A heart stress test, also referred to as a stress test, is a noninvasive cardiological examination that measures the ability of the heart to respond to stressful external stimuli in a controlled medical environment. The stress response occurs when the heart muscle is stimulated by intravenous or oral medication. When there is an elevated heart rate and increased blood pressure, this stimulates the contraction of the left ventricular muscles. Although normal heart rhythms can be expected, an irregular response may indicate the presence of some type of problem with the heart muscles themselves. An irregular response may also mean that the heart is undergoing mechanical problems due to high blood pressure, such as restricted pumping efficiency.
In a typical stress test, the patient is first asked to relax. At that time, the patient’s resting heart rate is monitored. After the patient has relaxed, the cardiologist will use a variety of methods to inject the heart with a variety of types of medications, depending on the diagnosis of his or her patient.
Exercise stress testing is often used to investigate coronary artery disease (CAD). During the exercise stress testing, the patient’s resting heart rate is monitored and recorded. If symptoms occur, the doctor will then know exactly what the problem is. The exercise stress testing procedure is generally performed during a routine physical examination.
Some types of physical assessment are often combined with cardiac stress tests. For example, during a physical examination, the patient’s heart rate is measured while he is at rest. This enables the cardiologist to determine the maximum heart rate that can be sustained during exercise. The exercise stress test allows the doctor to identify possible heart arrhythmias that could potentially cause future heart attacks or strokes. It also enables the doctor to evaluate the heart function during exercise.
Cardiac stress tests may also indicate if there is unstable angina or abnormal heart rhythm. During this particular test, the doctor measures the blood pressure in the patient’s arm or another area of the body. The blood pressure is monitored several times an hour, and the doctor will take note of the test results. The results of the test can reveal unusual spikes in blood pressure that are unrelated to heart problems. If the doctor detects arrhythmias, the doctor will discuss treatment options with the patient.
Cardiac stress tests may also show evidence of abnormal heart rhythm. During this procedure, the doctor uses Doppler technology to detect the pitch of the heartbeat. The device is designed to measure the variations in the pulse frequency as it beats in the ear. The pitch can indicate variations in the valves within the blood vessels. These abnormal heart rhythms are a clear sign of abnormal blockages and disruptions in the cardiovascular system, which could result in cardiovascular problems, such as heart attack or stroke.
Stress test procedures differ depending on what is being tested. One type of what is a stress test normally involves an EKG or electrocardiogram. When an EKG detects the electrical activity of the heart, it can indicate if the heart rate is elevated or depressed. An EKG can also show abnormal rhythms, such as arrhythmias. For the treadmill stress test, a treadmill is used to generate varying amounts of foot pressure. The level of the pressure may increase or decrease based on how well the treadmill is maintained.
Stress tests are typically used by doctors to determine if exercise is beneficial in preventing heart problems or treating existing heart problems. Exercising regularly can reduce your chances of developing heart disease, which is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. The key is for you to get regular physical exercise and not to overexert yourself. Regular exercise combined with a healthy diet and balanced lifestyle can be very beneficial in many aspects of your life.