Anyone that has the potentiality of cardiovascular disease will go to a specialist of some sort. The cardiologist will decide which stress test is ideal for your situation. Stressing your heart is the purpose of a diagnostic test of the sort. Choosing the right one is what cardiologists will do. Stressing your heart is the first step – you need to have other tests done to see what is really going on. We’ll talk about stress tests and offer some insights about them so you’ll have a better idea.
In other articles, we’ve explained how a cardiologist has a number of stress tests to choose from. The treadmill stress test is a good example of a stress test that isn’t quite as complex as others and is used quite frequently. You’ll find that a good example of a complicated stress test is the nuclear one. Special radioactive tracers are used to illuminate your blood by emitting specific forms of energy. If you’ll be taking the treadmill stress test, all it involves is walking on a treadmill as if you were exercising. The idea is to make sure stress is placed on your heard and the rest of your cardiac system by elevating your heart rate.
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. In order for a stress test to be successful, your heart needs to be stressing out quite a bit. What that means is it’s not always helpful to measure your EKG when you’re relaxed and breathing normally. Anytime you hear the phrase “loading it down” associated with the heart, causing it to work harder than ever. Putting your heart under a load can be done by walking fast or running for not too long at all. It will be obvious if you have any abnormalities or problems with your heart when measured when loaded down. Situations like this happen all the time, but not for every person. Symptoms, if they are not present, will not help discern if something is wrong with you or not.
You need to discuss the different types of cardiac stress tests with your practicing physician if he or she recommends you need to get one. Of course there are differences such as whether an image is produced or an EKG is produced. Don’t just accept those differences that are obvious and move on. You need to discover why one is preferred over another and this should be answered by a cardiologist. The cardiologist or specialist is the one who makes the choice anyway. Nuclear stress tests cost a bundle, especially when compared to the treadmill test. It will take about a week for the radioisotopes to disappear.
The treadmill/EKG stress test is a much better option for you if the idea of radioactive elements being injected into your system doesn’t sit well with you. Many people get concerned about the radioactive injections that nuclear stress tests require. Actually, it’s understandable why people would be concerned, despite the low dosage. Everybody is, in a way, protected by the annual limits for radioactive exposure which conform to safety standards. There is probably an alternative available if you have major concerns.