Angina is chest pain or discomfort that comes from not having enough oxygen-rich blood in your heart muscle. It can feel like pressure in your chest or squeezing. In your neck, shoulders, head, jaw or back, too, the suffering will occur. it’s pain may even come as indigestion.

It is not a disease. It is a symptom of an underlying problem with the heart, usually coronary heart disease (CHD). Several forms of angina are present, including microvascular angina, Prinzmetal, stable, unstable angina and angina variant. Show an angina animation.

It usually happens when one or more of the coronary arteries, also called ischemia, are narrowed or blocked.

It may be a symptom of Microvascular Coronary Disease (MVD). This is heart disease that affects the smallest coronary arteries of the heart and has a greater chance of affecting women than men. Coronary MVD is called the X and non-obstructive CHD syndrome. Learn more about female angina.

There are many causes which can cause it’s pain, depending on the type of angina you have. The signs differ even depending on the type of angina that you have.

Types of Angina

It is important to know the forms of angina, and how they vary.

Stable / Pectoris


Variant (Prinzmetal)


Understand Your Risk for Angina

If you are at risk for heart disease or coronary MVD, then you are at risk for angina as well. The major risk factors for coronary heart disease and MVD include:

Unhealthy cholesterol levels

High blood pressure



Overweight or obesity

Metabolic syndrome


Unhealthy diet

Older age (The risk increases for males after age 45 and for females after age 55.)

Family history of early heart disease

Talk to Your Doctor

Hopefully, the doctor will ask you a number of questions to rule out the most dangerous or life-threatening possibilities. Think ahead, you can send as much details as you can.


A health-care provider will rule out all chest pain. If you have chest pain, the doctor will want to find out if the it is stable or unstable, and if it is. If this is unstable, you may need medical emergency treatment to try to prevent a heart attack.

The doctor will most likely do a physical examination, inquire about your symptoms and ask about your risk factors for heart disease and other medical disorders and your family history.

A doctor will check for any chest pain. If your doctor thinks you have unstable angina or is associated with a severe heart disease, the following tests and therapies might be recommended:

EKG (Electrocardiogram)

Stress Testing

Blood Tests

Chest X-Rays

Coronary Angiography and Cardiac Catheterization

Computed Tomography Angiography

Treatment of angina includes:

Lifestyle changes


Cardiac procedures

Cardiac Rehab

Both medications can help to reduce pain and discomfort, and the severity of it’s symptoms. Through treating whatever underlying medical disorder you may have, they will also eliminate or reduce the risk of heart attack and death.

Not all chest pain constitutes a symptom of heart disease.

Other conditions also can cause chest pain, such as:

Pulmonary embolism (a blockage in a lung artery)

Aortic dissection (tearing of a major artery)

A lung infection

Aortic stenosis (narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve)

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease)

Pericarditis (inflammation in the heart surrounding tissues) A panic attack


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