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What All You Should Know About Unstable Angina?

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What All You Should Know About Unstable Angina?

Cardiology | by Dr. Rakesh Sarkar | Published on 07/12/2022

Did you know that chest pain is called unstable angina? If not, then you aren’t the only one. Usually, people aren’t aware of this and consider chest pain normal. One must not take chest pain casually specifically when it is being experienced often.

Unstable angina is one of the types of angina that involves throbbing pain in the chest. When an individual experiences this kind of pain it is generally perceived carelessly and later it becomes difficult to treat.

If you experience the pain frequently and haven’t visited a professional yet, then don’t delay and get your appointment a cardiologist fixed soon. With the right treatment, unstable angina can be prevented.

Additionally, it is also important to gain the right information on unstable angina which we will give you in this write-up. So, make sure that you follow the reading.

What is unstable angina?

In unstable angina, an individual experiences chest pain that happens due to exertion, excessive stress, and due to exertion. This type of chest pain is more intensive and it keeps getting poorer in terms of severity and frequency. It involves artery blockage and indicates that the supply of blood to your heart and oxygen has reached a serious level.

An unstable angina attack is called an emergency that needs immediate clinical assistance and treatment. If the problem is not treated on time, it can lead to life-threatening dangers like heart failure, heart attack, and irregular heart rhythms.

What are the symptoms of unstable angina?

The symptoms of unstable angina are:

  • Crushing and unbearable chest pain
  • Pain radiating to the upper extremities on the left side usually
  • Unexplained fatigue, nausea, sweating, and dizziness.
  • Breath shortness and anxiety.

What causes unstable angina?

The primary cause of unstable angina is coronary heart disease. It is caused due to development of plaque across the artery walls. This leads to narrowing and making the arteries rigid. It becomes difficult for blood flow to reach the heart muscle as needed. If there is no sufficient blood and oxygen in the heart muscle, it causes chest pain.

Other risk factors causing unstable angina are obesity, diabetes, family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol low low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, sedentary lifestyle, and tobacco.

What is the process for unstable angina diagnosis?

The doctor begins with diagnosing the physical exam which involves blood pressure checking and there are other tests for diagnosing unstable angina. These tests are blood tests, electrocardiograms, echocardiography, stress tests, computed tomography angiography, coronary angiography, and heart catheterization.  

How to prevent unstable angina?

Here are the steps you can follow to include unstable angina:

  • If you are obese, then you will have to ensure losing weight to reduce the risk of unstable angina.
  • Tobacco habits should be limited or one must refrain from it completely.
  • Exercising daily.
  • Involve yourself in following a healthy lifestyle as it helps in improving heart health.
  • Lowering your stress and anxiety.

What is the treatment for unstable angina?

The treatment for unstable angina treatment is quite similar to angina treatment except for certain changes. Let’s have a look here:

  • Medications: The very first treatment your doctor will give you is a medication for blood thinning like aspirin, clopidogrel, and heparin. The medication will help in blood thinning which allows blood to move freely through coronary arteries. Here are other medications recommended to treat the conditions like cholesterol levels, anxiety, arrhythmia symptoms, and blood pressure.
  • Surgery: When there is a problem of artery blockage severely, your doctor will move forward with the invasive procedure. It involves angioplasty so that they remove the blockage. In severe cases, the doctor might also suggest heart bypass surgery for rerouting the blood flow from a blocked artery. It will benefit in improving blood flow.
  • Lifestyle changes: Lastly, your doctor will ask you to make some lifestyle changes. It includes following the right routine like waking up on time, healthy eating, exercising, losing weight, quitting smoking, and reducing stress.

Final words

Unstable angina is somewhat similar to stable angina but its propensity is very different. It doesn’t involve following a pattern and is more severe than stable angina. The unusual thing is that it can even happen when an individual is resting and lasts longer than stable angina. It might be difficult to control with medications. Since it poses the risk of heart attack, generally it is considered a clinical emergency.

So, if you observe any symptoms of unstable angina, don’t delay your visit to the doctor. Visit renowned and certified cardiologists in Kolkata at the BM Birla Heart Research Centre.



Is unstable angina fatal?

If an individual is suffering from unstable angina, then it implies that he/she has artery blockage and reached a severe stage already. As a consequence, the pain in the chest and uneasiness becomes more dangerous and regular. Unstable angina is surely a life-threatening emergency. Timely medication or rest can benefit in relieving the pain but the pain continues to get worse with time. So, it is important to consult the cardiologist doctor as soon as possible.

How long can one have unstable angina before reaching a heart attack stage?

If a person experiences chest pain or unstable angina frequently and doesn’t consider treatment, then the chances of a heart attack increase within three months.

Can stress cause unstable angina?

Certainly, it does. If an individual is always under stress and anger, it increases blood pressure. So, the hormonal surges formed during stress and anger can cause arteries to narrow and worsen angina.