A stress test can help diagnose heart problems that aren't showing up on a standard EKG. If you need a diagnosis for heart-related symptoms, board-certified interventional cardiologists Yasir Yaqub, MD, and Kiran Mangalpally, MD, at Mission Heart & Vascular in Mission, Texas, provide fast, patient-friendly stress tests. Call the office for more details or use the online form to book your appointment today.
A stress test is a procedure that involves putting your heart under stress by exercising. Exercising makes your heart work harder to get the blood pumping around your body and oxygen to your muscles.
You might need to undergo a stress test if your EKG test results are normal and you have symptoms like chest pain, a rapid heartbeat, or shortness of breath. A stress test can help diagnose conditions such as:
Stress testing is also a useful way for Mission Heart & Vascular to assess how well your treatment works if you already have a diagnosed heart condition. An exercise stress test is the most common testing method.
To prepare for your exercise stress test, your provider attaches electrodes onto your chest and other areas like your arms and legs. The electrodes aren't painful; they stick onto your skin and send information back to the EKG machine about the electrical activity in your heart.
Your provider at Mission Heart & Vascular also monitors your blood pressure and supervises the test so they can intervene if there are any problems.
To perform a stress test, you use exercise equipment like a treadmill. You’ll walk at first, and gradually go faster and work harder. Unless you have an issue like chest pain or dizziness, you continue until you reach the heart rate target your provider has set.
An exercise stress test isn't suitable for everyone. In these cases, you can have an injection of medication that simulates the effects of a stress test instead.
There are two other types of stress test you might need:
A stress echocardiogram is similar to a standard stress test but uses an echocardiogram to create ultrasound images of your heart when it's under stress.
A nuclear stress test involves your provider injecting a radioactive dye into your bloodstream that shows up on diagnostic imaging. Your provider takes a set of images before and after your stress test, then compares the two to see if there are any areas where blood flow is poor.
If you want to know more about stress testing or have any concerns about heart-related symptoms, call Mission Heart & Vascular or book an appointment online today.