Your Cart  $0.00  Store shopping cart 3
800 Second Ave Suite 900 New York, NY 10017
     The Center
Our Physicians
Subscribe to our eNewsletter:
Home » Health A-Z » Angina Skip Navigation Links
Print Share Size small medium
angina chest pain treatment

Overview of Angina

Whenever we exercise or experience excitement or stress, our heart rate increases as it works to pump more blood through the heart muscle and deliver oxygenated blood through the body. If not enough blood is able to get into the heart, this causes the extreme chest pains known as angina. Although the reduction of blood flow is only temporary during an angina attack, it can be both painful and upsetting, as the symptoms are similar to those of a heart attack.

Heart attacks differ in that they result from more prolonged interruptions of blood to the heart, often through physical blockage of the coronary artery by a dislodged plaque. Plaques are masses of lipids (such as cholesterol) that can gradually accumulate in the arteries and steadily narrow them over time. If a plaque comes loose, it can completely block the narrowed artery causing myocardial infarction (heart attack) and permanently damage the heart muscle.

This same narrowing of the arteries by lipid build-up is a common cause of angina, so although the symptoms of angina generally pass within minutes, they are potentially a sign of heart disease and should be carefully monitored. Angina attacks themselves do not damage the heart, but may be an indication of declining heart healthiness and risk for a heart attack.

Symptoms of Angina

Angina is characterized by chest pains that may range in severity from moderate feelings of tightness and discomfort to more sharp feelings of burning, choking, and squeezing. In some cases, the pains from angina may extend to the abdomen, back, and arms. Angina related pain may also radiate upward through the neck and jaw, and be accompanied by nausea, sweating, and shortness of breath. The symptoms usually occur during times of exertion or stress and subside as the heart rate decreases once again. This is known as "stable angina," when the pains predictably appear and then disappear once the heart is no longer working as hard. "Unstable angina," in which the symptoms manifest themselves when a person is relaxed, resting, or even asleep, is due to a sudden reduction of blood flow and may be a sign of more advanced heart disease.

Angina shares some symptoms with both heartburn and heart attack, and not knowing which of the three a person is experiencing can induce emotional stress, exacerbating the symptoms. If you have a history of indigestion and heartburn, then it may simply be heartburn that you are having once again. If you consistently notice chest pains in response to stress or physical exertion, however, it may be angina. If the symptoms of an angina attack last longer than ten minutes, you may be having a heart attack and should call an ambulance immediately.

Risk Factors of Angina

Chronic angina can be managed for many years without complications. Angina, though uncomfortable, is not damaging to the heart muscle. Because angina is indicative of problems with normal blood flow to the heart, however, special care should be taken to monitor the intensity and duration of the symptoms, as they may indicate the presence of heart disease. There is also a weak correlation between the intensity of the angina attacks and declining heart health. Angina is typically associated with stress or physical activity, but if you experience chest pains during times of rest or if the symptoms seem unusually intense, it may be a sign of unstable angina, putting you at risk for heart attack.

Begin Your Journey to Wellness with Patients Medical

Our job at Patients Medical is to listen, to connect the dots between a patient's medical history, symptoms, and their underlying causes. Patients Medical is a superb place for women and men to secure integrative and holistic health care from providers who give personalized care, partner with the patient to focus on the root cause of their illness, support their recovery, and help them maintain good health.

For those that can make the journey, we are happy to welcome new patients to our medical center in New York City. Call us at . We are here to listen and to help.

We are located at: Patients Medical PC, 800 Second Avenue, Suite 900 (Between 42nd & 43rd Street) Manhattan, New York, NY 10017

request your wellness consultation

First name:
Last name:
Postal code:
Phone number:
E-mail address:
Comments or questions:

1. Complete Form

Complete this simple form so that we can contact you to learn how Patients Medical can help you on your health and wellness journey.

2. Meet and Partner With Your Physician

Spend quality time partnering with a highly-trained integrative Patients Medical physician who specializes in holistic health. You and your physician will engage in a detailed consultation, physician examination, and diagnostic testing.

3. Follow-Up Consultation

At a follow-up visit, meet with your Patients Medical physician to discuss your test results and learn of your customized health treatment plan developed specifically for you. Your physician will evaluate your progress during each follow-up visit, modifying the plan to help you attain maximum health.

Security and protection of your personal health information is important to Patients Medical. We do not rent or sell your information to anyone. By clicking the submit button, you agree to be contacted by telephone and email and to receive our health newsletter. Opting out of our newsletter is quick and easy should you decide later that is not relevant to you.