It is essential to know that angina is a treatable condition and that treatment modalities depend on both the type and the severity of the problem. They range from lifestyle modifications to emergency bypass surgeries. The main goal of treatment is to control the underlying pathology, relieve the symptoms, and prevent future cardiovascular events by controlling the risk factors, fixing the narrowing of the arteries by medications or anatomically by changing the pathology.
1) Lifestyle changes
Lifestyle modifications may be sufficient if your condition is mild and your symptoms are minimal. However, they are always required, even in the most severe forms of angina because they modulate the main risk factors and hence, work by preventing a recurrence. They include:
A. Weight control
The equation is actually simple: excess fat means excessive deposition of fat in your coronaries, which will aggravate their narrowing and, therefore, your condition.
B. Smoking cessation
There has never been a more significant correlation between a disease and a risk factor than there is between heart conditions and smoking. Smoking reduces oxygen delivery, favors clot formation and raises blood pressure. Studies have found that smoking cessation alone decreased the risk of death from coronary artery disease by 61% within 5 years.
C. Modifying your daily activity
Activities that precipitate angina should be detected thoroughly and performed slowly, on intervals, or stopped completely if needed.
D. Physical activity
Sedentary lifestyle is a significant risk factor for angina, and physical exercise has a cardioprotective effect. Thus, increasing your daily physical activity is always good, but it is important to consult your doctor about the type of exercise you need to do because some types of training might be too strenuous to your heart in your current condition.
E. Controlling your hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia
Whereas diabetes increases fat deposition in your coronaries, hypertension “injures” the walls of your coronaries making them more susceptible to fat deposition and clot formation. At the same time, hypercholesterolemia increases the level of cholesterol fats in your bloodstream. Controlling these risk factors significantly improves the quality of life.
F. Decreasing alcohol intake
Excessive alcohol aggravates angina, precipitate anginal pain attacks, and interacts with many medications typically used by these patients, such as statins, which lower your cholesterol level, and warfarin, a blood thinner that helps preventing clot formation in your blood vessels.
G. Eating healthy food
Food rich in saturated fats and refined sugars should be avoided since they increase the level of LDL cholesterol or what we call “the bad cholesterol,” a molecule that favors cholesterol deposition in the coronaries.
» Now, let’s discuss the medications as angina treatment.