Angina, or angina pectoris, is when you experience pain or discomfort when a narrowed coronary artery prevents blood from reaching the heart muscle. Those with the condition describe angina as discomfort, pressure, or pain in the back, shoulders, neck, arms (usually the left arm), jaw, or chest. This pain usually occurs most often with emotional stress or physical activity.
Angina occurs when the heart muscle is not receiving enough oxygen. This does not cause the heart permanent damage, but it can predict a heart attack. Thus, though some may experience angina for many years without a heart attack, this pain should not be taken lightly.
Living a heart-healthy life can help you control your blood pressure and cholesterol, keep your arteries clear, and prevent angina.
- Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat protein like nuts and fish
- Exercise regularly
- Monitor your blood pressure regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight and keep diabetes under control
- Quit smoking