You were having angina. Angina is chest pain, chest pressure, often associated with shortness of breath. You had this problem when your heart was not getting enough blood and oxygen. You may not have had a heart attack.
You may feel pressure, squeezing, burning, or tightness in your chest. You may also have pressure, squeezing, burning, or tightness in your arms, shoulders, neck, jaw, throat, or back.
Some people may feel discomfort in their back, shoulders, and stomach area.
You may have indigestion or feel sick to your stomach. You may feel tired and be short of breath, sweaty, lightheaded, or weak. You may have these symptoms during physical activity, such as climbing stairs, walking uphill, lifting, and engaging in sexual activity.
You may have symptoms more often in cold weather. You can also have symptoms when you are resting, or when wake you up from your sleep.
Ask your health care provider how to treat your chest pain when it happens.
Angina is a type of chest discomfort due to poor blood flow through the blood vessels of the heart muscle. This article discusses how to care for yo...
Try to limit how much alcohol you drink. Ask your provider when it is OK to drink, and how much is safe.
DO NOT smoke cigarettes. If you do smoke, ask your provider for help quitting. DO NOT let anyone smoke in your home.
Learn more about what you should eat for a healthier heart and blood vessels. Avoid salty and fatty foods. Stay away from fast-food restaurants. Your provider can refer you to a dietitian, who can help you plan a healthy diet.
Your body needs cholesterol to work well. But cholesterol levels that are too high can harm you. Cholesterol is measured in milligrams per deciliter...
Try to avoid stressful situations. If you feel stressed or sad, tell your provider. They can refer you to a counselor.
Ask your provider about sexual activity. Men should not take medicines or any herbal supplements for erection problems without checking with their provider first. These drugs are not safe when used with nitroglycerin.
Have all of your prescriptions filled before you go home. You should take your drugs the way you have been told. Ask your provider if you can still take other prescription drugs, herbs, or supplements you have been taking.
Take your drugs with water or juice. DO NOT drink grapefruit juice (or eat grapefruit), since these foods may change how your body absorbs certain medicines. Ask your provider or pharmacist about this.
People who have angina often receive the drugs below. But sometimes these drugs may not be safe to take. Talk with your provider if you are not already taking one of these drugs:
Antiplatelet drugs (blood thinners), such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), prasugrel (Efient), or ticagrelor (Brilinta)
Current guidelines recommend that people with coronary artery disease (CAD) receive antiplatelet therapy with either aspirin or clopidogrel. Aspirin ...
Amsterdam EA, Wenger NK, Brindis RG, et al. 2014 AHA/ACC guideline for the management of patients with non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndromes: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;64(24):e139-e228. PMID: 25260718 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25260718.
Fihn SD, Gardin JM, Abrams J, et al. 2012 ACCF/AHA/ACP/AATS/PCNA/SCAI/STS guideline for the diagnosis and management of patients with stable ischemic heart disease: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association task force on practice guidelines, and the American College of Physicians, American Association for Thoracic Surgery, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, and Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Circulation. 2012;126(25):e354-e471. PMID: 23166211 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23166211.
O’Gara PT, Kushner FG, Ascheim DD, et al. 2013 ACCF/AHA guideline for the management of ST-elevation myocardial infarction: executive summary: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Circulation. 2013;127(4):529-555. PMID: 23247303 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23247303.
Sabatine M, Cannon CP. Approach to the patient with chest pain. In: Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald’s Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 50.
Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.