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Old 06-10-2004, 01:17 PM   #1
EWF EWF is offline
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Question 2 basic angina questions

Hi, there ... I hope someone can clear up 2 questions (mostly out of curiousity) that have been floating around in my mind lately:

1. It is said that most exercise-induced angina lasts only a few minutes and then subsides when activity is stopped. So I'm curious, if one does not stop exercising upon feeling the pain, wouldn't the pain then last for the entire duration of the activity, i.e., more than just a few minutes?

2. Is angina always accompanied by shortness of breath?

Thanks for any insights anyone may have to offer.

Last edited by EWF; 06-10-2004 at 01:21 PM.

 
Old 06-10-2004, 01:45 PM   #2
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Re: 2 basic angina questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by EWF
Hi, there ... I hope someone can clear up 2 questions (mostly out of curiousity) that have been floating around in my mind lately:

1. It is said that most exercise-induced angina lasts only a few minutes and then subsides when activity is stopped. So I'm curious, if one does not stop exercising upon feeling the pain, wouldn't the pain then last for the entire duration of the activity, i.e., more than just a few minutes?

2. Is angina always accompanied by shortness of breath?

Thanks for any insights anyone may have to offer.
I can only speak to my angina symptoms. Before I began treatment, I would get a tightness in my chest that would last for about five minutes after I ceased the activity that precipitated the discomfort. I would not characterize the sensation as "pain." It usually was not accompanied by shortness of breath but I do recall one instance when I was walking up a long hill when it was. I sometimes didn't stop and wait for the discomfort to subside and it never got worse once it reached a certain point. So to answer your question -- Yes. I was given NTG 4mg to take sublingually three times five minutes apart. Often it would not stop the symptoms, only rest would.

My chest tightness could be caused by walking briskly a few blocks or carrying heavy objects. I have not had the chest tightness since I began my medical program (see the "My Experience with Cardiologists" thread on this message board).

Jeff

 
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Old 06-10-2004, 03:08 PM   #3
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Re: 2 basic angina questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by EWF
1. It is said that most exercise-induced angina lasts only a few minutes and then subsides when activity is stopped. So I'm curious, if one does not stop exercising upon feeling the pain, wouldn't the pain then last for the entire duration of the activity, i.e., more than just a few minutes?

2. Is angina always accompanied by shortness of breath?

Thanks for any insights anyone may have to offer.
As woodworks mentioned in his case, I can only tell you my perception of the discomfort.

1. The first time around, my angina was brought on by simply moving heavy objects, and eventually I experienced it at rest, while typing at the computer. After the 1st stent, and prior to the 2nd stent is where I had my most experience with reproducing angina during exercise. Everytime I would start to jog, the discomfort or "pain" started in my left shoulder and progressed down my arm to the biceps region. I would slow up the exercise and it would slowly dissipate again, perhaps taking 5-10 min. If I continued to run, the discomfort that I experienced "maintained" a specific level.

2. In my case, no, not always accompanied by shortness of breath--at least not the 2nd time described above. During episodes prior to MI, while at rest, I would say yes, there was a feeling of not getting enough oxygen. I would take a deep breath and feel like it just wasn't fulfilling.

 
Old 06-10-2004, 04:55 PM   #4
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Re: 2 basic angina questions

In my case I think if I had not stopped the activity it would have probably continued to the point that I might have had a heart attack. I sometimes would have angina when not doing anything at all. Honestly there is no way for me to know for sure whether the pain would have continued the entire time because I was too afraid to not stop and rest.

The angina I experienced and still rarely experience is not always accompanied by shortness of breath.

 
Old 06-11-2004, 03:11 AM   #5
EWF EWF is offline
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Re: 2 basic angina questions

Hi NineLives, ubernier, and Jeff -- Thanks for your replies. Listening to others' personal experience is more informative than reading a somewhat generic "across the board" book or article.

 
Old 06-11-2004, 05:26 AM   #6
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Re: 2 basic angina questions

Let me throw mine in.
For a decade, I'd occasionally get "heartburn" when I was stressed racing to make a bus or train (usually in the evening). Often it occurred after a meal so the "heartburn" theory was plausible...just! If tearing up a flight of stairs, the shortness of breath always seemed to precede the pain by a few seconds.
Another trigger was walking into a cold wind most noticeable in the morning...this produced pain but little or no huffing and puffing.
Also sprinting on the bike seemed to produce the heartburn but little breath shortness for some reason.



My stress/echo (no markers) test in 1998 produced the pain in a minute and several complaints from me but ignoramus "cardiologist" asked "Can you work through it"...I finished the 12 minutes with the rather severe pain at a constant level! (I behaved stupidly- I should have spit in his face when he endangered my life!)
Diagnosis: not cardiac!

Then the pain started occcurring regularly with sex and the grand finale was a rather severe pain in both shoulders that lasted longer than usual and felt like it wasn't going to quit- but did...I arranged for a good cardiologist immediately afterward.

So EWF, to hit your two questions:
1. Yes, it USUALLY remains at a constant level throughout the excercise.
2. Yes, it USUALLY is accompanied with shortness of breath. The connection is, of course, your body trying every means possible to get more oxygen to the starving sections of the heart!
I would imagine the less stable forms of angina might produce less shortness of breath because the heart isn't sharing it's oxygen deprivation with large exercising muscles.

Last edited by zip2play; 06-11-2004 at 05:36 AM.

 
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