Angina Pectoris

What is it?

Angina Pectoris is described as pain, pressure, crushing, pressing, heavy, or breathless discomfort in the chest. Angina may radiate to the back, neck, or down the arms. It may be mild to severe.

Angina may be precipitated by exertion, emotion, food, smoking, sleeplessness, altitude, and other factors that alter the tone of small blood vessels. It is often worse in the morning.

Angina can be both disabling and frightening. Usually present prior to a heart attack, angina is often ignored as “indigestion” or associated with fatigue and exhaustion (especially in women).

What causes it?

Angina pain originates from the heart, caused by insufficient blood flow through the arteries caused by spasm or cholesterol blockage of coronary arteries.

What role might cytokines play?

Small blood vessels react to changes in excess calories, sugar, and fat. Improvement in blood vessel function improves using branched-chain amino acids. Cytokines have direct influence on small vessel lining to cause spasm, increase clotting, and damage collagen that keeps the vessel supple and pliable.

What results could I expect with MNT?

Those using the Plan often note immediate and substantial relief of angina, especially in Food Phases 1 and 2. Likewise, patients may experience immediate pain relapse even after a large meal, especially if high in fat and sugar. Angina may be very sensitive to amount of food, type of food, and even preparation of food (as with use of fatty condiments). Remain alert to improvement and relapse of symptoms.

How can I measure symptom change on the plan?

Angina can be sporadic or predictable. If your experience with angina is predictable, you will find improvement the easiest to measure. For example, you may feel angina every time you walk to the mailbox or up-hill, then have to rest or take a nitroglycerine tablet to resolve the discomfort. Being able to complete the walk without stopping would be a measurable improvement you could readily see. If your experience with angina is more sporadic, it may take some time to see a trend that indicates fewer episodes of discomfort.

First, you need to make sure that you see your physician immediately for any symptoms of angina that have not been previously diagnosed. Your doctor will prescribe treatment after determining what course of cardiac care is best for you. MNT can support your treatment with the combined benefits of branched-chain amino acids and how you monitor changes throughout the Food Phases.

Next, you want to have a measurement of how frequent, severe, and long lasting each episode of angina is for you. This will give you a baseline to compare with future measurements.