Questions about Atrial Fibrillation? Get answers from our expert.

Angina

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Angina (Discharge Care) Care Guide

Angina is pain, pressure, or tightness that is usually felt in your chest. Pain or discomfort may be felt in your arms, jaw, neck, back, or shoulders. You may also have shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, fatigue, sweating, or dizziness. Angina is caused by decreased blood flow and oxygen to your heart. If left untreated, angina may get worse, increase your risk of a heart attack, or become life-threatening.


AFTER YOU LEAVE:

Medicines:

You may need any of the following:

  • Aspirin may help prevent blood clots by thinning your blood. If you cannot take aspirin, your primary healthcare provider (PHP) can give you a prescription blood thinner medicine instead. Aspirin and other blood thinners may increase your risk of bleeding, including stomach bleeding.

  • Nitrates , such as nitroglycerin, open the arteries to your heart so the heart gets more oxygen.

  • Beta-blockers cause your heart to beat more slowly and decrease blood pressure. This decreases the amount of oxygen the heart needs. Beta-blockers also help open up the blood vessels in the heart.

  • Calcium channel blockers help relax the muscles in the arteries of the heart, increasing blood flow to the heart.

  • Statins are used to lower cholesterol levels. This prevents further narrowing of the blood vessels in your heart.

  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your PHP if you think your medicine is not helping or you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your PHP or cardiologist as directed:

Keep a diary or a calendar with details about your chest pain. Every time you have pain or symptoms, record what the pain is like, how long it lasts, and how severe it is. Also record what brings on the pain, and what makes it go away. Bring this with you every time you see your PHP or cardiologist. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Cardiac rehabilitation:

Your PHP or cardiologist may recommend that you attend cardiac rehabilitation (rehab). This is a program run by specialists who will help you safely strengthen your heart and prevent more heart disease. The plan includes exercise, relaxation, stress management, and heart-healthy nutrition. Caregivers will also check to make sure any medicines you are taking are working. The plan may also include instructions for when you can drive, return to work, and do other normal daily activities.

Manage angina:

  • Maintain a healthy weight. When you weigh more than is healthy for you, your heart must work harder. You are at higher risk for serious health problems. Ask your PHP how much you should weigh. Ask him to help you create a weight loss plan if you are overweight.

  • Eat a variety of healthy foods. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. Ask if you need to be on a special diet. Do not eat food that is high in saturated fat and cholesterol. You may also be told to limit the amount of salt you eat.

  • Avoid activities that trigger an angina attack. Pay attention to your symptoms and find out what seems to make your angina worse.

  • Do not smoke. If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Smoking can further damage your heart, as well as your lungs. Ask your PHP for information if you need help quitting.

Contact your PHP or cardiologist if:

  • You have trouble breathing at rest.

  • You have new or worse swelling in your feet or ankles.

  • You are bleeding from your gums or nose.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have any of the following signs of a heart attack:

    • Squeezing, pressure, or pain in your chest that lasts longer than 5 minutes or returns

    • Discomfort or pain in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm

    • Trouble breathing

    • Nausea or vomiting

    • Lightheadedness or a sudden cold sweat, especially with chest pain or trouble breathing

  • Your angina is happening more frequently, lasting longer, or causing worse pain.

  • You have chest pain that does not go away even after you take medicine as directed.

  • You lose feeling in your face, arms, or legs, or you suddenly feel weak.

  • You have blood in your urine or bowel movements, or you vomit blood.

© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Angina (Discharge Care)

Questions about Atrial Fibrillation? Get answers from our expert. Watch Video

Close
Hide
(web1)