Angina is the term for chest pain or discomfort. There are several variations of the condition. "Classic" is usually brought on by exertion or anxiety and is relieved by resting. "Equivalent" is fatigue caused by exertion that is relieved by rest or nitroglycerin. "Variant" occurs at rest or in atypical patterns at night or after exercise. "Unstable" is pain that changes to become more frequent, more severe or both. This may lead to a myocardial infarction in some patients.
A strangling or constrictive pain in the chest is a classic symptom of the condition. Other common symptoms are a sense of choking or of heaviness, fullness or squeezing pressure around the heart, many times accompanied by pain. These sensations may radiate to the back, arms, neck, lower jaw, teeth and shoulders. These symptoms may be brought on by exercise, stress, meals, cold air or smoking. Other symptoms include dizziness, palpitations, breathlessness,nausea and anxiety.
Coronary artery disease or heart disease is the most common cause of angina. It can also be caused by a spasm of the coronary arteries. These arteries supply blood to the heart. Coronary heart disease occurs when cholesterol is deposited in the walls of the artery, forming a hard substance called cholesterol plaque. As time goes on, the arteries narrow due to this plaque, and the patient develops arteriosclerosis. Peripheral causes may include aging, high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol levels, being overweight, a sedentary lifestyle, a family history of the condition or heart attack at a young age, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia. Stress is a frequent cause.
If any of the symptoms occur, you should make an appointment with your doctor, who may refer you to a cardiologist. By catching angina and coronary artery or heart disease early, it may be possible to prevent arteriosclerosis and other cardiovascular disease. Herbal remedies should only be used to complement conventional treatments and you should inform your doctor of any herbs you intend to take.
Essential oils can be used to reduce stress - a major factor for angina. To give yourself an unwind use the following essential oils in different blended combinations for a massage, bath or vaporisation.