Doctors often recommend stress testing if there is a concern with your heart health. There are many reasons your doctor may recommend stress testing. The doctor may want to see if you have coronary artery disease. The doctor might also want to check for other heart issues, such as an abnormal heart rhythm, inadequate blood flow to the heart, or a problem with one of the heart's valves. One more heart problem that stress testing helps to detect is heart failure. There are different kinds of stress testing that can check for these kinds of heart issues. The type of stress testing your doctor may recommend largely depends upon your symptoms.
Here are three different kinds of cardiac stress testing.
1. Exercise Stress Testing
Exercise stress testing is usually performed on a treadmill. This type of stress testing helps determine how well your heart functions when working hard. During the test, you will be hooked up to an electrocardiogram (EKG) machine. The EKG allows the doctor to monitor your heart rate during the test. Along with determining how well your heart performs during exercise, this type of stress testing can also help you know what kinds of exercises your heart can safely handle.
2. Chemical Stress Testing
If you have a disability, or there is another reason you cannot physically perform an exercise stress test, chemical stress testing may be done instead. This type of stress testing requires a chemical agent to get injected into the body through a vein. The chemicals make the heart respond as though it is under stress.
Like exercise stress testing, you will be hooked up to an EKG machine in order to monitor your heart rate. As part of the stress testing, you will need to undergo an echocardiogram or an MRI. This will allow the doctor to get images from inside your body to see what is going on with your heart.
3. Nuclear Stress Testing
This kind of testing is a combination of exercise stress testing and chemical stress testing. Nuclear stress testing helps diagnose heart diseases. If you have recently had a heart attack, your doctor might recommend nuclear stress testing in order to determine how much damage your heart received.
During nuclear stress testing, your doctor will be able to receive images of your heart while you are at rest and also while you are exercising. These images allow the doctor to see how well blood flows to and from your heart as well as how your heart functions at rest and while active.
For more information about stress testing, contact a local service.
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