Cold Weather Side Effect-It Was Angina!!!!!!!!

Last night I walked ten blocks/half mile or so home, around nine, when the temperature dropped to about forty degrees. It was the most painful experieince, although not the first time it's happened. My entire chest hurt so much it felt like it was burning and I could hardly catch my breath. It took fifteen minutes for my body to calm down when I got home. I can still, this morning, feel the faint echo of the pain. What was going on , do you think? Was this my heart/CAD, or should I be investigating pulmonary disease? Thanks.

This post was amended below (see post # 4) due to an epiphany I had this morning.

Edited April 17, 2009 at 12:00 pm

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This is angina in my case. Temps below 50 degrees ramp the pain way up.....stepping into a hot steamy shower helps me sometimes.

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Hi Barbara
Very hot or very cold extremes are famously bad for heart patients. Ouch!! Bundle up warmly, especially with a scarf around your face/neck, and better yet, try to avoid being outside too long when the mercury drops.

And, by the way, when will springtime come?!?!

XOXOXo

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Martzi-Kennarina, I just went to therapy, then a walk in the park, felt twinges. (I stll do, even writing this.) Only then did I look up at the lovely sky (here in NYC) and say to myself: LORDY, THAT LAST NIGHT EPISODE WAS AN ANGINA ATTACK!!!!!! Here I am carrying that darned nitro around for two years, finally had a chance to use it, and went into denial mode so fast it was ridiculous. My friend didn't catch it, my husband didn't catch it when I got home, my md didn't catch it, my morning post tells you I didn't catch it-but you ladies did!! I feel like such a fool. But there's a lesson here. See, I haven't had a real down to earth, hard core angina attack in about a year and a half (mild ones yes, but nothing like this), so I wasn't thinking about it. I think of myself as having CAD but until last night didn't really accept/understand what that meant. And I didn't realize that the cold can bring on angina. I thought the stents would put pause to angina. I am now at a new level of understanding: this may never go away, but I CAN control it-by a greater understainding of what is happening to my body- and taking my bloody nitro!!!!! Like right now. Thanks for the confirmation.

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Wow. Thanks for sharing that experience. I carry nitro too but never think to take it until after the fact.

be well,
Laura

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Glad to help. Now, as for this nitro headache... Oh, yes, remember that Celine Dion song...It's all coming back to me now.

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Remember Jaynie's advice - take a Tylenol 10-15 minutes before the nitro dose to minimize that nitro headache...

Barbara, do these angina episodes come on only when you are out walking, exercising?

XOXOXOX

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K, I didn't know that. Thank you. I have had mild angina reading, etc, I have unstable angina, but this was a MAJOR attack, and I've only had one or two even close to that since my stents were placed (10/07-4/08). And those were definitely cold related. My chest hurts in the cold, mostly around 40 degrees, go figure.
BTW, just as an aside, my husband got annoyed this morning when I mentioned the angina as it related to the cold, but I stood my ground:I told him it was a serious thing for us-US-not to have realized this was an angina attack, and that I needed a nitro asap. He's a good man, really he is, but he hates this whole CAD thing.

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Walking by the freezer section in the grocery stores can bring on an attack. Walking into a store that has the air conditoning turned low can bring on an attack. I have many a time left my groceries in the cart and headed for the car with Nitro under the tongue. I never know how I will react to taking one of those lil pills and do not want to appear loopy and walk funny so off to the car I go. I now wear 2 mg. Nitro patches, 12 hours on and 12 hours off. They help. My attacks can last 20 minutes (and they are severe) with residual jaw pains. I also have unstable angina as mine are not excercised induced. Tuesday I go for a Dobutermine stress test due to dizziness and irratic heart rate. I wish just one day I would awake with no aches or pains. (-: Good Luck.

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Thanks for the info, Annie. It solidifies my information bank. I go for the nuclear stress on Tuesday. Can you let me know how yours goes? I've heard/read up on that test but never knew anyone who took it and I am interested to know about it. Good luck.

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Yes, I will keep you posted. Are you also having a Test on Tuesday?
Annie

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Yes, the nuclear stress test.

