Angina pectoris or chest cramp is an indicator of insufficient blood supply to the heart that is manifested in the form of chest pain, nausea, tightness in the chest and heart palpitations. Beginning as a mild discomfort in the chest, a sharp wave of pain gradually spreads to the belly, arms, shoulder, neck, jaw and even to the back. Out of the two forms of angina, unstable angina poses greater risk of heart attacks since it can occur at rest or with no exertion, while stable angina occurs during physical activity or while performing a task that requires an effort.
Either ways, angina can interfere with an individual’s day-to-day activities to a great extent and can lead to atherosclerosis and heart failure, if left untreated. Even though, there is no dearth of medical treatments available for angina like anti-angina drugs, bypass surgery, angioplasty and stenting, the scientific community has always been probing into natural ways of treating angina to overcome the serious side effects associated with conventional treatments.
Read on to find out how vitamins can help relieve the symptoms associated with angina, without you having to spend on expensive medical treatments that are in turn linked with unwanted side effects.
Vitamins That Are Beneficial For Treating Angina
Vitamin A can help relieve the symptoms of angina through its anti-oxidant properties, thus improving blood flow by expanding the arteries. It strengthens the immune system and makes the cells lining the blood vessels extremely resistant to free radical damage.
The daily recommended dosage of 400 – 900 mcg for men and 400- – 700 mcg for women of vitamin A can be obtained by the intake of dark leafy greens, carrots, lettuce, cayenne pepper, bell peppers, dried apricot, cantaloupe, papaya, oatmeal and fortified milk products.
Being one of the most potent antioxidants, vitamin C helps in scavenging harmful free radicals from the body that can otherwise cause considerable damage to the arteries. Moreover, it also helps in repairing cells that line the arteries, which have been damaged due to the accumulation of the plaque, thus preventing the obstruction of blood flow.
The recommended daily intake of vitamin C ranges between 90-120mg and is most abundantly found in citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemons, kiwi, papaya, melons, guava, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes and cantaloupe.
Vitamin E plays a major role in blocking the oxidation and adherence of low density lipoproteins (LDL) or bad cholesterol to the arterial wall. LDL serves as a foundation on which the plaque builds that eventually forms a stumbling block in the arteries. In addition, vitamin E promotes blood circulation, thus preventing the narrowing of coronary arteries that supply blood to heart muscles. Besides, it speeds up the breakdown of blood clots in the arteries and enables the heart to work properly even with a moderate supply of oxygen.
A daily intake of 400 IU of vitamin can be obtained through its dietary sources like dark green vegetables, broccoli, red bell peppers, spinach, mustard greens, egg yolk, papaya and wheat. The importance of vitamin E in treating angina is exemplified by the fact that vitamin E deficiency is one of the most common findings reported in patients. However, the intake of vitamin E should be limited, if you have been prescribed anti-coagulants to avoid possible drug interactions.
Advantages Of Vitamins Over The Conventional Treatments For Angina
Although, medical treatments offer a potential cure for angina, they have been associated with life-threatening adverse effects. Side effects like dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, restlessness, flushed face and neck and impotency have been most commonly reported with the use of anti angina drugs like beta-blockers, statins, calcium channel blockers, nitrates, etc. Considering that an open-heart surgery is an invasive technique, angioplasty and stent placement are used as alternatives for treating blocked arteries.
Nevertheless, these procedures also involve life-threatening risks like the occurrence of a heart attack, stroke and bleeding, while the procedure is being carried out or after the surgery. Conversely, vitamins target the underlying root cause of angina by improving blood flow to the heart, which is enriched with oxygen and energy nutrients required for the heart to carry out its normal functionality. Vitamins can also help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent the onset of angina due to obesity.
Patients suffering from a severe angina may not respond to the current medical treatments or may experience a re-formation of the plaque even after the implantation of a stent. Furthermore, the presence of a block in very small arteries makes these blood vessels highly inaccessible for the doctors to place a bypass graft. Hence, a correct dose of vitamins can serve as a natural, economical and a save alternative for treating angina.
Demerits Of Excessive Use Of Vitamins
Vitamins undoubtedly help you cope with the symptoms of angina and aid in improving the quality of your life. Nonetheless, anything in excess can be detrimental for your health and hence one should limit their intake of vitamins to avoid any lethal consequences. Vitamin A being a fat-soluble vitamin gets retained in the body for a longer duration and hence one is more likely to experience adverse reactions like muscular weakness, headaches, diarrhea and skin rashes due to vitamin A toxicity.
Yet another fat-soluble vitamin is vitamin E, which can impair blood clotting mechanism, when consumed in excess. Crossing the tolerable upper limit of 2000 mg of vitamin C can lead to severe gastrointestinal disorders like diarrhea, vomiting, development of kidney stones and liver damage. Besides the intake of vitamin supplements, a low fat diet, physical activity to lose excess weight, reducing stress, avoiding alcohol and smoking also play a major role in ensuring a sufficient supply of oxygenated blood to the heart and preventing the coronary arteries from going into a spasm.
In addition, one should bear in mind that before resorting to over-the-counter vitamin supplements, it is crucially important to get the cause and severity of one’s condition thoroughly diagnoses by a professional health care practitioner. Most often, an angina attack does not last for more than 15 minutes. However, if you observe a significant change in the intensity and pattern of chest pain, you should immediately seek medical attention to avoid fatal consequences associated with a heart attack.
Photo Credit: http://mediskus.com/penyakit/angina-pektoris/
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.