Patient Comments: Angina - Diagnosis


What kinds of tests did you have to diagnose your angina? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: ghweigel3, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 04

About five years ago I was having problems with severe chest pains and was rushed to the hospital emergency room. After describing my chest pain I had an angiogram done and a chemical stress test was done the next day. The hospital doctor diagnosed me with angina and I was given Nitrostat to take when chest pains occur. I have been having chest pain about twice a month since then but recently the frequency of the pain increased to 2 or 3 times per week. Yesterday I saw my primary care doctor and explained my situation. I had and EKG and blood work done. I also have to have a chest x-ray and a chemical stress test done. She also prescribed Nitrostat and told me if chest pains persist after taking 3 Nitrostat pills to go to the emergency room at the hospital.

Comment from: Kathleen, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 31

My first serious episode was during a divorce and was diagnosed as a panic attack. I was 35 then. I had a few episodes over the years that were mild - always at times of high stress but I ignored them. When I was 64 and working on a very stressful project with a very tight deadline when I suddenly had an extreme heaviness in my chest and pain in my shoulder and neck. I was having trouble getting a good breath so I had my husband take me to the emergency room where they gave me nitroglycerin which relieved the pain. The EKG was normal but the kept me overnight because the pain reoccurred. A stress test the next morning was slightly abnormal. The cardiologist I was referred to believed I had GERD because my cholesterol levels are so low, so he referred me for an endoscopy. That was negative but that doctor thought I might have esophageal spasms. That didn't seem right since nitroglycerin helped so I was finally able to get in to see my mother's cardiologist, who doesn't take new patients, and got the final diagnosis. I have the rarer variant angina just like my mother and just like I told the first doctor in my family history!

Comment from: Real Pain, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 05

My angina was not diagnosed or even believed. I was kept in the hospital overnight and given blood tests, electrocardiograms and an echocardiogram. I was told I had spasms in my esophagus (even though I never even had heartburn). I only got the pain at night, and it would wake me up. Nitroglycerin relieved it immediately. Finally, after two months, I was given an angiogram and the 90% blockage was found. I could have had a heart attack at any time. By the way, I'm a woman, and I was 57 at the time.

Comment from: gorda, 19-24 Female Published: May 24

I had a symptom that I experienced and don't know what it is. One night after I had a long day I was getting ready to go to sleep it was like around 3 or 4 in the morning as I turned to get in a comfortable position to go to sleep I felt my body heavy and like jello I tried to control myself but the feeling of not being able to breath and the pain in my chest was overwhelming. I managed to gasp for air enough to tell my boyfriend that I couldn't breathe then as he picked me up my body felt heavy and it would respond when I was trying to get up then I fainted and then I was in my hall and I saw how I was picked up from the floor but everything was blurry and the everything in my vision turned black that is when I got scared. The paramedics arrived later when I was a little bit better and then I was taken to the hospital but after all of this I started feeling pain on my neck to my shoulder from my left side but the hospital said that I was in good health.

Comment from: littlejohn, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: May 14

My angina was diagnosed as follows: The nurse asked me a series of questions, such as what I was doing at the time, did I feel sweaty, describe the pain and if I had ever had these symptoms before. I got hooked up to an ECG machine, and then a blood sample was taken. I believe the blood sample was to determine the level of heart enzymes present. My level was 4 so a second sample was taken and analyzed. It was lower, so I was released. Then the doctor told me it was likely angina, and I should go see my family doctor. The doctor also told me to return to the emergency room if symptoms reoccurred.

Comment from: Obie, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 17

I gained unstable angina after two stents were put in two arteries going to the heart. Having had this condition for years, I don't know how a doctor can confirm the angina without causing a possible major heart attack. At 70 years old I don't expect a long life expectancy, and doctors have told me I should have passed away years ago. I just wish I could prove to medical professionals that I do have unstable angina.

Comment from: S R K Rao, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 11

I have been diagnosed as having Angina. I get chest pain very often. On small exertion, I feel breathlessness for some time with heavy sweating. I am taking Ecosprin Av-150 mg daily; but often I get mild pain. Kindly suggest me treatment. My blood pressure is quite normal 120/80. Cholesterol levels are also more or less normal.

Comment from: alma, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 15

I had chest pain for several years and I never was treated properly, finally I went to another cardiologist. I had a catheterization and the doctor found that my pain is due to aorta's spasms.


