Preventing the need for serious stress test is a bit of advice and knowledge we all should have. It’s not terrible to go for a treadmill or stationary bike stress test every year if you can afford to do so. It is a good idea to talk to your physician if you have not had an annual medical physical in the last few years. If you don’t exercise regularly, then you should do a stress test which may reveal something even if you are symptom-free.
A cardiologist is required to select one of a number of different stress tests to administer, as we’ve stated in other articles. Some are not as complicated as others and the one that is used most often is the treadmill stress test, which is also a good example. An example of a more complicated stress test is the nuclear stress test. This simply refers to the use of radioactive tracers, and it’s the emission of radioactive energy that “lights” up the blood. As the name implies, you’ll be walking on a treadmill for the treadmill stress test, as if you were engaging in exercise. This raises your heart rate and stresses your heart and cardiovascular system all around. You’ll be all wired up for the electrocardiogram (EKG), and a doctor will be present to make sure all goes well.
There are so many different kinds of situations with the cardiovascular system. Patients will typically need a stress test win some kind of medication has to be prescribed. If you are taking medication, and you have to take a stress test, it’s usually done to monitor the situation. It’s not unusual for doses to be adjusted or even the decision to try a different medication. A cardiologist can only determine if medication is working by testing you in this way. Each patient is different, and therefore different types of stress tests are utilized. Another reason for performing a test is to see how well an operation went for the patient. The success of the procedure can therefore be judged in this manner.
Isotopes, or radioactive chemicals, are often given to patients when a physician needs to see their heart. The doctors, after injecting the chemicals into the patient’s bloodstream, will watch with specialized imaging equipment in their office. Since the chemicals are radioactive, they emit energy, which allows your heart to be seen. This acts to illuminate the bloodstream and of course how well it flows into and out of the heart. They can see the blood flow if it stops. This would mean blockages are in place. It will show them exactly how your heart is pumping the blood. They can also measure the efficiency of your heart, which is actually just a pump in your body. The types of results a doctor gets from stress tests differ, which is what sets these tests apart. Imaging tests are relied upon for patients who are considered to be more at risk. The treadmill stress test that is easy to administer and only uses an EKG usually means that things aren’t quite as serious.