Diagnosing the Heart Condition: Consider Stress Testing

Many people don’t know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, and it can be challenging to diagnose. Stress testing is a crucial tool for doctors because it measures how well your heart functions under stress. If you or someone you care about has symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness, make sure to consider this test during your next visit to a healthcare center. In Covington, LA, professional stress testing doctors can make the diagnosis accurate. You need to find a facility for stress testing in Covington, which is remarkable.

What is a Stress Test?

A stress test is a diagnostic procedure that doctors use when they suspect cardiac distress. Many tests are performed, but the most common is exercise stress testing, or ETT for short. The patient must perform physical activity, such as walking on the treadmill, usually while hooked up to an EKG machine that monitors heart rate and rhythm. 

As a patient, you may feel dizzy or tired during this test period because it puts pressure on the body. The best part is that stress tests are very safe.

What Conditions Can Stress Testing Diagnose?

Stress testing can be used to diagnose coronary artery disease (CAD), angina pectoris, and congestive heart failure. There is also hyperthyroidism, cardiac arrhythmias, and cardiomyopathy. A doctor may also recommend stress testing to monitor a patient’s heart function after a heart attack or coronary artery bypass surgery.

What is Involved in a Stress Test?

Before the stress test begins, the doctor will ask about your medical history and conduct a physical examination. The patient should wear comfortable clothes for this test to ensure movement isn’t restricted. If you have an ETT, you will start by walking on a treadmill or pedaling on a stationary bicycle while hooked up to an EKG machine. 

Your heart rate and rhythm are analyzed throughout the exercise period, ranging from three minutes to ten minutes long. Typically patients rest for several minutes, then repeat the process. Sometimes they even go through the cycle again at different levels of intensity. Your results are evaluated right away so that treatment can begin if necessary.

Benefits of Stress Testing

Stress testing helps diagnose problems you may not be aware of. You could have a severe condition that requires immediate attention, or it might give your doctor the chance to recommend lifestyle changes that will help your heart stay healthy. 

People at risk for heart disease should consider expanding their treatment options with stress testing. By scheduling an evaluation now, patients can find out how to maintain their overall cardiovascular health.

What is a Normal Stress Test Result?

A typical stress test result means your heart is pumping well under stress, and there is no evidence of coronary artery disease. However, if you have been diagnosed with CAD or other conditions, knowing this information ahead of time can help guide therapy and future prevention efforts and provide peace of mind.

Heart disease is a severe and challenging condition to manage, but many tools for diagnosis are available. Stress testing can be used as a tool because it measures how well your heart functions under stress. If you or someone you care about has symptoms that could point toward cardiac distress, make sure to consider this test.