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Comment from: sunflwrgirl, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 17

I had surgery on my foot about three weeks ago. The day after my foot surgery, I was at home in bed resting when my chest started to hurt. It felt kind of like indigestion, but the pain was pretty bad, and it kept getting worse. I took some antacid tablets, which did not make the pain go away. The pain was in the middle of my chest and was, on a scale of one to 10, about a seven or eight. The pain lasted off and on for about six hours. It finally subsided after I took a pain pill that I had from my foot surgery. About two weeks later, I was sitting at my desk at work and I had the same kind of "attack." The same symptoms occurred and, again, lasted for about five or six hours. The pain was about as severe as it was the first time and in the middle of my chest. This "attack" also felt a little like indigestion so, once again, I took antacids and, once again, they did not help (I have since learned that the feeling of indigestion is a symptom of angina). I took a pain pill and the pain subsided, but this time the pain came back in a short amount of time and my eyes also "felt funny." I went to the emergency room (by insistence of my daughter). They did an EKG, which came back normal. I spent the night in the hospital and had a stress test the next morning. The stress test came back "abnormal," (although no one told me what the abnormality was) and I was told that I needed to have a heart catheterization to check for blockages. I was scheduled for a heart cath the next morning. The heart cath came back "normal" -- no blockages were found. The doctors diagnosed me with angina. I was told to follow up with my family doctor in a week and to follow up with the heart doctor in one month. I am seeing my doctor tomorrow, and I hope I will get some answers then. I have had some chest pain since my heart cath, but nothing "major" like the previous two episodes.

Comment from: Tim, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 30

I am 57 years old. I am in good physical condition, but I am 25 lbs over weight. I have smoked for 45 years. I quit seven and a half months ago. After sex about 3 months ago. I found myself out of breath to the point I could not catch it back for a minute or so. I thought I was maybe seriously out of shape. I found this to happen with each sexual encounter or while walking briskly. I would have to slow my pace to catch my breath. While at the emergency room for a check up after an accident They said I had angina put me on Flexeril for the neck injury, but wanted me to see my regular doctor. I told my doctor about this shortness of breath and tightness of the chest. He listened to my heart and gave me an EKG. He said he suspected angina and sent me for a stress test and another test. The stress test showed abnormal. The next step was a heart catheterization. That showed one artery about 50% blocked but not a problem by his standards. The rest showed normal. At this point almost $20,000 later we don't know what the Angina is from. I am on Coreg Cr, an 81mg aspirin a day and Isosorbide MN ER that made me dizzy, nauseous and gave me a horrific headache. I complained to the doctor about it and he told me to discontinue. So at this point I have been diagnosed, but not verified.

Comment from: Karin6363, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 26

I am a 46 year old female. I started having chest pain at night just as I was ready to fall asleep. The frequency became more and more often. I clean for a living, so I am active all day into the evening. After a few months it started occurring during the day The chest pain became more severe and radiated down my to my left arm and into my jaw. It also started occurring during the day. I finally did the doctor thing, blood work, stress test and angioplasty, while on the table I had major chest pain and was told I needed to go for bypass surgery. After another doctor reviewed the tape, he stopped my doctor and told him it was a muscle spasm and they tried a small catheter. They sent me home and told me to follow up with my heart doctor next week. I didn't know what to think. Finally, my brother a fire fighter told me that I probably have angina. I read up and yes that is it. I never got answers from the doctors yet, but I have my Nitro sub tabs which help lessen the attack. We will see what the doctor says.

Comment from: suszec1, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 18

I went to the ER the other night, feeling this heaviness under my left breast and my heart was pounding and then it would come to almost a stop and then a thud this alarmed me. The ER found nothing wrong. I still have this feeling there and tightness in chest area, I am tired a lot. I cannot think clearly sometimes and I just don't feel right. Seems like angina. I have been under so much stress for the last 2 years and I do everything I can to try and find time for myself. I also am unemployed, living with a 21 year old son who has Asperger, and does not work. It has been difficult to say the least. I thought maybe this is just the stress, but I am concerned because I do not have health care and I am too afraid to go to the clinic. I read about Angioprim. It is too expensive for me, but I would like to try this and to add to the problem with the heart. I am asthmatic.

Comment from: lonestar, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: June 04

I have had issues with chest pain for almost 5 years now. It started during a time of high emotional stress for me. One day, after being up for 2 days straight I had heart palpitations and numbness in the extremities and went to the hospital. Every since then I have had random chest pains that sometimes run down my arm. I am 23 years old now and the pains still come. While in high school I experimented with cocaine and marijuana. I only tried cocaine sparingly though, over a period of 2-3 months. I maybe did it 10-15 times. I smoked marijuana pretty regularly for a semester or so in high school also, but do not believe it is related to that at all. I have always played sports, I am in a college ROTC program and run multiple times every week for long distances and do vigorous exercise. The pains are not necessarily triggered by exercise; they are random and always take me by surprise. I have had multiple EKG's done, done a stress test, blood work, and seen multiple doctors and have received no diagnosis whatsoever. I know something is wrong and I can't figure out what. I don't even know who to contact any more since my primary care physician has already seen me multiple times on this issue and has basically written me off as "ok", which I think is total B.S. Please, if you know any specialist that can help, or a website I'd appreciate it.


