October 4, 2018

Everyone wants to make sure their heart is functioning at full capacity. You might think you need a cardiac stress test to tell us that information. But, did you know that not everyone needs to have this test done?

Today, healthcare is aimed at prevention, which is a great thing! Therefore, our doctors here at Healthcare Associates of Texas use science and research to select the appropriate tests for you at the best time. This means we use the information you tell us along with your physical exam and the symptoms you’re having to decide if this test is for you.

Before we discuss who needs to have a stress test performed, here are a few basics about this test.

Cardiac Stress Testing 101

cardiac stress test measures how well your heart works when under physical stress. During a stress test, you will be asked to walk on a treadmill or pedal a stationary bike while we monitor the electrical activity of your heart.

Small, sticky electrodes will be placed on your legs, arms, and chest. Wires will run from the electrodes to an electrocardiogram machine, which will record the electrical activity as you exercise. A blood pressure cuff will be placed on your arm to monitor your blood pressure during the test too. You might be asked to breathe into a small tube to show us how well you’re breathing during exercise.

You will be monitored closely during the test, and the cardiac testing staff will ask you questions about how you feel while exercising. You shouldn’t experience any pain while you’re performing the exercise. But, if you do, be sure to let the staff know right away.

If you’re unable to exercise, our doctors will order a different type of test that doesn’t require the use of a bike or treadmill.

Do You Need a Cardiac Stress Test?

Our doctors may recommend a stress test if:

  • You’ve had a heart attack, and the doctor wants to make sure it’s safe for you to participate in strenuous exercises.
  • You’ve been experiencing shortness of breath or chest pain.
  • You’re at risk of coronary artery disease based off of lab results, past medical history or family history.
  • You have symptoms like an irregular heart rate, feeling like you might faint, or a fluttering sensation in your chest with exercise.

If you meet any of the above reasons for a stress test or are experiencing other heart symptoms that are concerning, call Healthcare Associates of Texas to schedule an appointment today. We’re here to ensure you get the best care for your heart.

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