Angina: A warning sign? Angina: A warning sign?

Not all chest pain means you have a heart problem. To prevent a heart attack, knowing the symptoms is key.

Medical Advisor: Sebastián naranjo, cardiologist

When the heart does not receive enough blood, this lowers the amount of oxygen this muscle needs to operate correctly. As a result, this may produce the chest pain that is associated with angina pectoris (commonly known as angina).

The most common form of angina occurs because the heart has to work harder than usual. This is not a threat to your health, it only requires rest and medications prescribed by a specialist. Angina can also be the primary symptom of a heart attack, however. Those with cardiovascular risk factors must therefore be aware of the following warning signs of a heart attack.

30 years is the age in which men may begin to experience angina pectoris.

5 warnings:

1. A tight, burning or pain sensation in the chest.
2. Pain that radiates to the shoulder and left arm (can also occur in both arms, the stomach and back).
3. Pain that expands to the neck, jaw and throat.
4. While they are not always noticed, cold sweats, nausea or feelings of weakness and confusion are warnings of a heart attack.
5. Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath (these symptoms are most common in older adults and women). The main difference between angina pectoris and a heart attack is that heart attack symptoms do not disappear after the stressor that triggered it is gone.

Types of angina

This is referred to as chronic angina. Its symptoms are almost always predictable and are not necessarily connected to thechance of having a heart attack.

What triggers it?

It is often a response to a physical effort or strong emotion that is as equally as intense.

What does it feel like?

  • Symptoms last between 1 and 15 minutes and tend to disappear after the stressor that caused the angina has gone away.
  • The pain is a response to a predictable action and is the same every time it occurs.
  • If symptoms change, get worse, do not improve with rest, last longer than normal or if they return, this could be a sign of a heart attack.

Unstable (sign of a heart attack)

This is the most dangerous type of angina as the onset of symptoms is unpredictable and it can lead to a heart attack or cardiac arrest.

What triggers it?

It generally occurs as a result of a lack of oxygen to the heart, caused by the accumulation of fat along the arterial walls.

What does it feel like?

Unlike stable angina, unstable angina has no specific pattern. It can even occur when you are resting. The pain lasts for more than a few minutes or continually appears and disappears. If symptoms do not go away, even if the person rests; they may also have a difficult time breathing, have cold sweats, nausea or feel lightheaded.

If you notice any of these warning signs, go to an emergency care facility immediately or call 123 (the emergency telephone number in Colombia).

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