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I wish you well tomorrow. Lets compare notes. Told not to eat or drink anything for 4 hours prior and no caffiene from midnight on. I have five stents and one closed up and was Ballooned last year. Taxus stent was the bad one. I suspect this has closed again.
Annie

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Hey BarbaraGale,

"And I didn't realize that the cold can bring on angina. I thought the stents would put pause to angina. I am now at a new level of understanding: this may never go away, but I CAN control it-by a greater understainding of what is happening to my body- and taking my bloody nitro!!!!! Like right now. Thanks for the confirmation"

Yes. You have correctly identified extreme temp (for your heart) induced angina. Isn't it amazingly powerful when you figure out WHAT is going on and that you can actually manage it with nitro....or other meds?!!!

I'm smiling at how firm you were with hubby about not placing yourself in harms way any more just to spare him a little irritation. No one who isn't afflicted w angina is going to get this, so you are always going to have to speak up and explain why you can't dash hither and yon spontaneously like other people....you now have to weigh impacts of weather, crowds w sick people, etc...doctors putting you in dangerous positions during tests....for the rest of your life.

Basically, I have unstable angina.....almost always onset during rest periods, changing positions has no effect. But cold below 55 degrees and above 80 degrees....air filled with smoke/smog....these externally cause angina and increasing anxiety and stress. When the neighbor's smoke gets into my house I have no way to get away from it in time to prevent angina for hours. Last summer we had extreme drought combined with electrical-lightening fires that kept North Carolina forests burning and smoking for months on end....blowing this way for weeks at a time. I just about jumped off the James River bridge...there was no way to get away from it. It blew continuously into half of the state for 3 months.

Glad you are feeling empowered!! (smile)

Jaynie

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My question to all you smart ladies! Is how do they know you have Angina? My doctor said it one time but has never mentioned it to me again. I do take a small dose of Norvas and I also take Topral XL. But is there a test or they guessing you have it. How does it feel? I think mine is indigestion! ?? Thanks!

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Hi terodac,

" do take a small dose of Norvas and I also take Topral XL. But is there a test or they guessing you have it. How does it feel? I think mine is indigestion!"

The fact you were put on both those meds indicates a doctor thought you have angina. If they are working for you, I would avoid the testing....because that puts you in the disturbing-to-frightening tests where these symptoms are induced via chemical injections....Heart attacks are also induced this way in patients who cannot withstand a treadmill test.

Indigestion and angina have always been completely different sensory experiences for me. No chance of confusing the two. I think of 'indigestion' as a type of gastric angina....not enough blood flow to stomach to properly digest and manage digestion chemistry. It was definitely a precursor to heart attack for me.

take good care,
Jaynie

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Hi Barb-I get severe attacks from the cold & wind, I've been told it's normal for someone with heart problems. Severe palpatations, tightness in chest, sweating, sob, pulse races , bp goes sky high in seconds (like 180/100) and vomiting when it's real bad. Use a scarf when you go outside in the cold & cover your nose/mouth w/hankerchief in summer if you go into extreme cold store. Freezer sections in groceriy stores have actually triggered my attacks. Use precautions, it should help. Take care, Kathy

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Hi Barbara, They cancelled my test today and rescheduled it for next week. There is a certain enhancement they want to use and it did not come in. Please let me know how you did. I wish you the best.
Annie

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I've had angina in cold weather for years. Just dress very warmly and cover your mouth with a scarf and it should lessen the affects of the cold on your heart. Also, I'm hearing a lot more now about women feeling the cold on their skin much more now and having to dress more warmly just in general. My mother is cold all the time and I'm becoming more sensitive to the cold and having to wear light jackets more in the house during the winter.

Also remember - pill form nitro only has a shelf life of a few months, while the spray nitro(sub-lingual) lasts for a couple of years in your purse. AlaskaGirl

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Alaska, I didn't know that. Thanks for the info. I'll get some. I carry the pill and it becomes powdery after awhile.

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Thanks for the info of what can happen in a stress test the cardiologist diagonsis it as I was having an anxiety attack, and the pain I was having was the same pain that I had when I had my heart attack which scared me.

Barb A

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