Angina is the name given to a particular type of chest pain that occurs when the heart muscle is asked to work harder than energy supplies permit. There are two common reasons for this. The first reason that is generally accepted by conventional medicine is due to an inadequate blood supply by the coronary arteries to the heart. The second reason is due to mitochondrial failure of the muscle cells of the heart. That is to say there is a good blood supply, but because mitochondria aren't working properly they cannot convert the oxygen and energy in the blood into ATP, which is the fuel for heart muscle cells to work.
Angina is classically felt in the middle of the chest, behind the breast bone and is variously described as crushing, squeezing, tightening or "pressure, like a weight". It may also go across the chest, typically into the left arm, but can be felt in the shoulder, neck and sometimes lower jaw. It is typically brought on by exercise, emotion and cold weather. It is relieved by rest.
Diagnosing poor blood supply to the heart
Angina is largely a clinical diagnosis made on the basis of the above symptoms and signs. A resting ECG is pretty hopeless at diagnosing angina. A chest X-ray is a waste of time in diagnosing angina. An exercise ECG may well be helpful. But the only real test is an angiogram to look at the actual blood flow to the heart muscle. This needs a referral to a cardiologist. Eventually rapid magnetic resonance angiography will be available but it is still in its infancy.
Diagnosing poor mitochondrial function
This can be done by doing Mitochondrial Function Profile tests.
Most people have a combination of poor blood supply and poor mitochondrial function and the package of nutritional supplements that addresses both these issues is likely to be of most benefit. See Nutritional Supplements - what everybody should be taking all the time even if nothing is wrong and CFS - The Central Cause: Mitochondrial Failure
Causes of inadequate blood supply to the heart may be caused by:
- Permanent narrowing of the arteries Arteriosclerosis
- Temporary muscle spasm of the arteries (often due to magnesium deficiency and/or allergy)
- The heart beating too fast so that there is not time for blood to circulate around the heart (dysrhythmia) - see Atrial fibrillation
- Or by inefficiency of the heart valves (valvular problems)
- Magnesium deficiency is a common cause of mitral regurgitation. This is because if the muscles of the heart cannot work properly because of magnesium deficiency then the mitral ring enlarges so the valves no longer fit the hole created.
- Heart having too much work for example high blood pressure. See Blood pressure
Referral to a cardiologist is mandatory for all these problems, but the nutritional approach will greatly augment or possibly even replace any suggestions the cardiologist may make.
Angina on its own is not particularly life threatening, but it is of course a major risk factor for complete occlusion of one or more of the coronary arteries leading to myocardial infarction (heart attack in which a section of the heart muscle dies).
- Nutritional Supplements - what everybody should be taking all the time even if nothing is wrong
- CFS - The Central Cause: Mitochondrial Failure
- Atrial fibrillation
- Blood pressure
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