A stress test is expected when you have complications within your cardiovascular system. It helps test how your heart and blood vessels work at rest and during activities. The Tomball stress testing specialists use the test to diagnose several cardiovascular complications like coronary artery disease, heart failure, and heart valve disease. Also, the test can be ordered to test how your current treatment is effective. Here is more information about the test.
Types of Stress Tests
There are three stress tests: nuclear stress test, stress echocardiogram, and electrocardiogram (EKG). All tests do not produce similar results, and your doctor will determine the correct type of choice for you based on your symptoms and medical history. Also, if a particular test fails to deliver desired results or provides insufficient information, your doctor will proceed to another trial.
All three tests involve your doctor attaching electrodes to your chest. But the electrodes can also be placed on your arms and legs during a nuclear test. Also, a special dye is injected into your arm to facilitate the production of explicit pictures of your heart before and during the nuclear test.
The Revelation of a Stress Test
A cardiac stress test can help your doctor reveal at least three critical heart issues. They can help determine whether coronary artery disease is underway, show how your heart is doing after a heart attack, and track congestive heart failure. The coronary disease can worsen over time to cause stroke or heart attack. But your doctor can identify blockages in your arteries due to cholesterol plaque through a stress test. The test will reveal if your blood flow is partially blocked, and it might indicate you require immediate action when that happens at rest. Also, the test can tell if your heart is working overtime when it notes that your pulse and blood pressure elevate significantly due to activity.
How to Prepare for the Test
The test involves you walking on a treadmill. Therefore, it would be better to wear your loose, comfortable clothes and sports shoes. Also, note that you will remove your shirt temporarily for your doctor to place the electrodes. You will have to stop smoking for at least 24 hours before your appointment if you do. This goes in line with avoiding anything with caffeine. Discuss any current treatments you might be undertaking, like pills to keep you asleep or weight loss medications. Your doctor will advise you on what to do per the treatments you are undertaking.
What You Can Expect During the Test
On the treadmill, the intensity of your activity will increase gradually every few minutes. Your doctor can increase the speed or the incline to observe how your heart and veins function with increased activity. You might experience heavy breathing and sweating but talk to your doctor if you experience pain. The test can be stopped when you become dizzy, experience chest pain, or your blood pressure spikes or drops abnormally.
Expect to feel tired and winded after the stress test. But report any symptoms like pain or tightness in your chest, trouble breathing, dizziness, cold sweat, or pain in your neck, back, jaw, stomach, or arm.
Visit, call or book an online appointment at Northwest Houston Heart Center to understand about a stress test. Your provider will help you know the type of test you need to explain your symptoms.