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Body signs: Indications to seek advice from your doctor or change your lifestyle

Earlobe: A diagonal crease across the fleshy part of your earlobe is an early indication of cardiovascular disease. (by Hamish McGregor)

See below for other symptoms

Angina Also indexed as: Stenocardia

Chest pain due to reduced blood flow to the heart is known as angina or angina pectoris. Hardening of the coronary arteries (atherosclerosis) that feed the heart is usually the underlying problem. Therefore, it is very important that anyone with angina read the up on atherosclerosis;

There are three main types of angina. The first is called stable angina. This type of chest pain comes on during exercise and is both common and predictable. Stable angina is most associated with atherosclerosis. A second type, called variant angina, can occur at rest or during exercise. This type is primarily due to sudden coronary artery spasm, though atherosclerosis may also be a component. The third, most severe type is called unstable angina. It occurs with no predictability and can quickly lead to a heart attack. Anyone with significant, new chest pain or a worsening of previously mild angina must seek medical care immediately.

Sept. 2, 2003 (Vienna, Austria) - If you're feeling chest pain and there's no one around to administer CPR should it be needed, remember this: cough. It could save your life, says one researcher at an international meeting of heart specialists.

Tadeusz K. Petelenz, MD, a Polish cardiologist, is campaigning to convince other heart specialists to back his "Cough-CPR" program.

Petelenz says that most cases of sudden cardiac death -- an immediate shut down of the heart -- happen in the home (a heart attack, which is brought on by a blocked artery, is the major cause of sudden cardiac arrest, which is an "electrical" malfunction in the heart). By the time help arrives the person is often unconscious, which makes life-saving resuscitation difficult. He says his Cough-CPR can keep the heart functioning long enough for help to arrive.

The mechanical action of the cough acts as a do-it-yourself CPR that delivers needed thumps to the chest, Petelenz says. Those thumps stimulate electrical activity in the heart and keep it beating. To demonstrate the effect, he asked a reporter here at a European Society of Cardiology press conference to find her pulse. "Now cough and feel the difference." The journalist said she did "feel" a difference.

Cough ... 1, 2, 3

Petelenz describes his program this way: the patient is trained to cough every one to two seconds in bouts of five coughs. This process is repeated in regular morning and evening training sessions until the patient can cough for as many as 10 to 30 coughs in each bout.

But learning the cough is only one part of the program -- patients are also taught to recognize symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest: shortness of breath, sudden nausea, dizziness, inappropriate sweating, blurred vision, sudden weakness and trembling hands. These symptoms can occur singly or in combination, he says.

To prove his point, Petelenz taught 115 patients with a history of cardiac arrest symptoms to recognize the symptoms and initiate coughing. The patients used the cough in "365 instances of perceived [warning] symptoms of fainting. As a result symptoms disappeared in 292 cases and only 73 cases needed additional medical assistance," he says. Moreover, all the patients "survived until follow-up therapy was initiated, which included pacemaker implants, heart surgery and medical treatments."

Petelenz, who carries stacks of pamphlets that describe the Cough-CPR program, says he wants community organizations to teach his program just as CPR is taught.

Nutritional supplements that may be helpful:

L-carnitine is an amino acid important for transporting fats that can be turned into energy in the heart.

Coenzyme Q10 also contributes to the energy-making mechanisms of the heart. Angina patients given 150 mg of coenzyme Q10 each day have experienced greater ability to exercise without problems.This has been confirmed in independent investigations.9

Low levels of antioxidant vitamins in the blood, particularly vitamin E, are associated with greater rates of angina.

Fish oil, which contains the beneficial fatty acids known as EPA and DHA, has been studied in the treatment of angina.

Magnesium deficiency may be responsible for spasms that occur in coronary arteries, particularly in variant angina.18 19 While studies have used injected magnesium to stop such attacks effectively,20 21 it is unclear if oral magnesium would be effective.

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) may improve the effects of nitroglycerin in people with angina.

Bromelain has been reported in a preliminary study to relieve angina..

Herbs that may be helpful: The fruits, leaves, and flowers of the hawthorn tree contain anthocyanidins, which protect blood vessels from damage.

based in Rathmore Co. Kerry. available treatments:

  • Electro-acupuncture, (I use non-invasive testing of the body's acupressure points (fingers and toes) to measure the body':

energy flow through the meridians

vibrational energies and frequencies

  • hypnosis,

  • homoepathy

  • nutritional advice supporting chronic conditions and using SAFE natural treatments

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