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Variant Angina, Cardiac Syndrome X, Coronary Vasospasm…

December 29, 2012

…Coronary Microvascular Disease, Endothelial Dysfunction, by any of these names the result is the same: chronic angina pain and some level of disability.  I saw an excellent presentation on this topic this week featuring an acquaintance of mine from the Womenheart forum on, Joan Jahnke.  The show is Second Opinion on PBS.  The episode is entitled Angina and it is available to watch in full at this link.

Joan’s story has given me hope since I first talked to her and watched the educational video she made with Emory University, perhaps a year ago.  She gave me hope not just for getting a diagnosis, but for finding a doctor who understood my condition and how to treat it, and hope for getting back some quality of life.  It’s encouraging seeing more medical professionals discussing this type of heart disease and educating their peers.  I saw another episode of Second Opinion a while back, Coronary Microvascular Disease, that featured a panel of doctors who are experts in this type of heart disease.  It is well worth watching to learn more.

The big take-away here is that angina, whatever the cause, is treatable.  If you have chronic heart-related pain and are not getting adequate relief from your symptoms, keep looking for a doctor who understands how to treat your condition.  Go to a bigger city, to a bigger hospital, that is more up to date.  Don’t give up.  And as Joan says on the show, “Don’t be dismissed!”

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