Angina attack is different from heart attack but it seems similar due to its chest-crushing severity. It lasts for about ten minutes. People with angina attacks are the ideal candidates of heart attacks. It is the ideal sign of an impending heart attack. If you have already had an angina attack you might have been prescribed some medications. But you can also follow the tips given below to get immediate relief:
• Go vegetarian: If your diet is high in meat, butter and other dairy products along with fried foods, then rest assured that your cholesterol levels in the blood are at the highest. You can easily lower this by following a vegetarian diet. Skip all the animal products except skim milk, egg whites and nonfat yogurt. People who have opted for this diet found the severity and frequency of their angina pain reducing. Vegetarian diet prevents angina pain and keeps arteries clean because only the animal products like meat, milk egg yolks and other animal products are rich in cholesterol. They also have plenty of saturated fats that the body converts to cholesterol.
• Choose lean and light meat: But if you are an avid non-vegetarian eater, opt for lean meat, fish and poultry and limit your intake to less than six ounces per day. Choose cuts that are lean and stripped of all visible fats. Omit all the organ meats like liver, kidney and heart from your diet. Remove the skin from poultry before cooking.
• Increase your antioxidants: Vitamins A, C and E are the antioxidants that have been shown to prevent or control angina pain. Vegetarian diet is rich in these antioxidants. When your diet is rich in fruits, vegetables and grains, you can be rest assured that your body gets all the required nutrients.
• Take aspirin: Taking a regular dose of aspirin as recommended by the doctor can reduce heart attack risk. One small baby aspirin daily has helped patients with unstable angina, which is what happens when you are resting or sleeping. Aspirin prevents the formation of blood clots. Formation of clots prevents blood from flowing easily though the arteries and that can lead to heart attacks. But get your doctor’s approval before starting your aspirin dose. This is because you can experience some side effects like internal bleeding and it could interact with other medications that you are taking.
• Go for regular workout: If you exercise intensely, there are chances that you might experience angina pain. But still workout regularly. Exercise helps in improving the blood flow to the heart and also relieves stress that can trigger angina attacks. If you are an angina patient, you might experience pain when you increase your exercise levels. The solution is that you exercise till you start feeling the pain, then stop until the pain subsides and then continue. You can take nitroglycerin pills to ease the pain. But in the long run, an exercise regimen will improve exercise tolerance and the angina pain occurring only when your exercise stress goes up.
• Take precautions: Angina patients need to follow certain precautions. Avoid inhaling carbon dioxide, which can trigger angina attacks, so run in an area away from traffic. If you live in the city, exercise indoors. Exercising in bitter cold can trigger angina attacks so cover your face with a scarf.
• Raise your head: If you have angina attacks at night, raise your head off the bed three or four inches to reduce the number of attacks. When you sleep in this position, more blood pools into your legs so that no blood returns to the heart’s narrowed arteries. This may also reduce the need of taking nitroglycerine. But always consult your doctor before stopping or reducing any medication.
• Keep feet down: If you do not get angina attacks at night, the other alternative is to sit on the edge of the bed with feet on the floor. This has the same effect as taking nitroglycerin. But if the symptoms do not subside, take medications.
• Relax for some time: Going in for some daily relaxation technique like yoga, meditation, stretching or visualization. The method of relaxation is not that important than doing it daily. Going for a class is more helpful than reading a tape or book.