Do you feel pain, pressure or tightness in your chest after a day at the gym? Does the pain intensify under emotionally stressful conditions? Pain in your chest may be an important warning sign of a serious heart conditon that needs to be evaluated by a Cardiologist.
"Stable angina" is a term used by physicians to describe chest pain or discomfort exacerbated by physical activity or emotional stress. The pain usually begins slowly with activity or stress and intensifies before abating with rest or relaxation. If symptoms occur during rest, the condition is called "unstable angina" which is a medical emergency.
Angina results from coronary artery disease. In a healthy heart, exercise increases your heart’s demand for oxygen and blood flow. However, when coronary arteries are narrowed or blocked by plaque, your heart cannot meet the demands placed upon it.
While genetics may predispose a person to coronary heart disease, lifestyle choices weigh more heavily in the possibility of developing this disease. Risk factors include:
All chest pain should be checked by your doctor. Evaluation of your medical history, a physical exam, as well as tests such as an ECG, echocardiogram or stress test may be considered by your doctor.
Although lifestyle modifications are important in treating coronary artery disease, medications may be necessary as well. Your doctor may prescribe one of the following medications if you are suffering from coronary disease:
If lifestyle changes or medication do not improve your condition, an angioplasty may be necessary.