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Quick Tips: Taking Charge of Your Angina

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Most people who have stable angina can control their symptoms by taking medicines as prescribed and nitroglycerin when needed. Staying active is also important. But if these things don't help you manage your angina, try these tips:

  • If an activity causes angina, slow it down.
  • Ease into your day. Warm up slowly before activity.
  • Give yourself time to rest and digest right after meals.
  • Change the way you eat. Eat smaller meals more often during the day instead of two or three large meals.

Controlling severe angina

When angina is more severe and you are having a hard time managing it, you can:

  • See if family members or hired help can assist with heavy chores such as shoveling snow or mowing lawns. If it makes sense to do so, think about moving to a different home to avoid the physical stress caused by climbing stairs or doing heavy chores.
  • If your job involves heavy labor, think about changing the kind of work you do.
  • Try taking nitroglycerin before you start a stressful activity that can cause angina, such as walking uphill or having sex.
  • If you are not taking nitroglycerin, ask your doctor if it could help you.

Call your doctor

Tell your doctor right away if:

  • There is a sudden change in your angina symptoms.
  • You begin to get angina at unexpected times.
  • You get angina when you are resting.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Specialist Medical Reviewer Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
Last Revised April 5, 2012

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