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Microvascular Angina
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Microvascular Angina

I am a 50 year old woman, about 35 lbs overweight.  About 4 years ago I became short of breath during physical exertion.  I had chest pain, shoulder pain, and pain down my left arm.  I went thru a battery of tests and was told my heart looked extremely healthy, and that (thru exclusion) I was suffering from Cardiac Syndrome X.  I was put on Norvasc, and the symptoms subsided some, enough so that I could now walk to my mailbox.  I get mild symptoms climbing stairs or walking quickly.  I cannot do anything strenuous.

2 questions:
1.  I cannot seem to find a doctor who knows anything about this.  I don't know if I am doing everything/ taking everything I can to make my life better.  Is there some source that I can go to besides my PCP, who seems to not know anything about this.  Even the cardiologist that I went to had no info for me.  To be honest, I pretty much had to "diagnose" myself by looking up everything on the internet.

2.  I am about 35 lbs overweight.  This condition, my age, and my metabolism (plus medications that I take) make losing weight impossible.  I can't exercise much besides walking on flat surfaces (I live in the hills).  I eat right, but wonder if you have any suggestions on weight loss/ exercise for this condition.

I also take Hawthorne Berry (which has helped some) and Co-Q-10.

Please, please... any info you can give me to help would be great.  I am too young to miss out on life.  My family keeps wanting to go on hikes (something I used to do)... they don't understand the pain that I suffer when I attempt to exercise.
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237039_tn?1264261657
Yes, I am sad to say there isn't a lot of medical knowledge of these types of spasms. And they come by so many different names and reasons why we suffer with these.  They have been called small vessel disease, microvascular cardiac syndrome X, vasospasms and Prinzmetal angina. As well as unstable angina. The causes don't seem to be greatly outlined yet.
I suffer with the same and my biggest complaint is the angina that wakes me from a dead sleep.  It usually happens 4 or 5 times in the same night, also. I take nitro tabs for relief and am on Norvasc myself. In addition to that I take a magnesium supplement.  That has helped somewhat.  To tell you the truth though, the only time I don't seem to be bothered is when I walk. I started walking aobut 8 years ago to lose 40 pounds.  I have been able to keep my wieght to 110 or 115 by walking briskly.  I am up to 3 or 4 miles a day now, but in the beginning it was tough.  Getting motivated was the hardest part.  I couldn't walk very fast or for very long at first, but I got there.  Motivation and  perseverance were the driving forces to my weight lose.  And it didn't come quickly, either.  In the beginning my weight seemed to stay the same but my shape was changing.  Then I realized.  I was gaining muscle and losing fat. Muscle weighs more than fat.  It took 7 moths, but I lost the 40 pounds and I have had to work to keep it off.  
I have also just recently been reading about how certain types of amino acids are great for the vasospasms.  

Take care, Ally
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Avatar_m_tn
It is difficult and dangerous to give any advise since you state that you have other unspecified diseases and take other medication.

If you have no contraindications, Nitro patches will alleviate your symptoms. Since you feel them at exertion you can "were" them during the day (no more than 10 hours per day). You have them in different doses to choose the one that allow you to perform daily activities without pain.

If you had been diagnose of inflammation (The hs-CRP blood test) then statins, Vitamin D, Vitamin B and Folic Acid can help to decrease the inflammation.

The less blood sugar you had, the best will it be.

Theoretically, L-Arginine, will increase the production of NO (Nitric Oxide), that will make your vases to perform better.

If you can walk on flat surface the tread-mill will be perfect for your daily workout.

Finally, if you really suffer from microvascular angina, there are some surgical options too.

Jesus
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63984_tn?1385441539
You've received good advice in my opinion, but I'm not a health professional.

You can lose weight, at least I did, but it was slow.  I've lost 50 pounds since I started trying twelve years ago, and have gone from obese to a normal BMI.  It has really helped my heart to lose weight, lowered my cholesterol, put my blood sugar levels in proper range.  I decided I'd lose a pound a month simply by exercising, cutting calories every day.  If you cut 250 calories a day and maintain your current exercise or activity schedule, you will lose about two pounds a month.  I live in a hilly area, so drove to a college track where walking is encouraged.  

You haven't mentioned what tests you had.  Did you have an Angiogram?  That is the gold standard to check for heart blockages and to determine how healthy your heart is.  Also, an Echo of your heart can give you a lot of information.

Keep us informed.
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm already down to eating less than a thousand calories a day and walking at a moderate pace for 5 days a week (I work and so can't always walk due to the temperature, which makes my angina worse); however, I have not been able to lose an ounce in over 3 years of this. The doc has done numerous blood tests and said there is nothing wrong with my thyroid, so I don't know how you can say just cut calories...it's not that easy.
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976897_tn?1379171202
I watched an interesting documentary recently about the latest findings regarding body fat. What was interesting is how many identical twins they found, where one was fat and one was thin. Of course, usually they would be about the same. The beauty here is the similarity of the genes and being able to identify differences between them quite easily. After lots of research, they discovered we are slaves to our genes. In all cases, one twin was subjected in life to long periods of stress, and for some reason this switched on particular groups of genes. Those genes cause the body to store more fat than usual. More incredible is that those genes were past on to their offspring. The next step is to try and find ways to turn those genes back off. So I would agree with you, some people find it very difficult to lose weight. There are also hormones involved with many people. Two types. One they call the hunger hormone, and the other the FULL hormone. In obese people, the full hormones never increase, so they never feel full and keep eating. It's really hard for people to lose weight if they feel like they are starving all the time.
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