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Quick Tips: Taking Charge of Your Angina

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Most people who have angina can manage their symptoms. This includes knowing when to rest and taking medicine such as nitroglycerin.

You can also try modifying your daily activities to help prevent or relieve angina.

  • Know when to stop and rest.

    If an activity or exercise causes angina, stop and rest to relieve your symptoms.

  • Be active at a lower level.

    To prevent angina, try to be active at a level that does not cause symptoms.

  • Warm up slowly before activity.

    Warming up before you are active might prevent symptoms. If you have angina when you get up and start your daily activities, try starting slowly and easing into your day.

  • Change the way you eat.

    If symptoms happen after meals, give yourself time to rest and digest right after you eat. Eat smaller meals more often during the day instead of two or three large meals.

  • Get help for heavy chores around the house.

    Ask someone to do heavy chores for you, such as shoveling snow or mowing lawns. You might ask friends or family for help. Or think about hiring someone.

If angina is more severe and you are having a hard time managing it, think about making changes in your life that might help. If it makes sense to do so, think about moving to a different home to avoid the physical stress caused by climbing stairs or doing heavy chores. If your job involves heavy labour, think about changing the kind of work you do.

Talk with your doctor if you are having a hard time managing your angina. Let your doctor know if angina is stopping you from doing daily activities or doing things that you enjoy. You and your doctor can decide whether to try other treatments.

Call your doctor now if:

  • Your angina symptoms seem worse, but they still follow your typical pattern. You can predict when your symptoms will happen, but they may come on sooner, feel worse, or last longer.
  • You feel dizzy or light-headed, or you feel like you may faint.


Current as of: September 7, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Robert A. Kloner MD, PhD - Cardiology