Angina Specialist

A. Bahjat Shahbandar, M.D., FACC -  - Cardiovascular Physician

Shahbandar Heart Clinic

A. Bahjat Shahbandar, M.D., FACC

Cardiovascular Specialist located in Rochester Hills & Romeo, MI

If you’re one of the 10 million Americans living with angina, you can rely on the experienced cardiac care at Shahbandar Heart Clinic in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Ahmad Shahbandar, MD, founded his clinic to provide the highest quality cardiac care possible, whether it’s diagnosing new heart problems or treating an existing heart condition. To partner with a cardiologist you can trust, call Shahbandar Heart Clinic or schedule an appointment online today.

Angina Q & A

What is angina?

Angina is chest pain triggered by reduced blood flow to your heart. Coronary artery disease usually causes this reduction in blood flow. When you have coronary artery disease, your arteries have narrowed because of plaque buildup or spasm.

There are several types of angina, including:

  • Stable angina, which is triggered by same activity in the same manner and for same duration
  • Unstable angina, when it happens at rest or it increases in intensity and duration
  • Variant (Prinzmetal) angina, which is the result of coronary artery spasms
  • Microvascular angina/small vessels that affect unseen coronary vessels

Stable angina is the most common type of angina. Unstable angina is considered an emergency and requires immediate medical attention.

What are the symptoms of angina?

Angina symptoms vary depending on the type you have. If you have stable angina, pain typically occurs with activity and lasts a short period of time. The symptoms of unstable angina include:

  • Unexpected pain even when resting
  • Severe pain that lasts 30 minutes or more
  • Pain that doesn’t respond to angina medication

Other presentations of angina include shortness of breath, abdominal pain, irregular heartbeat, shoulder or arm pain, and occasionally palpitation and dizziness. Women often experience different angina symptoms than men, but it’s also common for women to have discomfort in the back, jaw, or neck.

Who is at risk of developing angina?

Several factors increase your risk of developing angina, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • A family history of heart disease
  • Sedentary or high-stress lifestyle

Your angina risk also increases as you age, beginning at 45 for men and 55 for women (though recently, women are having it at an earlier age). When left untreated, angina can lead to a heart attack.

How do you diagnose and treat angina?

To reach an angina diagnosis, Dr. Shahbandar performs a physical exam and reviews your personal and family medical history. He might also recommend tests that include:

  • Blood tests to look for heart damage from a heart attack
  • Electrocardiograms to evaluate your heart’s electrical signals
  • Stress tests or nuclear stress tests to determine when your heart is working harder
  • Digital imaging like chest X-rays, CT scans, echocardiograms, or MRIs to look for damage or disease

In addition to medications to manage your stable angina symptoms, Dr. Shahbandar might recommend lifestyle changes. These might include dietary changes, weight-loss strategies, and stress-reduction techniques, as well as smoking cessation and reduced alcohol consumption.

Some types of angina require surgical procedures like coronary artery bypass surgery or angioplasty and stenting.

Call Shahbandar Heart Clinic or schedule an appointment online today to learn about angina treatment.