A cardiac stress test is what your doctor may recommend if you are over 40. You can think of it as taking preventive action if no symptoms are found because early detection of problems is critical. There’s a higher rate of success for treatments when they start early which is why it is so important to catch problems as soon as possible. The more severe the problem, the more unpleasant and serious the treatment. So work with your doctor and even suggest it if you have never had a simple stress test.
A cardiologist is required to select one of a number of different stress tests to administer, as we’ve stated in other articles. Some are not as complicated as others and the one that is used most often is the treadmill stress test, which is also a good example. A stress test that is more elaborate is the nuclear stress test. It simple refers to the illumination of your blood using radioactive energy emitted by special tracers. If you need a treadmill stress test, then all you’ll be doing is walking on a treadmill like you’re exercising. This raises your heart rate and stresses your heart and cardiovascular system all around. A doctor will be present for the procedure to ensure all goes well and you’ll be connected with the help of wires to an EKG or electrocardiogram.
If you have a test that uses sound waves to produce an image of your heart, this is called an echocardiogram. The treadmill form of exercise can be used with different methods for measuring heart activity. One of the earlier methods was the EKG which consists of placing electrodes on the chest in certain places.
Then the electrical activity of the heart can be transformed on the recorder and that’s the EKG. Combined with an echocardiogram, the doctor can use this information to your benefit. Images that you get out of the heart are made possible because of the patient’s elevated heart rate due to treadmill exercising. It takes a very trained doctor to interpret this information because the images are in video format.
There are many things to consider if a stress test is ordered for you. The seriousness of the condition can be reflected by the fact that a person can actually perform the test itself. It’s doubtful that doctors will administer a stress test if there is a serious possibility of it inducing a heart attack. When a person is having a heart attack or is at very high risk for one, then other tests can be performed. Typically, catheters are inserted into the leg or groin area into a major artery instead. As the catheter goes up the artery, a video camera is turned on, and funneled toward the heart to see if any problems are there. This procedure carries certain risks that are not always talked about.
Avoiding a stress test should be a common goal that every person has. To do this, you need to stay as healthy as possible. If you’re under severe stress all the time, then this can cause symptoms such as angina. This might happen, but it may not be a serious problem at all. External factors can produce symptoms that seem debilitating, but it’s just your body reacting to stress.