Angina is caused by an insufficient supply of oxygen to the heart muscle. When this occurs there is an incredible feeling of pressure or squeezing like chest pain which may also radiate to the left shoulder blade jaw and arm. The pain typically lasts for only a minute to several minutes in duration. It is likely to be triggered by either physical exertion of stress. Angina usually precedes a heart attack.
Causes of Angina
Angina is nearly always due to blockage of the Coronary Arteries due to atherosclerosis which is basically a build up of cholesterol containing plaque or sludge. This blockage results in diminished flow of blood as well as oxygen to the heart muscle. When the flow of oxygen n to the heart muscle is reduced greatly or when there is a significant need by the heart for more oxygen as in strenuous exercise then Angina results.
2. Prinzmetal’s Variant Angina
This form of angina has nothing to do with the buildup of plaque inside coronary arteries but rather due to spasm of the coronary arteries. This kind of angina is more likely to occur at rest and at any time of the day or night. It tends to be more common in women and responds well to daily magnesium supplementation.
Treatment of Angina
Angina is a serious condition that requires careful monitoring and treatment from your doctor and cardiologist.
Non invasive tests such as the stress test, echocardiogram ( ultrasound examination of the heart which measures its function and size) and Holter heart monitors which measure the pulse and assesses the quality of heart beats over a twenty four hour period.
Invasive tests such as the utilization of coronary angiograms, angioplasty and even the option of artery bypass surgery will be discussed with you at some stage depending on the severity of the blockage by your cardiologist.
The use of mainstream prescription sublingual or medicated skin patch medications are also used to ward off acute attacks of angina which are painful and very stressful to the patient who literally fears for his / her life.
Natural Treatment of Angina
The information below must NOT be viewed as medical advice but rather as a possible adjunct to what your doctor and cardiologist has advised and is subject to their approval. Angina is a serious condition and must be medically monitored.
1. Herbal Medicine
Natural Medicine offers a great deal in the treatment of many cardiovascular diseases including Angina.
Nature has provided many herbs which act as a tonic for the heart muscle and helps reverse the cause of the disease which is primarily atherosclerosis. Some of these herbs have been routinely prescribed by medical doctors in Europe for many years. The most noted and perhaps the greatest heart tonic is Hawthorn although at Mother Natures Pharmacy we use several other heart herbs that act syngistically and have been used for hundreds of years for “heart health” .
The consumption of fast foods, highly processed foods as well as saturated fats should be avoided all together. Instead one should include a diet high in dietary fibre with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit as well as deep sea fish three times a week is desirable. Legumes as well as nuts such as almonds and walnuts are also helpful. It is also a good idea to include porridge as a staple breakfast cereal in the diet as oat bran in particular helps to lower cholesterol levels as do pears and avocadoes.
Brisk walking on a daily basis is recommended but only to tolerance. In time you will be able to increase the frequency and duration per week subject to your cardiologist’s approval. By en large aerobic exercise even if it is brisk walking for short durations will act to strengthen the heart, improve cardiovascular fitness, and improve your stress response.
4. Nutritional Supplements
There are several nutritional supplements which will act to strengthen the heart and reverse atherosclerosis.
It has been known and well documented in mainstream medicine that a diet high in animal protein will lead to an abnormal accumulation of Homocysteine levels if there is not enough Vitamin B6, B12, and Folic acid in the diet. Elevated levels of homocysteine are responsible for atherosclerosis of arteries including the coronary, and cerebral arteries and will in time result in angina, heart attacks and or strokes.
The use of Co enzyme Q 10 as well as magnesium supplements will also help to strengthen the heart and improve the stress response as pioneered by Dr Hans Selye who was a prominent endocrinologist of the 1930’s.
At Mother Natures Pharmacy our practitioners are trained in Nutrition and Nutritional Biochemistry and know that nutritional supplements are necessary and will become an effective tool in Preventative Medicine as well as in the treatment and cure of disease in the years to come.