Being diagnosed with angina can be life-changing. This is a serious condition that can not only cause chest pain and a lack of oxygen in the short-term but an increased risk of heart attack in the months and years that follow. You need to take action quickly, and that generally involves taking several prescribed medications, including a beta-blocker and statins. However, you will also need to make changes in your lifestyle, including the following.

Quit Smoking

Tobacco smoke is known to make angina and other cardiovascular conditions worse. If you smoke, you absolutely need to quit ASAP. This can be very difficult, but there are support groups and therapy options, such as hypnotherapy, that can help. If you are struggling to quit smoking, let your doctor know; don't hide your struggles. They can recommend therapy or even prescription medication to help.

Reduce Your Saturated Fat Intake

You need fat in your diet for good overall health, but you need to be careful which type of fat you eat. Saturated fat, which is primarily found in animal products, clogs the arteries and can contribute to angina, making it worse. You'll need to focus on eating a diet low in saturated fat while containing more unsaturated fat from plant sources like olives, avocado, and flaxseed. Your doctor may refer you to a dietitian to work on a specialized diet plan to help manage your angina.

Get Gentle Exercise

Vigorous exercise often makes angina worse, at least in the short-term. However, being active to some degree can help keep your weight down, which tends to help ease angina. The goal, then, should be for you to get some light exercise when possible. This could be chair aerobics, taking slow walks twice a day, or even just doing some stretching and basic yoga. 

Reduce Stress Levels

Angina is made worse by stress. Everyone has different sources of stress in their lives, so it is hard to say exactly what the best lifestyle change is to alleviate that stress. However, meditating, deep breathing exercises, and getting adequate sleep tend to help, regardless of the cause of the stress. Also, consider whether you can make some changes in your life to reduce exposure to your stressors. For instance, if your job is really stressful, consider finding a new job.

If you are diagnosed with angina, it is important for you to reduce your stress levels, stop smoking, avoid saturated fat, and do some light exercise. Talk to your doctor if any of these changes are difficult for you, or for more information about angina treatment.