Exercise Advice please - my exercise with angina story
Hi, I am a 62 male and suffer angina when I walk up slopes or over exert. Apparently its a restriction in a secondary lateral artery. I take lipitor 40mg and irbesartan/avapro 150mg for BP. I also take garlic, fish oil, etc., but no asprin at the moment. (My specialist prescribed asprin 100mg, but I am not taking it so far) My total cholesterol is <150mg/DL - based on just one test.
My only cardio work was a angiogram a few months ago. The specialist said a stent was not appropriate as the artery was too small and hard to get at. My GP said with time other blood vessels in the area might take more blood and perhaps help the situation. (But I wonder if this was just to stop me worrying about my condition.)
The question is what is appropriate exercise? I am not overweight, moderately fit, and a non-smoker (ex smoker 20 years). I can push myself and jog for a mile or so with some chest pressure (usually I jog only downhill). Eventually I have to stop due to pressure. After recovering for a minute or so I can turn around and walk up a pretty steep hill without stopping or much discomfort (I could not believe this at first). Without the jogging (ie walking down the same hill) I have to stop several times on the uphill while I recover before moving off. Something associated with the jogging temporarily moves the angina threshold. I am trying to push the angina threshold higher. (NOTE: I would not suggest anyone else try this without doctor's advice - the chances of a heart attack are much greater - up to seven times - during exercise - may be more in this case where there is chest pressure.)
I am not sure this is working and so far (over just a few weeks) there has been no obvious improvement in my normal angina threshold. It may not work, if it does I expect it to take 12 months or more. On the other hand I may fall over dead!
I am interested in what exercise others do - especially if you have CHD, stents or angina.
Apart from the walking and jogging I also have a small stepper and I regularly use that in shorts bursts (5 min.) 3 or 4 times during the day. Strangely I never get angina using the stepper even though I might puff more than when I walk up a up a hill. (I cannot work that out.) Even a small uphill slope can give me chest pressure.
Thanks guys for reading my story.
(I never had angina until I gave up alcohol about 15 months ago)
In reply to the comment "My only cardio work was a angiogram a few months ago. The specialist said a stent was not appropriate as the artery was too small and hard to get at. My GP said with time other blood vessels in the area might take more blood and perhaps help the situation. (But I wonder if this was just to stop me worrying about my condition.), I would agree with your GP, and my situation supports that prognosis.
It's not a sure outcome, but it appears with CAD there is a left ventricle filling pressure, and it has been shown that resistance (occlusion) to blood flow is directly associated with LV filling pressure, and with tests a conclusion has been reached that reciprocity of collateral vessels are tied to LV filling pressure during occlusion. I have a completely blocked LAD with collateral vessels as a natural bypass and my heart pumps adequately via recent echo, but I have a mitral valve problem. A stent in the RCA 2 years ago.
Very interesting I find a slight slope to my treadmill workout causes some distress in the chest area. I haven't tried downhill, but a level plane doesn't cause any problems at a fast pace of 3.8 mph, and I can walk up a couple flight of stairs without a problem (some leg muscle fatigue but that would be due to valve problem.)