I've had angina for about 15 years. Finally 1.5 years ago, a cardiologist found that I had blockages in two vessels. They stented one of the vessels (the other only had about a 65% blockage) and he put me on a beta blocker, lipitor & isosorbide. I noticed a major lessening of the angina (Yaaay!). However in recent months I've noticed the same angina under a very different & specific circumstance. At night when I get ready to go to sleep, it takes me a minute or two (laying on my side) to adjust my pillows/legs/arms. Maybe 50 percent of the time, after I get all *snuggled* in, I have an episode of angina. A couple of times it was severe enough to put a nitrog tablet under my tongue.
It's the same kind of angina that I've had forever (chest heaviness, aching left shoulder, neck, jaw, arm), that I used to get with walking or exercising (which I don't have anymore, or not often).
I have a regular appt. with my cardio guy in a couple of weeks - and I will tell him about it. But, I'm just wondering if anyone has had this kind of angina, or heard about it. Or if anyone has any idea why this is ocurring.
I also have the aching left shoulder, arm, neck and jaw pain off and on. It comes at rest and with being active. I have more jaw pain than the others though, is that a sign of angina? I have been to the ER 4 times in the last 3 months with these pains and they all say my heart is fine and that its anxiety. I thought angina was always just chest pain.
Actually, I *think* angina is commonly chest pain & referred pain to the left arm, shoulder, neck & jaw. At least, that's what my cardio guy said. Unfortuately, I also think there are many things that can cause pains or aches in those same locations.
Ive had several chest xrays, blood work a few times, nuclear stress test, and an echo all within the last 2 months and all show my heart is fine. I wish i believed all their testing but i dont and im anxious about it everyday all day. I was just worried that maybe a sign of angina was just jaw pain, i dont usually have chest pains, the only time i do is when my stomache is really gassy.
Lena do you also have the angina when you are exerting yourself or is it just when you lie down? Either way I would be concerned that maybe that 65% narrowing has increased or that you have other blockage somewhere else. Afterall heart disease is a progressive disease and even on medication and with healthy lifestyle changes it can progress further along and affect other arteries or even block in the areas that have been treated. I hope I'm not correct and it's just something that soon goes away.
Just a note:I had angina with taking isosorbide. I know it's suppose to help with angina but mine got worse on it and I finally stopped taking it and felt 100 percent better. I'm not suggesting you stop taking it just merely stating a fact about myself.
What you are describing is "unstable angina," or angina that comes on at rest.
Check something out: take Prilosec, Zantac OTC or some other heartburn med for several days and see if it doesn't stop the pain on reclining. There is a SLIM possibility that you are suffereing gastric reflux when you lie down. Often the pain of GERD and angina are remarkably similar. Many people sufffer both conditions and are never sure what is hurting!
My theory is to eliminate some of the easy possibilities if possible even if they are remote.
How does your pain pattern deal with hard exercise? Can you run three blocks without chest pain?
Angina on exertion? Sometimes, but less than it used to be (before the stents). And that also depends on the time of day. In the evenings, it's much more likely that a short walk will result in angina. If I do the same walk in the mid-morning - no problems.
I have considered the heartburn possibility, but so far I've only tried taking Tums & Rolaids (I haven't noticed an effect from those). I'll give the stronger antacids a try (what could it hurt!?).
As far as *hard* exercise . . . I don't do a lot of that. Aerobic I mean. I do some weights & isometric stuff, and walking of course. (my joints aren't great with high impact exercise).
I appreciate the thoughts to consider. I'm hoping that Prilosec or Zantac will make it go away. Either way, I'll be seeing the doc in about 2 weeks. I'll let you all know the result.