Angina. Control Chest Pain. Discover Effective Treatments & Supplements

Updated: 10/18/23

Are you one of the estimated 6 million Americans suffering from chest pain due to angina? If so, you know that it can be a debilitating condition that impacts your quality of life. While all too often treatments only barely alleviate the symptoms, there is good news – natural supplements and lifestyle changes can help manage angina without the long list of unwanted side-effects associated with many medications. In this blog post we’ll discuss how effective treatments and supplements are essential to controlling chest pain more effectively. So read on if you want to find out more!

What is Angina?

Angina is a type of chest pain or discomfort that occurs when there isn’t enough oxygen-rich blood flowing to the heart. It is often described as a pressure or tightness in the chest that can radiate to the arms, shoulders, neck, jaw, back or stomach. It usually occurs during physical exertion, emotional stress, or after a heavy meal – all situations that can increase the heart’s demand for oxygen. Angina can also occur due to other underlying conditions like infections, anemia, hypertension, or hyperthyroidism.

Angina is far from a heart attack, but it can feel like one. In fact, it may be a warning sign of a heart attack and happens very swiftly. It could be a recurring pain or could happen only once.

Angina can be stable or unstable. Stable angina usually occurs when performing extreme physical exercise. Unstable angina occurs without warning and worsens over time. A third type of angina, prinzmetal angina, is also temporary, caused by a spasm of one or more coronary arteries.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell if the symptoms you’re experiencing are due to angina. Chest pain can be mistaken as indigestion, for example.

But heart disease is serious: it’s the leading cause of death in the U.S. for both men and women. Therefore, you shouldn’t take angina lightly. If you’re experiencing chest pains, call for medical help immediately.

Is Angina Cardiac Arrest?

Angina is a condition that affects the heart’s blood vessels, causing them to narrow and reduce blood flow to the heart. This condition results in chest pain, discomfort, tightness, or burning sensation. The pain usually starts in the middle or left side of the chest and can spread to the arms, neck, jaw, back, and stomach. The pain is usually triggered by physical activity or emotional stress and goes away with rest or medication. Angina is not a life-threatening condition, but it’s a warning sign that your heart is not getting enough oxygen and blood. If left untreated, it can lead to a heart attack.

Angina Symptoms

Be on the lookout for the following symptoms of angina:

Chest Pain

The most common symptom of angina is a feeling of pressure, tightness, or a squeezing sensation in the chest. This discomfort might come on suddenly and last for a few minutes or more, and it often occurs during physical activity or emotional stress. Some people describe the sensation as a feeling of being smothered, and it might be accompanied by an impending sense of doom. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical advice as soon as possible to rule out a heart attack or other serious condition.

Shortness of Breath

Angina can also cause difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. When the heart is not getting enough oxygenated blood, the lungs might not be able to function properly, leading to feelings of breathlessness. This is especially common when a person is exerting themselves physically, such as during a workout or brisk walk.

Upper Body or Jaw Pain

Angina can also manifest as pain or sensations in the upper body, including the jaw, neck, shoulders, arms, or back. This type of discomfort might be mistaken for muscle pain at first, but if it recurs often and is not relieved by rest or over-the-counter pain medication, it could be indicative of a more serious condition.

Nausea or Indigestion

Some people with angina experience additional symptoms, such as nausea or a feeling of indigestion. This can be explained by the fact that the heart and digestive system share some of their nerve pathways, which can cause interconnected symptoms.

Cold Sweat

Finally, angina can sometimes cause a person to feel clammy, sweaty, or chilled. This is due to the body’s natural stress response when it senses danger, and it can be a sign that something is amiss. If you notice yourself breaking out into a cold sweat often, it’s wise to consult with a healthcare provider to get checked out.

angina symptoms

Angina in Women

Research suggests that there is gender discrepancy in angina–meaning that women experience different symptoms than men. While heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the United States, it is often underrecognized and undertreated in women. That’s why it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of angina, a type of chest pain that occurs when the heart muscle doesn’t receive enough blood, oxygen, and nutrients.

