Short Angina. Advice please - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Short Angina. Advice please


I would be most appreciative of any comments or advice. I have been getting possible Angina pains when walking up even slight inclines but they usually last only around 20 seconds. If I stop, pains stops. I have only used my GTN 3 times in 3 months but am still so very anxious prior to walking up even small hills which prob exacerbates my condition. Is it normal to have such short lasting pain, alternatively may I ask any Angina patients what is considered a normal pain duration ? Has anyone on this forum had long term Angina ie: 5 years or more and if so, how do you cope psychologically ? Thank you so much for answering .

27 Replies
MilkfairyHeart Star

Hi Smileyian

Have you tried using your GTN spray a couple of minutes before you exercise?

The NHS website has some advice about how to use GTN.

This may help you overcome your anxiety about exercising.

Smileyian in reply to Milkfairy

Thanks Milkfairy. No I havnt used prior to walking up hills or slopes. That might be a good idea though.

MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to Smileyian

What advice has your Cardiologist given you?

Have you been diagnosed with angina ?

Smileyian in reply to Milkfairy

Great article MilkFairy. Just read it and will certainly comply. Really helpful.

Ring 111. Is that short enough?

Sorry I am unclear what your advice is. Of course I mean short periods of Angina pain not a short reply. I am a retiree of 76 living in Singapore - we don't have 111 which I assume is an English number. Tks

I'm so sorry. Yes, it's our NHS, non-emergency advice-line.

God bless you!

Personally, I keep my carbohydrate intake to less than 120g per day, getting most of my energy from natural fat. That has enabled me to avoid the heart disease that is rife in my family and community.

MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to StillConcerned

Or maybe it was good luck and genes?

Which suggests how could I possibly know the source of my good fortune?

Did you miss the bit about my family btw? Is that not 'genes'?

I'm sorry Milkfairy, but I'm as tired of this disagreement as you are.

God bless you.

MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to StillConcerned

Then perhaps can I ask you to consider those of us who are born with or aquire heart disease through no fault of our own.

Lifestyle including diet is not the exclusive cause of heart disease, diabetes and many other causes of ill health.

Time now as you say to bring this conversation to a close.

No problem. Stay safe and enjoy the English summertime.

Lol; indeed ;-)

I have had Angina for 4 years but was born with the causes of it. Sometimes I am fine and other times I really struggle. I would say when you feel well do what feels right and listen to your body. This something I'm not great at.

Thanks so much Colleen. I am so sorry you find it a struggle at times. Lets hope the good times outweigh the bad times and you improve over time. You take care and thank you.

I developed angina in 2018 and was stented in November that year. I thought that the angina would be controlled by the medications I was taking. However the angina (although mild) continued and increased in frequency. I pressed my GP and cardiologist for drugs review. I now am on isosobord mononitrate and amlodopine with other heart heart drugs and I have had no attacks since May last year. At the gym (when open!) and am fit and well.

Wonderful news indeed. Apparently I am not bad enough at under 50 pct blockage for a stent. Stay well.

Hi, yes I have a similar experience , but mine has to be a steep hill or many stairs, but the pain does only last about 20 secs, and subsides, I had it checked out and was told mild plaque disease, nothing to worry about, but as I was concerned it could get worse was eventually prescribed statins and have just been put on Amlodipine 5mg. Only been on them 10 days so not seen any results yet, but told they may take time to work. Hopefully will have a result soon.

Thanks for taking time to reply. It is great that we can all assist each other with our experiences. I seem to be fine on flat surfaces and dread the hilly roads around me. I actually live in a road called Hillview Avenue, next road is Hillside and the other one Hillview - you can see my problem 😀

valeriep in reply to Smileyian

Only someone who suffers from angina knows what fear the word 'hill' can inspire! Pre-stents, I'd walk a mile on the flat to avoid a hill.

My situation is similar to yours. It is walking uphill that does it, and it subsides quite quickly. GTN doesn't work for me as far as I can tell.

There is a pattern to the pain. The first bit of exercise - from a standing start , as it were - even very moderate, gives me pain which then subsides. Once that has happened I can do quite long and strenuous hill walks without any major symptoms. It feels almost like the first short spasm of pain primes the heart into doing what it is supposed to do. I've had angina for several years now. At first it was intermittent now its pretty predictable, sometimes worse than others, but that is the pattern. Bearing in mind i'm not as fit as i used to be anyway, I just get on with life. Many years ago I learned that health anxiety can be worse than the problem one is so worried about.

Smileyian in reply to jerry12953

Such an interesting reply. I am just wondering if I persevered up the hill, I would break through the pain without GTN. It is a new illness for me after 40 years of Afib and other arrhythmias. I was well used to Afib which is quite scary but this new Angina presents me with a psychological problem. I have had 2 ablations and now clear of Afib, however at 76 thought I was clear of cardiac problems. I have joined a very good cardiac rehab gym so hope to improve over time. 6 months ago I was playing racquet ball games twice a week but now reluctant to return. Thank you for your text.

jerry12953 in reply to Smileyian

I'm no expert but they do say that with angina one should keep on exercising, even if it causes pain!

For me the sequence seems to be - mild exercise > pain > rest (even walking on the flat) > more exercise with no or little pain.

Smileyian in reply to jerry12953

Indeed the general advice is to continue exercising but of course stop and rest to allow the pain to subside, then continue. I am of course a novice and quite bewildered that I have Angina with only mild stenosis in 2 arteries. All tests show blood flow more than adequate and LVEF 61 pct which is well in the range for someone of my age. I hope I can recover my confidence. Tks Jerry.

jerry12953 in reply to Smileyian

I've had a whole battery of tests and no major blockages in my main arteries has been found. Apparently 39% of angina sufferers show no or only minor blockages. I wonder if Milkfairy is still around? She (?) is the expert on these things!

I was worried about the angina at first, and I hope I'm not sounding blase, but it's best to try and accept it and any limitations that it brings. We're not designed to go on forever, even though we might imagine that we are.......! At the age of 76 it sounds like you're doing pretty well.

Smileyian in reply to jerry12953

My mother is 100 years old on the 28 July so I hope to make 80 😀

Sunnie2day in reply to Smileyian

If it helps any at all - I have 'angina with normal coronaries' - no blockages at all but if I don't do a warm-up (stretches and a bit of light free-weights) and have a prophylactic shot of GTN spray before going out either flat or incline, I will have a brief few moments of angina pain - the pain resolves very quickly, so quickly I don't even have time to fetch the GTN out of my pocket.

I've tried 'walking through' the angina pain and don't recommend it, actually. Best to have a quick breather to let the pain subside. But that's me, your experiences may be different.

ETA - Happy Birthday to your mum!

Smileyian in reply to Sunnie2day

Very helpful in my path to confidence building Sunnie2day. Goodness I sometimes get very similar Short Pain and also have no time to retrieve GTN as you say. I wonder why you would have frequent Angina pain with clear arteries. Mine mild to mod stenosis but also told unlikely to cause Angina. I also doubt Vasospasms or or alternative Angina as 90 pct on exercise. You have been a great help. I also get this rather weird electric shock or lightening bolt in chest from time to time lasting only a second. Have a nice day and appreciate your wishes for my soon to be 100 year old mother.

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