Heart palpations are a feeling of fluttering in your chest, or feeling like your heart is skipping a beat. They are a caused by an electrical disturbance in your heart, and do not necessarily indicate any blockages in your coronary arteries (heart vessels). Heart palpitations are not relieved by nitro.
Angina (chest pain) can feel like pressure, squeezing, aching, or pain, and generally indicates a blockage in a coronary artery. Angina is caused by decreased blood flow through a coronary artery, the pain is the affected muscle saying “help! I’m not getting enough blood flow!”
Sublingual (under tongue) Nitroglycerin (Nitro) works by temporarily dilating or enlarging your coronary arteries. The blood can then flow regularly, the muscle gets the blood flow it needs, and the pain goes away.
You have known coronary heart disease, unfortunately bypass surgery does not remove your disease. There are many more treatment options for heart disease and angina than there were 15 years ago. I would highly recommend speaking with your cardiologist about your symptoms, their frequency and severity. Sometimes angina is a blockage in a larger vessel and may require an angioplasty (ballooning), or stent placement. This procedure typically only requires one night stay in the hospital and minimal recovery. Angina can also be just small vessel disease that doesn’t require a procedure, but simply an adjustment to your daily medications. There are medications that do what nitro does but last all day, therefore, giving you constant relief from your symptoms.
I know it’s easier said than done, but don’t let your financial concerns get in the way of seeking care for yourself.
Be well, Tessa