Exercise stress testing can diagnose symptoms of heart disease. At Heart Clinic of Hammond in Hammond and Amite, Louisiana, Ghiath Mikdadi, MD, and Farid Zayed, MD, provide exercise stress testing, including a pharmacological option for people who are unable to exercise. To find out more, call your nearest office today or book an appointment online.
Exercise stress testing helps your doctor assess how well your heart is working when it’s beating hard. An exercise stress test requires walking on a treadmill or pedaling on a stationary bike, steadily increasing your effort. When you reach the heart rate target, you can ease off and let your heart return to normal.
Exercise stress testing records the activity in your heart using electrocardiography (ECG/EKG). Your Heart Clinic of Hammond provider also measures your blood pressure at the same time using an inflatable cuff wrapped around your upper arm.
You might need to undergo exercise stress testing if a resting electrocardiogram or echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) can’t detect the cause of heart-related symptoms like chest pain and syncope (fainting).
Your Heart Clinic of Hammond doctor can also use exercise stress testing to assess the improvement in your heart function after you begin treatment for cardiovascular disease.
The processes for an exercise stress test vary depending on your ability to exercise. Getting your heart rate up to the required pace by exercising on the treadmill or bike is the best way of getting accurate results.
Your Heart Clinic of Hammond provider attaches electrodes (sticky pads with wires) to your body over your heart and major arteries. As you exercise, the electrodes send information about your heart’s electrical activity to the ECG machine. The machine produces a detailed graph that represents your heart function.
If you can’t exercise because you’re too weak or sick, or you have a condition like advanced arthritis, your doctor can perform a pharmacological stress test. That involves taking medications that cause the same effect as exercise without you needing to do any physical activity.
When you complete the test, your doctor reviews the information and reports the findings. For example, poor blood flow when exercising indicates a problem like coronary artery disease (CAD).
After determining the cause of your symptoms, your doctor recommends the most effective treatment. That might be medication and lifestyle changes for milder disorders. Or you might need a minimally invasive cardiac catheterization procedure, like balloon angioplasty to widen your heart’s arteries.
For more information on exercise stress testing and how it can help diagnose your heart condition, call Heart Clinic of Hammond today or book an appointment online.