The symptoms of angina in women can be different from those in men. Women often experience lesser known symptoms such as extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and pain in the back, neck, or jaw. Chest pain may also present as a dull ache. Women also tend to overlook their symptoms more often than men, which can lead to a delay in treatment and care.

Angina in women is typically by coronary heart disease (CHD). CHD is a condition in which the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the heart muscle become narrowed or blocked by fatty deposits (plaque) buildup. Other factors that increase the risk of developing CHD for women include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, obesity, and a family history of heart disease.

Causes of Angina

Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease is the most common cause of angina. It occurs when the arteries that supply blood to your heart become narrowed or blocked. The blockages can be by a build-up of plaque, a type of fat that can harden in your arteries over time. When your heart doesn’t receive enough blood and oxygen, you may experience chest pain or discomfort.

Spasm of the Coronary Arteries

In some cases, the muscles in your coronary arteries can spasm, causing the artery to narrow and reduce blood flow to your heart. This can lead to angina symptoms, even when there is no blockage or plaque buildup in your arteries.

Aortic Stenosis

This is a condition, aortic stenosis, that occurs when the valve between your heart and your aorta becomes narrowed. When this happens, your heart has to work harder to pump blood, which can cause chest pain.

Emotional Stress

A unique cause of angina is emotional stress. Angina caused by stress might happen for individuals who are going through a challenging time in their lives, such as the loss of a loved one or a significant change in their lives. In some instances, treating the source of stress is enough to manage or eliminate angina. However, practicing stress management techniques like meditation, exercise, and deep breathing can also work to relieve angina.


Smoking is a significant cause of angina. Nicotine in the cigarettes tends to constrict blood vessels, which reduces blood flow to the heart, increasing the risk of heart disease and angina. It is essential for individuals with angina to stop smoking to reduce the risk of complications.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is another common cause of angina. Hypertension can lead to narrowing of the arteries, reducing blood flow to the heart, and resulting in angina. Managing hypertension is paramount for those with angina, and it involves medication, diet changes, and regular exercise.

Physical Exertion

Physical exertion can also be a cause of angina. Everyday physical exertion like walking up a flight of stairs or carrying heavy objects can cause an episode of angina. Physical exertion must be by pacing oneself, taking needful breaks, and avoiding heavy lifting.


When you have a low red blood cell count, your body may not be able to transport enough oxygen to your heart muscle. This can lead to angina symptoms, especially during physical activity when your heart is working harder. Anemia can cause angina.

Can Angina be Cured by Exercise?

While exercise cannot cure angina completely, it can help manage the symptoms and improve overall heart health. According to the American College of Cardiology, regular exercise can reduce the frequency and severity of angina episodes. Exercise helps the heart to pump blood more efficiently and strengthens the heart muscles, reducing the workload on the heart. Regular exercise can also improve the function of blood vessels, decrease inflammation, and lower blood pressure. All of these benefits can lead to a healthier heart and fewer symptoms of angina.

However, before starting any exercise program, it’s essential to talk to your doctor. They can evaluate your health status and recommend a suitable exercise program for you. In some cases, your doctor might recommend a cardiac rehabilitation program. Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program that includes exercise sessions, education, and counseling. It can help you slowly and safely increase your physical activity under a healthcare professional’s guidance.

How Angina is Diagnosed

Patient Evaluation

The first step in diagnosing angina is a comprehensive medical evaluation. Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, medical history, and risk factors, such as high blood pressure and smoking. They’ll also conduct a physical exam to check your oxygen saturation, heart rate, and blood pressure. Based on this evaluation, your doctor may order further tests to explore the cause of your symptoms.

