Most people who have stable angina can control their symptoms by taking medicines as prescribed and nitroglycerin when needed. Staying active is also important. Before you get started, ask your doctor what kind of activities would be good for you. But if prescription medicines and activity don't help you manage your angina, try these tips:
- If an activity causes angina, stop and rest. Be active at a level that does not cause symptoms.
- Ease into your day. Warm up slowly before activity.
- Give yourself time to rest and digest right after meals.
- Change the way you eat. Eat smaller meals more often during the day instead of two or three large meals.
Controlling severe angina
When angina is more severe and you are having a hard time managing it, you can:
- See if family members or hired help can assist with heavy chores such as shoveling snow or mowing lawns. 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 labor, think about changing the kind of work you do.
- Try taking nitroglycerin before you start a stressful activity that can cause angina, such as walking uphill or having sex.
- If you are not taking nitroglycerin, ask your doctor if it could help you.
Call your doctor
Tell your doctor right away if:
- There is a sudden change in your angina symptoms.
- You begin to get angina at unexpected times.
- You get angina when you are resting.
Current as of: December 16, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Rakesh K. Pai, MD - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology