If you experience chest pain during physical activities, it is possible that you are suffering from stable angina. The chest pain starts gradually, worsening with further progress in the physical activity or stress. Medication and rest brings instant relief from the chest pain. If left untreated stable angina could lead to severe heart problems.
Stable angina causes
Atherosclerosis is primarily responsible for causing stable angina. When low-density lipoprotein deposits in the walls of the blood vessels, they gradually harden to form plague in the arterial walls. The plague narrows and stiffens the coronary arteries, reducing flow of blood in the heart muscles.
The heart, just like other organs of the body, needs oxygen to perform its normal activities. The narrow coronary arteries fail to supply adequate oxygenated blood to the heart muscles. The reduced supply of oxygenated blood slows down the activity of the heart. During normal physical activities, modest amount of oxygenated blood is sufficient for the heart to perform its activities. However, with increased physical activities or stress, the demand for blood in all parts of the body, including the heart, increase rapidly. This forces the heart to enhance its blood pumping function. The demand for oxygenated blood increases in the heart muscles. Unfortunately, the poor supply of oxygenated blood could not match the demand, resulting in chest pain.
How to prevent stable angina
Stable angina tends to interfere in your normal activities, adversely affecting the quality of your life. Risk factors that make you susceptible to this condition are often related to your lifestyle. By modifying your lifestyle, you can easily reduce the risk of developing angina. Diet rich in saturated fats are primarily responsible for cholesterol build up in the coronary blood vessels.
Excess consumption of sausages, bacons, processed meat, cream and butter tend to increase the level of bad cholesterol in your body. However, unsaturated fats, which are sources of high density lipoprotein or good cholesterol could prevent angina. Fish oil and flaxseed oil are sources of omega 3 fatty acids, which help to raise the good cholesterol level in your bloodstream. People who are overweight and obese have greater risk of developing angina. Healthy diet and regular exercise could help to lower the risk of angina. Untreated hypertension and diabetes could make you vulnerable to angina. To prevent angina, you should avoid smoking and excess drinking.