A stress test is a medical assessment test that determines how well your heart functions during physical activities. It is also known as an exercise or treadmill test. It can help diagnose a heart condition or disorder by monitoring how blood flows to your heart. During a stress test, your doctor might recommend walking on a treadmill or a stationary bike to gauge your blood pressure, heart rhythm, and heart rate. However, if you have a condition that might limit your movement, such as arthritis, your doctor might prescribe a drug that mimics the effects of exercise. Learn more about this test and how it can improve your overall health from stress testing Covington specialist.

Why Should You Consider Stress Testing?

Stress testing might be an excellent option if you have a heart problem or symptoms indicating a heart condition. Your doctor can also recommend stress testing if you are under medication for an existing heart condition. The test results will help your doctor determine whether the treatment works for you. 

If treatment is ineffective, they might provide other alternative options that might help improve your condition. A stress test might also be necessary to determine whether you can safely undergo surgery such as a heart transplant or valve replacement. 

Are There Different Types of Stress Tests?

There are different types of stress tests that help determine the functionality of your heart. They include an exercise stress test, exercise stress echocardiogram, and nuclear and cardiac rehabilitation stress test. The exercise stress test is the most common type that involves walking on a treadmill or a stationary bike as your exercise physiologist monitors your heart rate.

The exercise stress echocardiogram test provides more details by using an ultrasound to evaluate blood flow to your heart. This test is always appropriate when the exercise stress test results are unclear. 

On the other hand, a nuclear stress test is more advanced and uses a safe radioactive substance to assess your heart functions accurately. This test is also an excellent option if you would like to avoid more invasive heart tests such as cardiac catheterization. 

How Do You Prepare for Stress Testing?

Before a stress test, your doctor might advise you against drinking, smoking, and eating for a while. Also, you should avoid drinking caffeine before taking the test since it might increase your heart rate and interfere with the results. 

Also, discuss with your doctor if you are under any medication or prescription before the test. If you have a breathing problem or asthma, your doctor might recommend bringing your inhaler during the test for analysis.

What Should You Expect During Stress Testing?

A stress test typically takes an hour or less, depending on the type of test you are taking. During the test, your clinician places sticky patches, also known as electrodes, on various parts of your body, such as your legs, chest, and arms. 

These sticky patches are connected to the computer sensors through a wire to record your heart’s electrical activity. Your doctor might also measure your blood pressure by placing a cuff on your arm before starting the exercise test. After the test, you might need to lie down for a short period so your doctor can determine any problem with your heart rate as your breathing slows down.

Do you have a heart condition or a suspected heart disorder? Visit Louisiana Heart and Vascular for stress testing. You will meet the best cardiologists and physiologists, led by Farhad Adult, MD, who will guide you during your stress test. Feel free to call the offices today or request an appointment online for an in-person meeting.