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

An electrocardiogram, or ECG, is a commonly used diagnostic test for angina. This painless procedure involves placing electrodes on your chest to check your heart’s electrical activity. The results of an ECG can help doctors identify arrhythmias, evidence of heart damage, or other causes of chest pain.

Blood Tests

Blood tests can also help doctors diagnose angina. High levels of cholesterol or certain proteins in the blood can indicate an increased risk for heart disease, which can cause angina symptoms. Additionally, elevated levels of certain cardiac enzymes in the blood may suggest that you’ve experienced a heart attack.

Stress Tests

Stress tests are another way that doctors diagnose angina. During a stress test, you’ll exercise on a treadmill or stationary bike while your heart rate, blood pressure, and EKG receive an overview. If you experience chest pain or other symptoms during the test, this can help your doctor diagnose angina.

Coronary Angiography

If your doctor suspects that you have a blockage in your arteries, they may order a coronary angiogram. This involves threading a thin catheter through an artery in your arm or leg to your heart. A dye is then receives an injection into your arteries, and X-ray images are to identify any blockages.

Angina Treatment

Take Your Medications as Prescribed

One of the most effective ways to manage angina is to take your medications regularly and as directed by your doctor. These may include nitrates, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, aspirin, or other medications that help reduce your blood pressure, cholesterol, or blood clots. By keeping your blood flowing smoothly and your heart rate under control, you can reduce the workload on your heart and prevent further damage.

Make Lifestyle Changes

Another important aspect of angina treatment is to adopt a healthier lifestyle. This includes eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, and managing stress. By reducing your risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or obesity, you can improve your overall health and reduce your angina symptoms. Your doctor may also recommend cardiac rehabilitation or counseling to help you make these changes and monitor your progress.

Use Nitroglycerin as Needed

Nitroglycerin is a fast-acting medication that can relieve angina quickly by dilating your blood vessels and improving blood flow to your heart. You can take nitroglycerin as a tablet, spray, or patch, depending on your symptoms and preferences. It’s important to carry nitroglycerin with you at all times and to use it as prescribed by your doctor. However, if you need to use nitroglycerin more than 3 times a week, you should talk to your doctor about adjusting your treatment plan.

Consider Invasive Procedures

In some cases, angina may require more invasive procedures, such as angioplasty or bypass surgery. These procedures aim to open up clogged arteries or redirect blood flow around damaged or blocked vessels, reducing your angina symptoms and improving your heart function. However, these procedures also come with risks and benefits, and your doctor will assess your condition carefully before recommending them. You may also need to follow up with regular cardiac checkups and monitoring after these procedures.

Seek Emotional Support

Lastly, angina can also take a toll on your mental health and well-being. It can cause anxiety, depression, or other emotional challenges that can affect your daily life. Therefore, it’s important to seek emotional support from your loved ones, friends, or healthcare providers. They can offer you encouragement, understanding, and resources to cope with your condition and improve your overall quality of life.

Angina with Exertion

Angina with exertion refers to chest pain caused by a lack of oxygen supply to the heart muscles, which often occurs during physical activities like running, walking, or climbing stairs. The most common cause of angina with exertion is coronary artery disease, which happens when the blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the heart become narrowed or blocked due to the buildup of cholesterol and other substances in the artery walls. When you engage in physical activity, your heart’s demand for oxygen-rich blood increases, and in turn, the narrowed arteries can’t deliver enough blood to meet the demand, causing chest pain or discomfort. Other risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing angina with exertion include high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, and a family history of heart disease.

Angina or Anxiety?

Research suggests that there’s a significant link between angina and anxiety. Individuals with angina are more likely to experience anxiety due to the constant fear of having a heart attack, while those with anxiety are more likely to suffer from heart disease and subsequently angina due to higher levels of stress hormones in the body.

To lower the risk of developing angina and anxiety, it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Furthermore, practicing stress management techniques such as mindfulness meditation or deep breathing could also help reduce stress levels and prevent both conditions.

