What Causes Angina?

In order to manage angina we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow angina symptoms to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind angina consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to angina symptoms.  Here are five possibilities:
  • Heart Disease
  • Cigarette Smoke Damage
  • Dehydration
  • Mercury Toxicity
  • Sphincter Of Oddi Dysfunction*
* symptoms can be very similar

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
irritated eyes
brittle fingernails
sleeping less than necessary
being easily irritated
slight tongue swelling
excessive thirst
coated tongue
rapid pulse rate
high alcohol consumption
caffeinated soft drink consumption
moving white lines across nails
... and more than 100 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of angina symptoms:
Cause Probability Status
Mercury Toxicity 98% Confirm
Sphincter Of Oddi Dysfunction** 19% Unlikely
Dehydration 1% Ruled out
Heart Disease 0% Ruled out
Cigarette Smoke Damage 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process
** Symptoms can be very similar

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate pre-existing cardiovascular problems, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Have you experienced Angina?
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ No / angina ruled out
→ Past episode(s) now resolved
→ Current minor problem
→ Current major problem
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate absence of angina, history of angina or having angina, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Coronary Disease / Heart Attack

An episode of angina is not a heart attack.  The pain of angina means that some of the heart muscle is temporarily not getting enough blood.  Angina does, however, mean that there is underlying coronary heart disease.  Although patients with angina are at increased risk of heart attack, an episode of angina is not a signal that a heart attack is about to happen.  When the pattern of angina changes (more frequent or longer-lasting episodes, or occurring without exercise), the risk of heart attack in subsequent days or weeks is much higher.


Dr. Bantmanghelidj, MD in his book Your Body's Many Cries for Water reports many cases of angina attacks being reduced by drinking adequate water.

Cigarette Smoke Damage

Smokers have on average 33% more angina attacks than do non-smokers.

Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction

Heart conditions such as angina or ischemia can cause pain that appears to come from the abdomen.

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