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Myocardial Ischemia

Myocardial ischemia means your heart muscle is not getting enough blood (which contains oxygen and nutrients) to work as it should. The most common symptom of myocardial ischemia is angina (also called angina pectoris). Angina is chest pain that is also described as chest discomfort, heaviness, tightness, pressure, aching, burning, numbness, fullness, or squeezing. It can feel like indigestion or heartburn. There are 2 types of angina: stable angina/stable coronary artery disease and unstable angina. Stable angina usually stops soon after you rest or take medication to control it. Unstable angina can happen at any time, even when you are relaxed or sleeping. It may not go away when you take medication. If you have angina or any of the symptoms of ischemia listed above that last for more than 5 minutes, CALL 9-1-1 RIGHT AWAY! You may be having a heart attack or have a coronary artery that is completely blocked. Ischemia is most likely to happen when your heart needs more oxygen and nutrients than it is getting. It is simply a supply-demand imbalance that happens at times when there is more demand for blood, such as when you are active, eating, excited, stressed or in the cold, and your body can’t keep up with the need for more blood.

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