Angina After Eating: Does It Lead to a Heart Attack?

There are several diseases in which the patient presents with chest pain. Chest pain or Angina can have several causes including indigestion, lungs, and heart problems. And, if your angina is related to the heart, you feel concerned about it.

But, Can you get angina after eating?

Chest pain after eating can be due to the pain arising from the heart, particularly when you eat a large meal. Eating a lot of fatty food can put a stride on your heart that consequently causes chest pain or Angina pectoris. Especially, if you’re already facing some sort of stomach issue, you’re most likely to get a chest ache after eating.

In this article, we will get to know about the major causes of angina after eating. Also, we have some tips and tricks to protect you from chest pain that can lead to a heart attack. Let’s get to know more about a healthy lifestyle.

If you suffer from chest pain after eating, there might be a lot of different Causes. Angina is mostly caused due to reduced blood flow to the heart.

Angina After Eating: The Major Symptoms

Angina pain after eating or postprandial angina is very common in those people who are either obese or diabetic. Such people may suffer from angina after eating fatty food or angina after eating ice cream. 

But it is not necessary. Sometimes, a normal healthy person can feel chest pain after eating a lot of fatty food.

Angina pectoris or chest pain is a sensation of discomfort and pain in the chest. The pain can sometimes radiate towards the shoulder, neck, and jaw.

angina-after-eating

So, we can describe angina as a squeezing pain or heaviness in the chest that can spread to the neck, shoulder, back, or the stomach area particularly after eating. The symptoms of angina can differ in males and females. 

Angina Symptoms in Males

According to the statistics, males are most likely to get angina. The symptoms of angina in males are as under:

  • Pressing pain in arm, neck, and chest
  • Anxiety
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

Angina Symptoms in Women

The symptoms of angina in women are a bit different from in men. Women suffering from angina present the following symptoms:

What Causes Angina After Eating?

Why do I get angina after eating, is a very common question. Well, if you suffer from chest pain after eating, there might be a lot of different Causes. Angina is mostly caused due to reduced blood flow to the heart.  Here are some major reasons for angina-type pain after eating.

Acid Reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux

Acid Reflux or heartburn can be the major cause of angina after eating. Acid reflux is caused due to following factors:

All of these factors lead to reflux of the stomach content into the esophagus. It can cause chest pain or heartburn.

acid-reflux

Indigestion

Angina after eating might be due to improper digestion of food. Sometimes, angina may occur after eating a large meal. If you’re eating improperly cooked food, it is hard for your stomach to digest it, which in turn leads to chest pain. Moreover, indigestion can also cause more acid production in the stomach, hence can cause acid reflux.

Exercise After Eating

A lot of people ask, can angina be cured by exercise? Well, doing exercise is a good thing but when you do it right after eating, it can put a lot of stress on your heart and you might get chest pain. Moreover, if you suffer from unstable angina, exercise is not the key to getting relief. It may worsen it.

Smoking and Alcohol Consumption

Smoking and alcohol consumption is one of the leading causes of angina. Both of these can cause narrowing of arteries. Due to this, there is a decreased blood flow to the heart, which consequently causes chest pain.

What Are the Risk Factors for Angina or Chest Pain?

As we have learned about different causes of angina, there are a lot of risk factors that cause chest pain. It means those factors that can be the leading causes of angina after eating or simply the chest pain. These are as under:

  • Family history of angina
  • Old age
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • High blood pressure
  • High Cholesterol

All of these factors can cause angina pectoris. So it is better to avoid all of these or to pay special attention to your health if you’re suffering from any of these risk factors.

What Are the Possible Treatments for Angina After Eating?

A lot of people experience angina only after eating. So, they ask for possible treatments for angina. Here are a few methods to treat angina depending upon its type and severity.

Medications

Angina can be treated with medicines. For this purpose, nitrate sprays or sublingual nitrate pills are available. You have to place them under your tongue until they get absorbed. The pills can give you immediate relief from angina.

Lifestyle Changes

Living a healthy life can be a safe way to treat your angina. Eating a healthy diet with low calories can save from a lot of risk factors that lead to angina. Exercising regularly or doing a brisk walk can be more effective in case of stable angina.

Coronary Angioplasty

If you’re suffering from angina after a heart attack, it may be due to the blockage of the coronary artery. If this is the reason, your doctor may suggest coronary angioplasty.

coronary-angioplasty

It is a method to open the blocked coronary artery to save you from an upcoming danger of angina or another heart attack.

What Does Angina Look Like on an ECG?

If you’re suffering from chest pain, your doctor may ask you to get an ECG done. On ECG, you can diagnose angina through the following observations.

  • ST-segment Depression
  • Symmetrical T Wave inversion
  • Tall or pointed T wave
  • Upright T wave

Tips and Tricks to Avoid Angina After Eating

Living a healthy lifestyle can save you from a lot of diseases including heart problems and angina after eating. Here are some tips and tricks to live a healthy lifestyle and avoid any heart-related diseases.

  • Quit smoking and do not consume alcohol as it can cause heart diseases and angina.
  • Always keep your blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels in control.
  • Avoid eating sugary and fatty foods if you’re suffering from diabetes.
  • Maintain your weight and exercise regularly.
  • Avoid stress and engage your mind and body in healthy activities.

Following these basic tips can help you live a healthy life. Also, you can save yourself from angina, chest pain, or heart attack.

Is Angina Dangerous?

Yes, angina is dangerous and can be a life-threatening condition. How dangerous is angina depends upon the type of angina. Stable angina is less dangerous as compared to unstable angina.

Stable angina is that which increases with activity and goes away with rest. Unstable angina is that which doesn’t go away even on rest. Anyhow, whatever the type of angina, it is always important to treat it in the initial stages. Otherwise, it can lead to heart attack and in severe cases can also cause death.

FAQs

  1. Does angina increase after eating?

Yes, angina can increase after eating a heavy meal. Especially, if you’re eating food high in saturated fats and sugar, your angina can aggravate. Also, eating spicy foods can trigger angina or heartburn.

  1. Why do I get chest pains after eating?

It might be because you ate a lot of food. The other reasons may be indigestion or acid reflux. If you always get chest pain after eating, it might be due to gastritis or any other stomach-related problems.

  1. Can chest pain after eating be heart-related?

Yes, you can relate chest pain to the heart if you’re suffering from diabetes, obesity, or hypertension. If you have a history of high blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, the chest pain after eating may be heart-related.

  1. Can foods trigger angina?

Yes, certain foods can trigger angina. These foods include fatty and spicy food, sugary food, and acidic food that can trigger angina. Moreover, eating a lot of fast food can also cause chest pain.

Bottom Line

Angina after eating or postprandial angina can be due to several different causes. It may be due to unhealthy eating habits or due to some diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Whatever might be the cause of angina, it is still a life-threatening condition. So, the proper treatment is necessary to avoid further problems.

As prevention is better than cure, it is important to follow a healthy lifestyle rather than taking a pill to treat angina. So, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet are key to avoiding angina and other diseases.

Haleema Sadia

Haleema Sadia

A physiotherapist by profession, a Nutritionist by passion, a literarian by soul, and a writer by heart!

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