Characteristics of unstable angina? - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
19,120 members13,066 posts

Characteristics of unstable angina?


Hi all,

Does anyone know whether burning chest and abdomen pain with some tightness sounds like angina? I get this everyday since stents were fitted for HA a year ago yet can walk miles a day without pain. If this was unstable angina for instance, does anyone find that their angina eases when starting to move around? I think it's because I get this so often and my chest can ache most of the day but is always better when walking, I can't believe that this can just be gastritis Pain. Doctors don't seem that sure either way and although I am healthier in some ways I feel that this daily burning stinging ache in abdomen and chest is weighing me down and I just want to move on. I am doing everything right ie diet exercise etc I should feel great by now. I had thought ticagrelor may have been to blame but I've been off that for a month now.

I'm only on aspirin and 1.25mg bisoprolol and occasional atorvastatin which I don't take every night as my cholesterol is now 1.4 due to a plant based diet.

9 Replies

Hey Andie, good to hear from you. Overall you sound like things are going well for you - so pleased to hear that. interesting question though as I am kind of in the same boat but perhaps not as constant. I am running 3miles (8 minute miles) and cycling 10 odd miles and some weights in my sessions without any trouble - very rarely will I feel anything (I hardly get out of breath), if I feel anything it goes away quickly and does not increase in feeling so don’t need to stop( so I put down to muscle ache). However, at rest sometimes I can get an ache, not really painful and usually goes when I adjust my sitting or sleeping position but can persist for a short while ( a couple of minutes at most). I have reduced dosage now of Ticagrelor, pescatarian diet but mainly plant based, statin everyday though and take rinatidine for mild gastroenteritis. I also thought ‘unstable’ angina would be obvious when exercising - so I don’t think it is that. Maybe it is something we have to accept with stents. With me , I wonder if it is exercise related and perhaps a sign I am pushing the muscle too much - the same way other muscles can ache after exercise for a day or two. If not already, I would diarise activity and when and how long you feel - so you can hopefully identify any correlation; then ask your cardio nurse for their opinion/ reassurance. A quick question if you don’t mind, why do you take statin every other day?, I would love to stop taking mine too - but I was told about the role it has in forming a protective layer on plaque - so i am sadly resigned to the fact that I will have to continue to take them. I hope this subsides for you soon, I share the feeling it would be nice to try and put this to the back of the mind as much as possible (where I am pleased to report it is most of the time). Best wishes and take care, David

Hi Andie I’m glad to read you are doing well. This to me seems like the great unknown. I too suffer similar ever since my stent back in July 2016. No one has answer and have even suggested to me it’s psychological! At first I was told it was due to 25mind cpr and to give it time as a lot of damaged muscle and tissue etc but every milestone they gave me came and went and still little change. As per your other reply I think it’s the heart muscle tensing & aching.

I’ve cycled 30miles, climbs mountains, mountain bike, skied and snowboarded we no signs of angina, had 3 stress tests the last was set to the ‘fitness’ level on Bruce scale and no adverse outputs.

Ive take myef to A&E multiple times when it really worried me in early days and still given all clear! For me it’s more noticeable when tired and or under pressure.

I don’t think they know but as can only assume I’m feeling the stent somehow if you think we have this wire mesh tube in the artery wrapped around by the muscle.!

I’d love an answer but believe I’ll never get it. All I known is I’ve not dropped dead, can excercise without feeling it so most days learnt to put it to the back of my mind but yes it makes it hard to move on.

Take care

It's strange because I never had the level of pain that I have now before I had the stent procedure.

And now I feel I'm left with unstable angina that most days is making my life a bloody misery.

I think there is a lot to be said about stenting.

My cardiologist said it was a difficult procedure.

Funny how I now have more pain than when I went in.

I'm not happy at all as it's affecting my every day life,

I think there is a lot to be said about having a stent or not.

Just my opinion because I was fobbed off constantly that it was muscular or stent pain..

Load of tosh!!!


I often feel that the metal would be troublesome and could cause irritations by even slight movement/ changing positions, activities. Maybe, it's rubbing against the delicate artery lining. Or your immune system is rejecting it as a foreign body, invader. Possible.

Has anybody ever heard of problems encountered by women, who had to have the "mesh" implanted, a kind of scaffold, for the gynae procedures? The mesh is no longer used at some reputed hospitals. If enough people complained, you might be able to have other types of stent. Thinking about it, metal isn't exactly bio-sync. What you need is something like a substance that can evolve/morph into human cells for bio-affinity under the concept of "inner artery graft".

In this day and age, everything seems to be possible in the ever-evolving forefront of the biomedical industry. Innovation is much needed in Cardiology. If enough Men/Women complained about it, I'm pretty sure they would come up with something more reasonable (not pieces of metals). "oh, we didn't know, we thought it was working well for you and you had no issues. If that's the case, then we'll need to come up with something else then.." etc. That's how things change. Speak out and complain. They eventually listen if enough people complained.


Hi Andie

The symptoms you describe are more akin to stomach irritation caused by the aspirin ask your GP if he can prescribe a water soluble aspirin or something to protect the lining of your stomach (Lansoprazole or similar).

The arteries going to and around your heart have no pain sensors so you can not feel the stents hence the procedure can be done without anesthetic the discomfort you feel in the central chest area is probably due to the growth and repair of your heart muscle tissue due to the increased blood supply post stenting.

I`m no medic just somebody who`s had the cardiac tee shirt for quite a while.

Hope this helps.

My other point or rather question is to some of the responses you have received, if those who complain and bemoan their therapy and obviously know more and have a much superior intellect than their cardiac team, then why are they not Professors of Cardiology (or some such title) devising cures for us mere mortals?.



There is an interesting article by well-respected Researcher/Cardiologist who published his studies on Lancet.

If you google, you'll find it.

Kristin1812Heart Star

I was also told that the heart doesn’t like being ‘messed about’. It took mine a good 6 months to settle down after having 5 stents in one go. Also lying on my left side was very uncomfortable. Like Stow101, I’m uncomfortable with such harsh criticism of Health services. Lots of us wouldn’t be here without their care and skill. Challenge and respectful criticism are fine, and I’m sure they do progress things......but my view is that medicine is an art with very patchy bits of science (lots of depth in some places, very little in others), so there are not always proven answers to everything.

Wish there were!

Yes, I would like to add I don’t think complaining is going to speed up the pace of technology to offer alternatives and as hard as it is to accept our predicament sometimes - we are fortunate to be here. I work in HE where our institution has substantial ongoing research in this area (and this is just one of thousands of institutions globally) and I also regularly scan the news, and the future looks bright; consider that just thirty odd years ago you would possibly have been sent home with no treatment; stent technology, vast improvements in bypass operations , now drug eluting stents - next stop looking like nano technology. Also there are still those around the world that have to pay/ can’t pay for their healthcare.

My mum died in 1990 after 3 heart attacks and years of heart failure. There were no such things as stents back then or she could have been with us for many more years. I'm thankful I was treated for a total blockage with stents; whatever the drawbacks may be.

You may also like...