In the U.S., 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by heart disease. See Answer
Comment from: dennisr1118, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 04

Although I had been having a shortness of breath over a period of about two weeks, I had an attack of angina (according to the doctors) one evening. I was going to the bathroom, and when I was leaving the bathroom, I got severe chest pains that ran down my arm, and I had a dizzy spell. I tried to hide my condition, but my wife was standing outside the bathroom door when I grabbed the door frame to steady myself. I refused to let her take me to the emergency room, so we spent a fitful night, and I conceded to go to the doctors in the morning. I was admitted to the hospital the same afternoon where they did an EKG, an echocardiogram, and a stress test, which revealed my diagnosis.

Comment from: cc1964, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 21

I pretty much searched for the symptoms that I was having and found angina. It was later confirmed with my cardiologist through a heart cath and found I have a 50% blockage. For those who cannot take Isobid or nitro you may want to see about having your Doctor to try Ranexa, it does the same thing without the annoying headache. Angina or the feeling of angina can also be problems with your disc but feels like angina.

Comment from: NewsmaN, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 07

I am a 72 year old man. I recently had severe chest pain behind the breast bones and my wife who is a doctor diagonised the pain as angina. I get the pain once or twice a week and feel the pain go up my neck and down my left forearm. I have to keep a small heart shaped pill under my tongue for relief.

Comment from: Paula, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 12

For years I had chest pains and they were attributed to panic attacks. After medications and time, the pains went away. Ten years later and with much emotional stress, the chest pains returned. I requested an EKG and after two tests in six months, I was diagnosed with angina. I was put on the patch, given a purse spray and a low dose aspirin. I am due to see a specialist this month. I am a 53-year-old female, single, with three adult sons. I do not smoke or drink, but I do smoke marijuana regularly. My chest X-ray was clean.

Published: May 27

My first attack of angina was quite severe but I didn't know what it was. I had a very severe crushing pain in my chest while sitting quietly watching a news-type program in the late evening. I went out into the kitchen to recover so that no-one noticed my agony. That was at 44. Now I get it in spasms, sometimes within days or weeks, sometimes after a couple of months. It can be slight to severe and usually comes on when I am in bed or during the night. I have a GNT spray for it but don't like using it as it makes my breathing more rapid.

Comment from: Dave, Male (Patient) Published: June 02

I had an episode of chest pain and was admitted to the hospital overnight. All the tests were normal. Then I had an isotope scan. This showed poor blood supply to the heart muscle in two places. The doctor then informed me that it was angina. The drugs I now take include Simvastatin, aspirin simvastatin and bisoprolol. I am waiting to see a cardiologist, my GP thinks I am going to need an angiogram and possibly open heart surgery.

Comment from: Nancy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 02

I had vision problems. Sudden blurring or couldn't focus. Once everything went black and I felt as if my head was dropping which lasted for only a second. Nothing showed on the first stress test. Nothing showed later on the head scan. Nothing showed even later on the EKG. I was finally referred to a heart specialist due to pressure on the chest. Nothing showed on that EKG or the stress test. Because of my description of the pressure he did a heart catherization. My heart was spasming! Don't give up. Go see a Dr. every time a symptom happens because it adds up.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 06

I have been going to the doctor for 5 years now. I would wake my husband up in the middle of night because of my chest hurting. He would take me to the hospital, nothing it would quit after I got there one day it did not a nurse gave me a pill under my tongue, it worked I asked her when she came back what did you give me, she said nitrotab. I was amazed. I told my doctor and she gave them to me I have had 10 E.K.G.'s done on me, 3 heart catheters done on me, 3 stress tests done, upper G.I's and lower G.I's they still don't know what is wrong with me. They thought it was my heart. Now we know its not. I have also been told it could be Angina, so we'll see what's next. I hope all the people who is affected by this get help soon. It is no fun, going through this.

Comment from: lindao, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 06

My problem with the angina is that mine is from the spasms that causes the blockage in the artery. Most of the time I can relieve mine by the medicine. Other times I have to go and spend the night in the hospital, with oxygen and morphine and some type of blood pressure shot to get the blood pressure down. Mine can only be treated medically.


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