What Is Atypical Angina: Symptoms And Treatment For Atypical Angina

Angina is a condition which is characterized by inadequate supply of oxygen, either due to reduced blood flow or due to obstruction in the vascular system. Factors like heavy exercise, increased physical activity and stress can result in increased demand for oxygen. When there is a mismatch between the demand and supply of oxygen, the condition may result in angina.

The term atypical angina is used to describe angina which is not associated with classical symptoms of angina. Instead individuals with atypical angina may manifest symptoms like fainting, nausea and generalized weakness.

This type of angina is more often observed in older individuals or individuals with diabetes. Lack of symptoms associated with angina make the diagnosis of the condition difficult.

Atypical angina is attributed to the same cause that is responsible for classical angina i.e. narrowing of the coronary arteries that supply to the heart, which results in reduced supply of oxygen to the heart. However individuals suffering from atypical angina may not manifest the symptoms of classical angina which include chest pain radiating down to the left arm or to the neck.

Though atypical angina may affect any individual, it is more often associated with overweight and obese individuals.

Elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides are also considered to be important causes associated with atypical angina. Individuals with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing atypical angina compared to others. Older individuals are at a higher risk of developing the condition compared to younger individuals.

Symptoms Of Atypical Angina

Individuals with atypical angina don’t manifest the same symptoms as classical angina, however some of the symptoms associated with atypical angina include,

  • Extreme and generalized weakness with severe fatigue.
  • Excessive perspiration and sweating along with faintness.
  • Gastro-intestinal symptoms like nausea and vomiting are also observed. Belching and burping is also observed along with the condition.
  • Breathing difficulty and rapid breathing or breathlessness may be observed.
  • Sleep disturbances along with lightheadedness and dizziness has also been recorded.
  • The individual may also complain of shoulder pain, backache or jaw pain.
  • Increased heart rate associated with palpitations may also be observed.

In some patients instead of chest pain the patient may complain of upper abdominal pain or pleuritic pain which is aggravated on taking a deep breath.

Atypical Angina Treatment

The treatment for atypical angina is similar to the treatment for classical angina. Here are some simple dietary and natural treatment options available,

  • Restrict the intake of salt, processed foods and fats. These foods are responsible for elevation in blood pressure levels and cause narrowing of the arteries.
  • Increase intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods are rich in anti-oxidants and prevent plaque formation. Incorporate onions and garlic in your diet, which act as natural blood thinners and prevent ischemia.
  • Begin with mild to moderate exercise. Regular exercise helps improve the body’s metabolic rate and thereby helps in burn down of fat and lowers the levels of blood cholesterol.
  •  Moderate intake of red wine is considered beneficial. Red wine helps increase the levels of HDL (good cholesterol) in the blood, which is considered to have cardioprotective effects.
  • Homeopathic medicines like Arum Metallicum and Argentum Nitricum are considered beneficial in the management of the condition. These medicines help in improving collateral circulation to the heart.