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Angina Treatment

Angina Treatment
What is angina?
Causes and Risk Factors

Angina treatment
To treat angina, doctors first treat underlying heart disease by improving blood flow to the heart. The main goals of angina treatment are to:

  1. Prevent or lower the risk of heart attack and death
  2. Reduce pain and discomfort
  3. Reduce how often angina occurs

Making a decision on how to treat angina can be difficult, but knowing the benefits and risks of treatment options may help you decide. Talk to your doctor about which angina treatment is right for you. Furthermore, you and your doctor should agree on a plan for treating angina on a daily basis. A treatment plan will detail:

  • A list of signs or symptoms that angina is getting worse
  • Medicines to prevent angina
  • Medicines during angina
  • Which activities approved by your doctor and which ones are not
  • When you should call the doctor or 911

Cardiac Rehabilitation
Your doctor may prescribe cardiac rehab for angina or after angioplasty, CABG, or a heart attack. A cardiac rehab team can include doctors, nurses, exercise specialists, physical and occupational therapists, dieticians, and psychologists or other behavioral therapists. Rehabilitation of the heart includes two types of therapy:

Exercise training - This type of treatment focuses on safe exercise to strengthen the muscles and improve stamina. A personalized exercise plan will be based on your abilities, needs, and interests.

Education, counseling, and training - This part of cardiac rehab helps you understand the heart's condition and find ways to reduce risks of future heart problems. You will learn how to cope with the stress of adjusting to a new lifestyle and to deal with your fears about the future.

Making lifestyle changes can help prevent episodes of angina. You can:

  • Avoid large meals and rich foods that leave you feeling stuffed.
  • Avoid second hand smoke.
  • Be physically active.
  • Check with your doctor to find out how much and what kinds of activity are safe for you.
  • Learn ways to handle stress that can't be avoided.
  • Lose weight, if you're overweight or obese.
  • Quit smoking, if you smoke.
  • Slow down or take rest breaks if angina comes on with exertion.
  • Take all medicines as your doctor prescribes especially if you have diabetes.
  • Try to avoid situations that make you upset or stressed if angina comes on with stress.

Nitrates are the most commonly used medicines to treat angina. They relax and widen blood vessels. This allows more blood to flow to the heart while reducing its workload. You also may need other medicines to treat angina. These medicines may include:

  • ACE inhibitors
  • anticoagulants
  • beta blockers
  • calcium channel blockers
  • oral antiplatelet medicines

These medicines can help:

  • lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • prevent blood clots from forming
  • reduce strain on the heart
  • relax blood vessels
  • slow the heart rate

If chest pain lasts longer than a few minutes and doesn't go away when you rest or take angina medications, it may be a sign you're having a heart attack. Call 911 or emergency medical help! Arrange for transportation, and drive yourself to the hospital only as a last resort. 

Medical Procedures

When medicines and other treatments don't control angina, doctors may recommend a medical procedure to treat the underlying heart disease. Angioplasty and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) are both commonly used to treat angina.

Angioplasty - Angioplasty opens blocked or narrowed coronary arteries. Angioplasty can improve blood flow to the heart, relieve chest pain, and possibly prevent a heart attack. Sometimes a small mesh tube called a stent is placed in the artery to keep it open after the procedure.

Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) - During CABG, healthy arteries or veins taken from other areas in the body are used to go around narrowed coronary arteries. Bypass surgery can improve blood flow to the heart, relieve chest pain, and possibly prevent a heart attack.

To monitor angina and possible complications, keep track of what causes angina pain, what it feels like, how often you experience angina, and how long it lasts. If there's a change in your pattern for the worse (for example, if it happens more frequently or with less exertion), let your doctor know right away.

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Tags: angina treatment, angina pain, cardiac rehabilitation, medical procedures, treatment options, heart problems, rehabilitation, Bypass Surgery, anticoagulants, ace inhibitors, Heart Disease, complications, Heart Attack, antiplatelet, medications, Cholesterol, heart rate, treatments, procedure, treatment
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