10 Common Symptoms of Angina
Angina is when you have chest pain due to reduced blood flow to your heart. The chest pain can feel like squeezing, pressure, heaviness, or tightness. The pain can occur suddenly and recur over time. Angina may be a sign that you are at risk of coronary artery disease.
Angina is a very common condition, with more than 3 million cases diagnosed each year in the United States. Severity can vary, but angina symptoms are treated through lifestyle changes, medication, and surgery or various procedures.
Symptom 1: Dizziness/Lightheaded
Are you dizzy? Lightheaded? Suffering from confusion? Angina can make you feel that way.
According to a post on Patient.info, one patient stated: “Anybody had dizziness that was caused by coronary artery disease? I was diagnosed with angina about 3 years ago, my main symptoms being breathlessness when climbing stairs and pressure in the chest when walking uphill. At that time, I had some bouts of slight dizziness that came and went. Well my condition has deteriorated since I retired...I am now 65 and lost my job 2 years ago and feel I have really gone downhill. I am always light headed and unsteady on my feet to the extent people think I am drunk. Obviously, I have been to my GP but the best she could suggest was low levels of vitamin D after ruling out Parkinson’s Disease and inner ear problems. Well just today I have had my worst ever angina episode brought on by pumping up a bike tyre. I normally do not suffer chest pain (I have a nitromin spray but have only ever used it 2 or 3 times experimentally) but this time I had central chest pain and was very short of breath. It brought me to my knees and really frightened me. I honestly thought I was having a heart attack. So, in my mind I connected the dizziness with the onset of new and alarming angina symptoms. Anybody with experience of dizziness that was directly attributed to angina?”
Symptom 2: Shortness of Breath
Is it hard to breath in or out? Do you have shortness of breath? Rapid breathing?
Angina can cause shortness of breath, especially when you are doing everyday activities, like walking or climbing stairs. Resting helps diminish difficulty breathing. However, shortness of breath can be a sign of cardiac disease.
Symptom 3: Nausea
Do you feel nauseated? Sick to your stomach?
According to the Bradenton Heart Center, “A rare, but important symptom associated with angina is nausea. Angina-related nausea tends to arise suddenly, and stem from a lack of blood and oxygen to your heart muscle. In most cases, the nausea is mild or moderate, in severe cases, the nausea may lead to excessive vomiting. If you experience severe nausea and/or vomiting, it is important to contact a medical professional immediately. Prolonged vomiting can worsen an angina attack, and lead to dehydration.”
Symptom 4: Sweating
Do you break out in a cold sweat? Do you sweat without doing any physical exercise?
If you sweat excessively for no obvious reason, seek medical attention because it is likely related to cardiac issues.
Symptom 5: Chest Pain
Do you have squeezing, pressure, heaviness, tightness, or pain in your chest? Does it feel like a clenched fist in your chest? What about pain in your jaw, shoulders, back, or neck?
Your heart muscle is not getting enough oxygen-rich blood and arteries are blocked. The pain felt can be different between men and women. Usually, such pain is a warning sign of heart disease.
Symptom 6: Fatigue
Do you feel tired most of the time? Do you have extreme fatigue, no matter how much sleep you get? Are you so tired that you can barely walk a few steps or climb stairs?
According to a post on Inspire. com, “I take a nap almost every day because of fatigue. I was told by my cardiologist that Prinzmetal's angina can be deadly if it causes an uncontrolled arrhythmia or completely closes an artery, but these circumstances are very rare. I have a 30% blockage in the LAD that went to an 80% blockage…”
Symptom 7: Unable to Exercise
Unable to exercise like you used to? Or not at all?
Angina is often exercise-induced. Angina happens when your heart muscle doesn't get enough oxygen to function properly. Then, your heart must work even harder when you exercise.
Symptom 8: Heartburn/Indigestion
Do you experience pain that feels like indigestion or heartburn? Heartburn and indigestion are sometimes mistaken for angina – and vice versa.
If you are unsure about your heartburn or indigestion, seek medical attention immediately.
Symptom 9: Anxiety
Do you feel anxious? Are you stressed out? Stress and anxiety can be a part of angina. It can be difficult to differentiate anxiety dye to angina from regular episodes of anxiety.
According to a post on Patient.info, “So I've suffered from pretty bad anxiety for a year or so now. It began where I had a bad panic attack on holiday and was certain I was having a heart attack. Had awful palpitations, extremely tight chest etc. This was fine after it happened, and I didn't have an issue for about 6 months until I started to get a really tight chest daily due to stress. I went to ER and they gave me blood test, ECG check and everything came back fine. The tight chest lasted for a week or so until I kinda forgot about it, so it went away. Well last month I started to suffer from IBS type symptoms which has shot my anxiety off on one again and suddenly I am back to the tight chestedness daily and now I'm getting slight pain usually on the left side of my chest, but sometimes it goes to the middle/right chest on top of my IBS issues. I've been to the doc numerous times about my IBS and said there was no point to do any more heart checks as he was sure it was anxiety. What do you guys think? It's just worrying me a lot now as I've never had these pains before this 'episode' of anxiety. I've been put on citalopram to help with the anxiety but so far I'm not noticing any changes.”
Symptom 10: Fast Heart Rate
Does your heart beat faster than usual? Like your heart is about to jump out of your chest?
Angina can cause you to have a faster heart rate due to disrupted blood flow. Fortunately, there are beta-blockers and other medications that can reduce high heart rates.
More on Symptoms: