Prinzmetal and cold weather advice

Posted by beahind @beahind, Dec 30, 2017

For the past couple of months my Prinzmetal angina has done really well. With 480 diltiazem the nightly spasms gradually disappeared completely and the daytime angina can be controlled as long as I stay away from my triggers. Lately I’ve even been able to push my luck a little and get away with it. Taking my time in the grocery store, sticking around for an argument with my son … living large indeed. Where I live it can get very cold but until this week it’s been uncharacteristically warm. For the first time since this all started I went outside today in minus 30 C weather. I took all precautions: gloves, hat, scarf around my mouth, straight from house to warm car then to building. In total I couldn’t have been outside for more than three minutes. My chest got tight right away, and my heart was a bit sore but I thought I got away with it, pretty much, until tonight. The angina is kicking in, in spite of the nitro patch. I don’t understand how something I did six hours ago can cause me angina now. It’s crazy. No really bad spasms yet though, thank goodness.
Anyway, we are in for at least a week of this weather. Is there anything else I can do to mitigate the reaction to the cold? Would taking NGL before I go out help? I have a chance to see my grandchildren tomorrow but I don’t want to start another bout of six months of angina or start the bad spasms up again. It took months before this settled down to where we could actually sort it out. I don’t want to go back to that again.
I have to admit that I’d begun to think I could control this, maybe even start to live my life again.

hello there. i don’t know if i should respond because i am not familiar with this medical problem but: just as a grandmother the first thing that came to my mind when reading your post was; breathing in the cold air would affect the entire body from the lungs and on. i am wishing you can continue on and live a better life. with much care, peach.


Hi @beahind, @peach414144,

You are absolutely correct about the cold weather and its impact on the heart. I think you’ll be interested in these discussions on weather changes:

– Seasonal weather changes and cardiac events
– Pain And Changes In Weather…Am I Alone????
– Six Unexpected Ways Winter Affects Your Health


I have a severe case of PA. When it’s that cold I can’t even open the door, it goes straight to my heart. For me, I’m unable to go out, I thank God my Disability was approved the first time. Unfortunately the weather plays a huge part and cause a lot of pain. Dr Amir Lerman at Mayo Rochester is my cardiologist and is absolutely wonderful. Unable to have heart bypass he suggested a Spinal Cord Stimulator, it helped tremendously. There is a Prinzmetal Angina support group on Facebook. The best advice I have is to find a Dr that knows about PA and follow all their instructions, the medication and time of meds are very important. Exercise can be done in small time limits several times a day. ❣️

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