Dull, constricting pain felt in centre of chest and radiating up into neck and jaw and usually down left arm; repeated attacks can precede a full-blown Heart Attack; typically occurs when extra demands are made on heart already damaged by coronary artery disease, High Blood Pressure, Anaemia, etc. Other symptoms may be (see Dizziness, Nausea, sweating, and difficult breathing. Unlike pain of heart attack, angina pain wears off once exercise or excitement cease.
However, to be on safe side, contact Emergency Medical Services and give First Aid as if for a heart attack if pain lasts for more than 5 minutes or does not wear off when stress or exertion ceases. If angina attacks are becoming more severe or occurring with less and less provocation, consult your doctor if there is no improvement in 2 hours.
Orthodox treatment depends on condition causing angina; medical doctor may prescribe drugs to increase blood supply to heart muscle or beta blockers to reduce heart rate; if a coronary artery is badly narrowed, bypass surgery may be necessary. Homeopathic treatment for recurrent angina is constitutional; however in mild or moderate attacks the remedies below may be used.
Specific Remedies to be taken every 2 minutes for up to 10 doses as soon as attack comes on
- Chest constricted, as if it has an iron band around it, difficult breathing, breaking out in cold sweat, pain down left arm, person has low blood pressure Cactus 30c
- Difficult breathing, relieved by lying on right side with head raised, palpitations, person thirsty for drinks of hot water Spigelia 30c
- Chest feels as if it is in a vice, heart feels about to burst, palpitations, pain in right arm Lilium 30c
- Fluttering heart, sensation of blood rushing into heart, difficult breathing, feeling faint, throbbing sensation all over body, heat makes symptoms worse Glonoinum 30c
- Pulse irregular, heart feels as if it has a weight on it, person anxious, afraid he or she might die, stimulants make symptoms worse Naja 30c
- Violent chest pains, numbness in fingers, feeble but rapid pulse Latrodectus 30c
Self-help: Best course is to lose weight, not by crash dieting but by adopting healthier eating habits. See Atherosclerosis for dietary and other self-help measures. Take regular gentle exercise, though not out of doors if the air is very cold, and stop immediately if you feel pain coming on. STOP SMOKING and avoid hyperventilation.