Angina Supplements and Remedies

You should always talk to a doctor if you’re experiencing recurring or severe chest pain, or call an ambulance. While you can’t stop a heart attack with supplements, you can take them to help support your heart health.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats found in certain fish, nuts, and seeds. They are known to help reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that taking omega-3 supplements can help treat angina and reduce the frequency and severity of chest pain. You can find omega-3 supplements in capsule form or get them from eating fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, or sardines.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage and improves energy production in the body. Research has shown that taking CoQ10 supplements can increase blood flow to the heart muscle and reduce the frequency of angina attacks. CoQ10 is naturally in small amounts in organ meats like liver and kidney, but you can also take it as a supplement.


Magnesium is an essential mineral that is involved in several metabolic processes in the body. It plays a key role in supporting heart health, and it often receives a recommendation for people with angina. Magnesium supplements can help reduce the risk of heart arrhythmias and relax the blood vessels, which can alleviate chest pain. You can get magnesium from foods like spinach, almonds, and avocados, or take it as a supplement.


Garlic is a potent natural remedy that has been used for centuries to improve cardiovascular health. It contains compounds that help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and prevent blood clots. Studies have shown that taking garlic supplements can help reduce the frequency and severity of angina attacks, lower cholesterol levels, and improve blood flow to the heart. You can also add fresh garlic to your meals or take it as a supplement.


Hawthorn is a traditional remedy that has been used for centuries to treat heart conditions. It contains compounds that help improve blood flow to the heart, reduce chest pain, and lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that taking hawthorn supplements can help reduce the severity and frequency of angina attacks and improve heart function. You can find hawthorn supplements in capsule form or brew hawthorn tea.


Berberine is a compound found in several plants, including goldenseal, barberry, and Oregon grape. It is famous for its anti-inflammatory and antidiabetic properties and can also help improve overall heart health. Studies show that berberine can help lower cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure, and promote healthy heart function. You can take berberine supplements in capsule form or consume it as a tea.

Niacin (B3)

Niacin is a B vitamin that helps convert food into energy. It also plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. Niacin supplements can help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and increase good cholesterol (HDL) levels, reducing the risk of heart diseases. This supplement is particularly useful for people with high cholesterol levels. When taking niacin supplements, it’s recommended to start with a low dose and gradually increase it to avoid potential side effects.


D-Ribose is a sugar-like substance that plays a key role in the energy production pathways of the body. It is especially beneficial for heart health as it can help improve exercise performance and prevent fatigue. D-Ribose supplements can also help reduce angina symptoms and improve overall heart function. It’s recommended to take 5 grams of D-Ribose powder daily, mixed with water or juice.

The Bottom Line

Angina may not be as well-known as other heart conditions, but it’s a serious condition that can affect women just as much as it affects men. By recognizing the symptoms, causes, and treatment options, women can take control of their heart health and reduce their risk of heart damage. If you experience any symptoms of angina, don’t hesitate to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Together, we can fight against heart disease and keep our hearts healthy and strong.

If you’re experiencing chest pain or discomfort, don’t wait to seek medical attention. Angina can be a severe condition that requires prompt diagnosis and treatment. Fortunately, there are several tests and procedures available to help doctors identify this condition quickly and accurately. By working closely with your healthcare provider and following their recommendations, you can manage your symptoms and reduce your risk of complications.

Angina can be a debilitating condition that causes chest pain, shortness of breath, and other symptoms. While medication can help manage this condition, there are natural supplements and remedies that can also promote overall heart health. Berberine, niacin (B3), D-Ribose, garlic, and magnesium are among the top natural angina supplements and remedies you can use to support a healthier heart. Remember to consult with your healthcare provider before taking any supplements, especially if you’re on medication or have underlying health conditions. By incorporating these natural supplements and remedies into your daily routine, you can take proactive steps to promote better heart health and live a healthier life.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

Author: BulkSupplements Staff