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How to Evaluate Your Heart’s Performance When Under Pressure With Stress Testing

Heart conditions are among the world’s leading causes of death. However, with stress testing Deerfield Beach services, early signs of a cardiac problem can be detected to indicate the right treatment plan. Besides detecting a heart problem, your doctor may also use the stress test to check your condition’s severity if you already have a heart problem or measure your treatment’s efficiency.    

What should you expect during a stress test?

During the test, your doctor will suggest you get on a stationary bicycle or a treadmill to start at a low pace. The care provider will gradually increase your bike or treadmill’s tempo or resistance until he attains your heart’s working capacity depending on your age. The test may also include an electrocardiogram which your doctor will use to check your heart’s electrical activity during training. The professional may also check your blood pressure, heart rate, and blood oxygen level.

After around 10-15 minutes, your doctor may stop the training if you start showing signs of a heart problem or when you appear too tired for the test. Suppose you are unable to exercise, the health provider may inject medicine into your blood vessel via an intravenous line to simulate the effects of a workout. The doctor may also take your heart’s images during and after the test to check your blood flow’s efficiency and how effective your heart pumps blood when it beats.

Once the stress test is over, your doctor may measure your blood and heart’s activity to ascertain that the two measurements are within their normal range. If the tests come out positive, your doctor will not request further treatments or testing. However, if the tests indicate that you may be suffering from a heart condition, the professional might order other imaging or diagnostic tests.

Why would your doctor recommend a stress test?

Your care provider may recommend stress testing when you have worrying symptoms of coronary artery disease (CAD) or arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm). CAD occurs when plaque blocks your coronary artery, thereby damaging them. On the other hand, heart arrhythmia happens when the electrical impulses coordinating your heart’s impulses fail to function correctly, forcing your heart to beat irregularly, either too fast, or too slow. 

The tests your doctor will suggest may also guide treatment options, measure your treatment’s effectiveness, or determine your condition’s severity, especially if you already have a heart problem. Your care provider may use the stress test to time a cardiac surgery. In case of heart failure, the test will tell your doctor when you need advanced treatment.

How should you prepare for a stress test?

Before your doctor’s appointment, your care provider may make a few suggestions on how you should prepare for the test. The health provider may advise you not to smoke, drink, or eat for a while before your test. He may also suggest no intake of caffeine before and on the day of testing. If you are taking prescription medication for a certain underlying condition, ask your doctor if it will be safe to continue taking them because they can affect particular stress tests.   

Schedule a stress testing appointment today with your doctor to know your heart’s performance.