Heart disease is the top cause of death for women and men in the United States. The dangerous condition accounts for approximately 25 percent of the deaths in the country. Since heart disease is so prevalent and dangerous, you need to do everything possible to prevent and treat the condition. Just like every other dangerous disease, early detection of heart disease is key to the treatment process. Stress testing is the best way to determine if you have heart disease.
A stress test is a set of medical tests that shows the amount of stress your heart can handle before malfunctioning. An irregular heartbeat or lack of blood flow are two of the most common malfunctions found during a stress test. If you have a weak heart that can’t handle a lot of stress, then there is a very good chance that you are suffering from heart disease.
There are currently four different types of stress tests that can help to diagnose and monitor heart disease. The most common form of stress testing is the treadmill stress test. You will walk or jog on a treadmill while hooked to an electrocardiogram. The treadmill stress test will be able to determine if your heart is getting enough blood while under moderate stress.
A chemical stress test is good for someone who is not able to walk or jog for an extended period of time. With this test, you will be given a drug that makes the heart respond like you are exercising. The chemical stress test will provide the same results as the treadmill stress test without requiring the exercise.
A nuclear stress test will detail the exact parts of your heart that are not currently working properly. You will get an injection of a safe radioactive substance at the start of the nuclear stress test. A special camera will then be used to see the rays produced by this radioactive substance. Once there is a clear picture of your heart tissue, it is easy to determine the source of the heart disease.
A stress echocardiogram is the last form of stress testing. This will give a visual picture of your heart while it is under stress. This visualization will allow the doctor to observe abnormalities in your heart’s movements.
During a consultation at Cardiology Consultants of Southwest Florida in Fort Myers, our team of professionals can help you determine which type of stress testing is right for you. Contact us today to schedule your appointment to learn more.