Unstable angina is a type of chest pain that occurs when the blood flow to the heart is reduced. It is usually caused by a blockage in the coronary arteries, which can be caused by a build-up of plaque (a mixture of fat, cholesterol, and other substances) on the inner walls of the arteries. Unstable angina is a serious condition that requires prompt medical attention, as it can be a warning sign of a heart attack. The main symptoms of unstable angina are chest pain, shortness of breath, and a feeling of tightness or pressure in the chest. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Unstable angina is usually caused by a blockage in the coronary arteries. These arteries supply blood to the heart muscle. A blockage can be caused by a build-up of plaque on the inner walls of the arteries. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, and other substances. As the plaque builds up, it can narrow the arteries and reduce blood flow to the heart.
Other factors that can increase the risk of developing unstable angina include:
If you are experiencing symptoms of unstable angina, your doctor will perform a physical examination and ask you about your medical history and symptoms. They may also order several tests to diagnose unstable angina and determine the cause of the blockage in your coronary arteries. These tests may include:
Your doctor will use the results of these tests to diagnose unstable angina and determine the best course of treatment.
You should see a doctor as soon as possible if you are experiencing symptoms of unstable angina, such as chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, or a feeling of tightness or pressure in the chest. These symptoms may be a warning sign of a heart attack, which is a medical emergency.
Blood thinners can be used to treat and prevent unstable angina. You will receive the drugs quickly when you take them safely. Some medicines include aspirin and prescription drug like clopidogrel.
These are crushing pain in your chest that may spread to other upper body areas. Chest pain can happen even when you do not exert yourself.
Blood tests help to check the level of cardiac troponins. Troponin levels allow doctors to tell about unstable angina from heart attacks. Your doctor may check the levels of certain fats, proteins, sugar and cholesterol in the blood. Chest X-ray detects lung disorders and other causes of chest pain which are not associated with heart disease.
Unstable angina might not respond to rest or nitroglycerin and require urgent attention. It usually lasts for 5 minutes and rarely for more than 15 minutes.
Visit a doctor when you are suffering from heart problems!