
The best method to reduce your stress levels is the practice of meditation.
For example, anxious people who took a mindfulness meditation course where they learned a few different strategies had a lower hormonal and inflammatory response and reacted to stress better than people who didn’t practice mindfulness meditation, according to a 2016 study issued in the journal Psychiatry Research.
Also, mindfulness meditation can also help you become more aware of how to make choices that lead to outcomes that are more supportive of happiness and well-being.
Lose The Extra Weight
If you are overweight or obese, losing weight is not only recommended, it is vital for your overall health. This will help to lower your blood pressure as well as the amount of workload on your heart.
Note – this risk increases with a waist measurement of over 35 inches in women and over 40 inches in men.
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Reduce Your Salt Intake
According to a study done by Prof Pekka Jousilahti at the National Institute of Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland, a diet high in salt is one of the leading causes of hypertension and an independent risk factor for stroke and coronary heart disease.
One of the best methods to avoid salt is to ensure most of your diet is made up of fresh foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, legumes, and seeds, as these are naturally low in salt.
A regular physical exercise, particularly healthy heart exercise (always consult with your health care specialist before commencing a new exercise regime) is highly effective in preventing cardiovascular problems.
If you smoke, try to quit. Talk to your doctor about effective methods that can help you quit smoking.
Lower Your LDL Cholesterol Levels
Eat a healthy diet. Avoid foods high in saturated fat, cholesterol, and trans fat. Foods high in fiber are useful in lowering LDL and total cholesterol.
High fiber foods include:
- oat bran;
- red kidney beans;
- sweet potatoes;
- navy beans;
Images credit – Shutterstock & Getty Images
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References https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC537684/ https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.115.002091 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4854148/