Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What lifestyle changes can help improve angina?"
For the first time in a long time I'm getting serious about my health. I don't want to have heart disease or increased my risk of a heart attack. What can I do to improve my health.
I think you have asked two different questions. Angina is the word we use to describe the discomfort that one experiences when the blood flow to the muscle of the heart itself is inadequate. This occurs because of blockages in the coronary arteries that we call atherosclerosis. Angina is typically described as a pressure feeling in the chest area. People might say they feel a hand squeezing their chest or they might feel something heavy on their chest. If you are having symptoms similar to this, then you need to see a physician right away. If you are not experiencing these symptoms, but are just interested in improving your cardiovascular health, then you should schedule an appointment with a primary care physician. He or she will likely ask you some questions to make sure that you are not experiencing active coronary artery disease. The two of you will also discuss ways in which you can improve your cardiovascular health. You can start by initiating a controlled exercise program 4-5 days per week for 30-60 minutes per day under the care and guidance of your doctor. In addition, you can make adjustments to your diet (if needed) and other aspects of your life style. A diet high in fruits and vegetables can be helpful. All of these are important factors in maintaining a healthy blood presure and cholesterol, which are the two most important factors in preventing coronary artery disease and subsequently heart attacks.
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